Preservation and digitisation of endangered Sundanese manuscripts of Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal Collections, Kuningan Regency, West Java Province, Indonesia

The manuscripts collection of Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal contain the historical records of Prince Madrais Sadewa Alibassa Kusuma Wijayaningrat, a Sundanese leader in the Dutch colonisation era. If the manuscripts are lost, the values of local culture and knowledge will be in danger.

In the Dutch colonisation era, Pangeran Madrais Sadewa Alibassa Kusumah Wijaya Ningrat (1832-1939) was known as the leading figure who revitalised the Sundanese spiritual beliefs in Cigugur, Kuningan, West Java. Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal manuscripts are the main references for the Sundanese traditional community (AKUR) in their social and religious practices. Due to the script in which they are written, only two people can read and understand the content of the manuscripts: Prince Djatikusumah, the customary leader of the community, and Queen Emmy Ratna Gumilang Damiasih, the second daughter of the leader.

The manuscripts, written on European paper, are yellowing and crumbling. The vulnerability of the manuscripts is increased by environmental factors, the low quality of the paper and the ink, the inadequate storage environment and the lack of knowledge in handling the manuscripts.

The project digitised 287 folders of manuscripts, creating over 30,000 images. The manuscripts remain stored in the Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal, a national heritage building in Cigugur subdistrict, Kuningan Regency, West Java as the communal property of Masyarakat Adat Karuhun Sunda Wiwitan (Sundanese traditional community who hold Prince Madrais’ teachings as their life guide). The project team was trained in digitisation, manuscript handling and metadata collection.

Project Details

Location: Indonesia, South-Eastern Asia, Asia Organiser(s): Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) Project partner(s): Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £23,267 Commencement Date: 11/2017 Project Status: Completed
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