The Kingdom of Bima was one of the maritime kingdoms of the Indonesian archipelago. The trace of the kingdom’s history and culture can be found in historical objects and in manuscripts. The manuscripts risk being sold and disappearing, which would result in the loss of the history and heritage of Bima.
Bima is one of the provinces in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), east part of Sumabawa Island, Indonesia. In the past, Bima was one of maritime kingdoms in the archipelago. The Bima manuscripts contain the history and heritage of the kingdom. They contain a variety of information, such as the daily activities in the Kingdom, the religious knowledge, philosophy, stories, family trees and letters. It was thought that there were 170 manuscripts in existence.
The manuscripts are under the care of the last descendant of Sultan Bima, Mrs. Mariam Salahuddin, who is in her 80s and has no heir. The manuscripts risk being sold or destroyed. Moreover, Bima suffers from natural disasters and floods, which put the manuscripts at further risk.
The project found 222 manuscripts, which were all digitised. The manuscripts were relocated to the Samparaja Museum. The staff at the museum was trained in digitisation, as well as in description of heritage items. The project received great feedback in the community, and a great number of people participated in the workshops. It seemed that the community would approve and support the digitisation of the heritage.