Medan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta -- In order to fulfil the needs of education, research, and preservation as mandated by Law No. 43 of 2007, National Library innovated to create Khastara website (Khasanah Pustaka Nusantara). The site, launched in January 2019, contains ancient manuscripts, rare books, maps, photographs, magazines, rare newspapers and other sources that have been digitised.
Khastara website is the result of cooperation between Preservation Centre as content provider and Library and Information Service Centre as website manager. Digitising library materials is National Library effort to preserve content and physic of very fragile library materials.
"This web contains digital content of Perpusnas collection having been digitised, more to collections of high historical values. The plan is to digitise all ancient manuscripts and rare books, "said Head of Library Cooperation and Automation, Tuty Hendrawati, when she became a speaker on website socialisation at National Library Soekarman Theater, Wednesday (18/9). In addition, Preservation Centre also carries out the activity of manuscript preservation belonging to individual. If permission from the owner has been obtained, the digitised ancient manuscript will be published on Khastara website.
"In the future the development would be, apart from display of digital content in the form of original writing, to also display the result of its transliteration, its interpretation so that the layman who does not understand and is not script observer will also be interested to learn it," added Tuty.
Chairperson of Indonesian Archipelago Manuscript Society (MANASSA) Munawar Holil appreciated Perpusnas’ hard work in digitising ancient manuscripts. "I tried browsing in February 2019, only 1,300 titles of ancient manuscripts that were already uploaded. Yesterday afternoon (September 2019, red), I checked Khastara, it turned out to be 1,600s titles, "said Munawar.
Munawar, who has been enganged in the field of ancient manuscripts for 26 years, explained the difficulty experienced in the field of manuscript studies is to find primary source, namely the ancient manuscript. In his opinion, students who studied ancient manuscripts were very few because of research cost constraint. However, with the existence of Khastara website these constraints can be addressed. "Now we just sit, find hangout place with WiFi, download, finished. No more reasons for students that it is difficult to find the script. Check them out on Khastara,” explained Munawar.
The event was part of a series of Perpusnas EXPO activities held in the framework of Library Visit Day on 14 September.