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11-May-2019 00:13

For centuries, the Malay language has played an important role as the lingua franca of trade, diplomacy and religion throughout maritime Southeast Asia.

In addition to Malay manuscripts, early maps of Singapore and selected archival papers of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles – who founded a British settlement in Singapore in 1819 – will also be digitised and made freely accessible online.

Alam Melayu Alam Islami Tamadun Melayu Peradaban Islami.

The British Library holds over a hundred Malay manuscript texts and several hundred Malay letters and documents, dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

If you would like to keep in touch, subscribe by email (at the top of this page) and follow us on Twitter @BLAsia_Africa. Voorhoeve, Indonesian manuscripts in Great Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977) Annabel Teh Gallop, Lead Curator, Southeast Asian Studies - See more at: Although not large, the British Library collection of Malay manuscripts includes some very important works, including the oldest known manuscript of the earliest Malay history, ‘Chronicle of the kings of Pasai’, Hikayat Raja Pasai, (Or.14350), describing the coming of Islam to Sumatra; two copies of the most famous Malay historical text, the ‘Malay Annals’, Sejarah Melayu, (Or.14734 & Or.16214) recording the glories of the great kingdom of Melaka up to its capture by the Portuguese in 1511; literary works in both prose (hikayat) and verse (syair), some of which – such as the intriguingly-named ‘Story of the Pig King’, Hikayat Raja Babi (Add.12393), written by a merchant from Semarang during a voyage to Palembang in Sumatra – are unique copies; as well as texts on law and Islamic religious obligations.

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