Digital Union Catalogue of Malay Manuscripts at the National Library of Malaysia: The Way Forward

YUSOF, Faizal Hilmie and MOHD ZARIF, Muhammad Mustaqim (2018) Digital Union Catalogue of Malay Manuscripts at the National Library of Malaysia: The Way Forward. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 124 - PAC Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation with Rare Books and Special Collections.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Digital Union Catalogue of Malay Manuscripts at the National Library of Malaysia: The Way Forward

As an inherited legacy from the past generations, Malay manuscript represents an important storehouse of the Malay people in terms of their culture, thought, values and history. Thus, it is nationally recognized as the documentary heritage of the nation worthy to by officially collected, documented, disseminated and protected from extinction. Yet, challenges abound in tracing and building a comprehensive database of the Malay manuscript due to its scattered existence in private hands apart from the documented public collections. On the other hand, there is also an urgent need to study and transliterate the old Jawi script used in the Malay manuscript in order to make it more accessible to the contemporary audience. At present, the National Library of Malaysia (NLM), as an officially-entrusted custodian of the Malay manuscript at the national level, holds almost 5,000 copies of the original Malay manuscripts. In this regard, it is amongst the major institutions that hold Malay manuscript worldwide and is actively acquiring and developing its collections. Preservation measures undertaken at NLM include restoration of damaged manuscripts, microfilming, and digitization including disaster preparedness and recovery programme through physical and electronic means. In this paper, the main focus is on the latest digital union catalogue of Malay manuscript initiative undertaken by NLM. Specifically it discusses the salient characteristics and features of the new digital gateway in terms of its content, structure, accessibility and functionality amidst similar existing initiatives at the regional and international levels. Finally, it is envisaged that NLM, through this digital initiative, can effectively boost its role as an important source of information and research relating to Malay manuscript in the dawn of the big data era.

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