The manuscripts in Kampar hold the knowledge of the ancient city, central to the trade between Indonesia and the rest of Asia. By preserving the manuscripts, the history of the golden ancient Kampar will be revealed, for researchers and public to explore.
In the past, Kampar was central to the trading from India and Arabic countries. The manuscripts in Kampar hold the history of the town, and provide a source of reference for culture, religion, law and governance. 150 manuscripts are stored in the abandoned palace of the Gunung Sahilan Kingdom, the oldest dates back to the 18th century.
Due to the lack of preservation, the manuscripts are in precarious conditions. Manuscript hunters are always looking to buy them and many owners, unable to preserve them properly, often sell them. The material is not accessible by the public, and the history of the city is becoming forgotten.
The project digitised 11 collections, comprised of 59 manuscripts and four books. The project also located manuscripts from Kampar, but currently located outside the city. The collection owners were trained in preservation and manuscript handling, in order to raise awareness of the material’s importance. Some owners and locals showed concern about allowing the public to see the original material, as the manuscripts are sacred and an heirloom to the village. However, all digital copies are available at various institutions in Indonesia.