.MyManuskrip or Digital Library of Malay Manuscript enables repositories within Malaysia and those outside to participate in building and offering manuscript content as well as outputs of manuscript research such as articles, reports, theses and links to relevant sites. As such, repositories, cultural and national heritage centers, manuscript libraries and museums are invited to share and provide access to their manuscript contents and expert knowledge concerning Malay scriptorium.
Malay manuscripts are handwritten documents mostly written in the Jawi-Arabic script and dates as early as the 15th century. It is invaluable (rare) and a national heritage that must be preserved for posterity. The manuscripts extend over diverse areas, studies on Malay language, Islamic studies, Astrology, Folk literature (syair, gurindam, hikayat), traditional medicine, handwritten Quran and its interpretations, historiography, laws and discourses on Malay society and culture.
There are several national repositories of Malay manuscripts, which include The National Library of Malaysia, National Archive Malaysia, Islamic Centre Malaysia, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the older university libraries at University of Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Together these repositories hold roughly over 1,000 manuscripts of various sizes and length with an estimation of over 100,000 pages. Malay manuscripts are also held in repositories outside the country such as Indonesia, Brunei, the libraries in Leiden, University College London, Cambridge University, Bodlean Library in Oxford, the British Museums, Australian National University library, New York Public Library and various European libraries.
Hence, to study the text of Hikayat Hang Tuah for example, a researcher would need to use various libraries within Malaysia, Indonesia and Europe. In 1983, Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia was declared as the national centre for Malay manuscript but it is by the no means the only repository that holds such collections.
Main objective is: To instrument the preservation, access and building of digital collections of Malay manuscripts for use by both the Malay World and Malay studieslearning communities.
Specific objectives are:
- To study and model stake holder's behaviour (researchers, curators, librarians, students, academicians) when studying, researching, locating, querying, handling and communicating about Malay manuscripts using a triangulation approach. This exercise would identify the required modules needed for the digital library.
- To identify the problems faced by stakeholders and how these are handled. These problems would be considered when developing options within the modules.
- To design and deliver the required modules to handle:
- The management and description of the manuscript images using standard metadata schema.
- The integrity of individual resources in participating repositories through water marking processes and appropriate access rights.
- The collaborative activity indulged by the manuscript research and learning community (through the transliterating and annotating tools and the manuscript studies resources.
- The use of the resources by the general public and non-Jawi readers.
- The mirroring or replication of collections to foster faster and efficient processes distribution and query handling.
- To use the Manuscript collection in DBP or PNM as the test bed
- To disseminate / share manuscript knowledge generated through a conference.
Direct customer beneficiaries:
- New improved service in archiving, preserving, processing, describing, accessing, retrieving and studying Malay manuscripts
- Higher collaboration between repositories of Malay manuscripts within the country and other repositories abroad holding similar collections
- Increased collaboration between persons involved in the study and teaching of Malay manuscripts
- Maintained integrity and security of collections through different levels of access rights and policies, water marking of resources and mirroring collections.
- Allowing the educational community access to e-manuscript for study and utilizing it for teaching and earning
- Increased access to and use of a collection which is otherwise unknown and underused
- Increase awareness of the public about our heritage in the form of Malay manuscripts
Technology transfer, Diffusuon, Benefits
The outputs of the project will be transferred direct and indirectly through the:
- installation, demonstration, and training in the usage of the system to the educational community
- demonstration and training in use of system to selected end users (individual, institutions and repositories), and
- conference venues to share knowledge and use and to
Organisational outcomes expected
- Increase research and study activities among repositories and educational institution
- Bibliographical control of all Malay manuscript collection within the country and those in libraries abroad