Asian and African studies blog

Malay

08 October 2013

Malay

Digital access to Malay manuscripts

The collection of Malay manuscripts in the British Library consists of about 100 volumes and over 300 documents, uniting collections from the British Museum and the India Office Library, including the archives of the English East India Company. These manuscripts originate from all parts of maritime Southeast Asia, including present-day Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, and the southern regions of Thailand and the Philippines, and range in date from the 17th to the early 20th century. The strengths of the collection are in the fields of literature, history and law, and include some exceptionally significant items such as the oldest known copy of the earliest Malay history, Hikayat Raja Pasai (Or. 14350), and one of the finest illuminated Malay manuscripts, a copy of the Taj al-Salatin (Or. 13295). 

Or_13295_ff190v-191r
Final pages of the Taj al-Salatin, copied in Penang and dated 4 Zulhijah 1239 (31 July 1824).  British Library, Or.13295, ff.190v-191r.  noc

Through the generous support of Singapore-based American philanthropists William and Judith Bollinger, the complete collection of Malay manuscript volumes in the British Library was digitised between 2013 and 2015, in collaboration with the National Library Board of Singapore. The manuscripts can be accessed through the British Library's Digitised Manuscripts site, and also on the National Library of Singapore's BookSG site.  Most of the Malay manuscripts listed below are described in M.C. Ricklefs and P. Voorhoeve, Indonesian manuscripts in Great Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 1977), an updated edition of which, to include recent acquisitions, has recently been published:

M.C.Ricklefs, P.Voorhoeve and Annabel Teh Gallop. Indonesian manuscripts in Great Britain: a catalogue of manuscripts in Indonesian languages in British public collections. New Edition with Addenda et Corrigenda. Jakarta: Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient,Perpustakaan Nasional Republik Indonesia, Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia, 2014.

Listed below are the digitised Malay manuscripts, some with parts in Arabic; Lampung manuscripts; and Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia. Hyperlinks from the shelfmark link to the catalogue description for each manuscript; then click on the thumbnail image to get to the full digitised version of the manuscript. Also included in the list below are links to related blog posts, where available. If you would like to keep in touch with progress, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @BLAsia_Africa or @BLMalay; or contact me by e-mail: [email protected]

Malay

IO Islamic 2906    Islamic catechism in Arabic by al-Samarqandi, with Malay translation, Batavia, early 19th c.
Blog post, 7 January 2015: From Samarkand to Batavia: a popular Islamic catechism in Malay

MSS Malay A.1    Hikayat Ular Nangkawang, early 19th c.
Blog post, 9 Jan 2017: Malay literary manuscripts in the John Leyden collection

MSS Malay A.2    Syair perahu, treebark MS, 18th c.
Blog post, 16 April 2015: Malay manuscripts from south Sumatra

MSS Malay A.3    Malay-Javanese-Madurese vocabulary, early 19th c.
Blog post, 3 April 2015: Early vocabularies of Malay

MSS Malay A.4    Surat pantun cara Lampung, 1812
Blog post, 16 April 2015: Malay manuscripts from south Sumatra

MSS Malay B.1
   Hikayat Hang Tuah, final chapters, Penang, early 19th c.
Blog post, 20 January 2014: Ibrahim, portrait of a Malay scribe

MSS Malay B.2    Hikayat Pelanduk Jenaka, 1804
Blog post, 10 February 2015: The wily Malay mousedeer

MSS Malay B.3    Syair orang berbuat amal; Syair Silambari; Syair surat kirim kepada perempuan; Hikayat mi’raj Nabi Muhammad; Penang, 1806
Blog post, 20 January 2015: Ibrahim, portrait of a Malay scribe

MSS Malay B.4    Hikayat Pandawa Jaya, Kota Setar, Kedah, 1805
Blog post, 16 September 2015: The Mahabharata in Malay manuscripts

MSS Malay B.5    Hikayat Putera Jaya Pati, 1806
Blog post, 10 March 2015: Soother of sorrows or seducer of morals? The Malay Hikayat Inderaputera

MSS Malay B.6    Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiah, 1805
Blog post, 27 January 2015: A Malay spur to valour: the Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiah

MSS Malay B.7    Hikayat Bayan Budiman, 1808
Blog post, 3 March 2015: The Malay tale of the wise parrot

MSS Malay B.8    Hikayat Bayan Budiman, first 10 stories, 1808
Blog post, 3 March 2015: The Malay tale of the wise parrot

MSS Malay B.9    Syair Jaran Tamasa, 1804, copied by Ismail
Blog post, 9 November 2015: A Scottish poet's favourite Malay poem? Syair Jaran Tamasa

MSS Malay B.10    Hikayat Pelanduk Jinaka; Hikayat Lima Fasal, 1805
Blog post, 10 February 2015: The wily Malay mousedeer

MSS Malay B.11    Adat Aceh, early 19th c.
Blog post, 13 November 2017: Adat Aceh: royal Malay statecraft in the 17th century

MSS Malay B.12    Hikayat Perang Pandawa Jaya, 1804
Blog post, 16 September 2015: The Mahabharata in Malay manuscripts

MSS Malay B.13    Kitab pengajaran pada segala orang sekalian, [Batavia, early 19th c.]
Blog post, 19 May 2015: A Jawi sourcebook for the study of Malay palaeography and orthography

MSS Malay B.14    Hikayat Inderaputera, ca. 1821
Blog post, 10 March 2015: Soother of sorrows or seducer of morals? The Malay Hikayat Inderaputera

MSS Malay B.15    Kitab Obat-Obat dan Azimat, Pontianak, 1813
Blog post, 19 May 2015: A Jawi sourcebook for the study of Malay palaeography and orthography

MSS Malay C.1    Hikayat Cekel Waneng Pati, early 19th c.
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

MSS Malay C.2    Hikayat Cekel Waneng Pati, 1787
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

MSS Malay C.3    Hikayat Mesa Tandraman, Penang, 1806
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay
Blog post, 20 January 2015: Ibrahim, portrait of a Malay scribe

MSS Malay C.4    Hikayat Isma Yatim, early 19th c.
Blog post, 9 Jan 2017: Malay literary manuscripts in the John Leyden collection

MSS Malay C.5    Hikayat Isma Yatim, Penang, 1807
Blog post, 20 January 2015: Ibrahim, portrait of a Malay scribe

MSS Malay C.6    Hikayat Silindung Dalima, 1808
Blog post, 9 Jan 2017: Malay literary manuscripts in the John Leyden collection

MSS Malay C.7    Islamic catechism in Malay [on sembahyang, hukum nikah, etc.], Batavia, early 19th c.
Blog post, 7 January 2015: From Samarkand to Batavia: a popular Islamic catechism in Malay

MSS Malay C.8    Hikayat Maharaja Boma, 1805
Blog post, 16 September 2015: The Mahabharata in Malay manuscripts

MSS Malay D.1    Hikayat Dewa Mandu, 1808
Blog post, 9 Jan 2017: Malay literary manuscripts in the John Leyden collection

MSS Malay D.2    Hikayat Raja Dewa Maharupa, 1802
Blog post, 9 Jan 2017: Malay literary manuscripts in the John Leyden collection

MSS Malay D.3    Hikayat Parang Puting, copied by Ibrahim, Penang, 1806
Blog post, 20 January 2015: Ibrahim, portrait of a Malay scribe

MSS Malay D.4    Hikayat Nabi Yusuf, Perlis, 1802
Blog post, 21 December 2015: A Malay manuscript artist unveiled: Datuk Muda Muhammad of Perlis

MSS Malay D.5    Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiah, Hikayat Syahi Mardan, Hikayat Pelanduk Jenaka, Hikayat Nabi Muhammad ... berperang dengan Raja Khaibar, 1805
Blog post, 27 January 2015: A Malay spur to valour: the Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiah
Blog post, 10 February 2015: The wily Malay mousedeer

MSS Malay D.6    Syair Jaran Tamasa, copied by Muhammad Bakhar; Hikayat Budak Miskin, copied by Muhammad Kasim, Penang; 1806
Blog post, 9 November 2015: A Scottish poet's favourite Malay poem? Syair Jaran Tamasa

MSS Malay D.7    Caritra Rama (romanized), Surabaya, 1812
Blog post, 16 September 2015: The Mahabharata in Malay manuscripts

MSS Malay D.8    Hikayat Babad (romanized), written for Raffles, 1815
Blog post, 12 May 2015: Malay manuscripts on Javanese history

MSS Malay D.9    Hikayat Tanah Jawa
Blog post, 12 May 2015: Malay manuscripts on Javanese history

MSS Malay D.10    Undang-undang Melaka
Blog post, 20 Feb 2015: Malay legal texts

MSS Malay D.11    Tembai (on bamboo strips), south Sumatra
Blog post, 16 April 2015: Malay manuscripts from south Sumatra

MSS Malay D.12    Undang-undang Aceh, 1873
Blog post, 20 Feb 2015: Malay legal texts

MSS Malay D.13    Genealogy of Luwu
Blog post, 10 April 2015: Royal genealogies from Indonesia and the Malay world

MSS Malay F.1    Genealogy of Pajajaran, 19th c.
Blog post, 10 April 2015: Royal genealogies from Indonesia and the Malay world

MSS Malay F.2    Dutch-English-Malay vocabulary
Blog post, 3 April 2015: Early vocabularies of Malay

MSS Eur A 33    Malay-English vocabulary, 17th c. Bowrey collection
Blog post, 3 April 2015: Early vocabularies of Malay

MSS Eur B 37    English-Malay vocabulary, 19th c.
Blog post, 3 April 2015: Early vocabularies of Malay

MSS Eur D 742/1    Raffles Family Collection, Malay letters sent to Raffles in Melaka, 1811
Blog post, 23 November 2015: Royal Malay letters and seals from Pontianak

MSS Eur E 110    Malay-English vocabulary, 19th c. Raffles collection
Blog post, 3 April 2015: Early vocabularies of Malay

MSS Eur E 378    Letters in Malay and Javanese, Raffles collection, ca.1814
Blog post, 23 November 2015: Royal Malay letters and seals from Pontianak

MSS Eur Mackenzie Private 43    Babat Sekandar, Malay translation of Serat Sakondar, Surabaya, 1814
Blog post, 12 May 2015: Malay manuscripts on Javanese history

Sloane 2393    Undang-undang, 18th c.
Blog post, 4 Nov 2013: Malay manuscripts in the Sloane collection
Blog post, 20 Feb 2015: Malay legal texts

Sloane 3115    Christian hymns, psalms, etc., in romanised Malay, 17th c.
Blog post, 4 Nov 2013: Malay manuscripts in the Sloane collection
Blog post, 1 April 2018: Two Christian manuscripts in Malay

Harley Ch 43 A 6   Letter to the English captain at Jambi from Raja Bendahara of Brunei, 17th c.
Blog post, 14 Nov 2014: An early Malay letter from Brunei

Egerton 933    Malay-English vocabulary, 1731, & Malay journal and notes, 1815 .
Blog post, 17 Oct 2013: Early studies of the Malay language

Add. 4828*    Letter from Sultan Kecil to Gov. Farmer of Bengkulu, early 18th c.
Blog post, 23 July 2014: Malay letters from Bengkulu

Add. 4924    Map of Mindanao, 1775
Blog post, 12 June 2014: A rare map from Mindanao

Add. 7043    Malay grammar by W. Mainston, 1682, a copy by J.H. Hindley, early 19th c.
Blog post, 17 Oct 2013: Early studies of the Malay language

Add. 12376    Hikayat Dewa Mandu
Blog post, 11 Nov 2013: Semarang, Javanese city of Malay scribes

Add. 12377    Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiah
Blog post, 27 January 2015: A Malay spur to valour: the Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiah

Add. 12378    Taj al-Salatin (shortened version), early 19th c.
Blog post, 10 Oct 2013:  Another Malay ‘Mirror for Princes’

Add. 12379    Hikayat Isma Yatim
Blog post, 10 Jan 2014: Malay 'eye candy': illuminated literary manuscripts

Add. 12380    Syair Mesa Gumitar
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

Add. 12381    Syair Dang Sarat
Blog post, 22 Feb 2014: Malay manuscripts on Chinese paper

Add. 12382    Hikayat Ular Nangkawang
Blog post, 22 Feb 2014: Malay manuscripts on Chinese paper

Add. 12383    Hikayat Carang Kulina
Blog post, 27 May 2014: John Crawfurd and Malay studies
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

Add. 12384    Hikayat Hang Tuah, early 19th c.
Blog post, 25 Sept 2013: Hang Tuah: the Malay Rollo or Rustam

Add. 12385    Hikayat Putera Gangga
Blog post, 12 Dec 2013: Reading Malay manuscripts with children

Add. 12385*    Hikayat (Dewa) Indera Layangan
Blog post, 11 Nov 2013: Semarang, Javanese city of Malay scribes

Add. 12386    Hikayat Perintah Negeri Benggala, early 19th c.
Blog post, 11 July 2014: A Malay account of Calcutta

Add. 12387    Hikayat Mesa Taman Sira Panji Jayeng Kusuma
Blog post, 18 July 2014: Malay manuscripts on Javanese paper
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

Add. 12388   Hikayat Syahi Mardan
Blog post, 11 Nov 2013: Semarang, Javanese city of Malay scribes

Add. 12389   Malay translations from Bugis and Makassarese texts, early 19th c.
Blog post, 9 January 2015: Malay manuscripts on Bugis history

Add. 12390   Syair Makrifat
Blog post, 28 July 2014: Malay thoughts on the afterlife

Add. 12391   Hikayat Naya Kusuma
Blog post, 27 May 2014: John Crawfurd and Malay studies
Blog post, 29 June 2015:
Panji stories in Malay

Add. 12392   Hikayat Raja Banjar dan Kotaringin, 1816
Blog post, 7 Dec 2013: Malay manuscripts from Borneo

Add. 12393   Hikayat Raja Babi
Blog post, 28 Nov 2013: The Malay story of the Pig King

Add 12394       Syair Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin, early 19th c.
Blog post, 19 Feb 2014: A Malay ballad from Kedah: the naval battle for Phuket

Add. 12395   Undang-undang Malaka
Blog post, 20 Feb 2015: Malay legal texts

Add. 12396   Malay translations from Bugis, 1814
Blog post, 9 January 2015: Malay manuscripts on Bugis history

Add. 12397   Risalat Hukum Kanun
Blog post, 20 Feb 2015: Malay legal texts

Add. 12398   Farquhar letterbook, early 19th c.

Add. 12399   Letters and fragments of hikayat, 1814
Blog post, 9 January 2015: Malay manuscripts on Bugis history

Add.18141   F.2r, Letter from Sultan Muhammad Yasin of Ternate to the Eng. Comm. in Ambon, 1802
Blog post, 18 Oct 2014: A royal Malay letter from Ternate

Add.45271       Letters from Sultan Abdullah of Kedah to Francis Light, Gov. of Penang, late 18th c.

Add.45273       44 farewell letters in Javanese and Malay to Raffles from dignitaries of Java, with Engl. translations, 1816

Or.4575   Malay-French vocabulary, early 19th c.
Blog post, 17 Oct 2013: Early studies of the Malay language

Or.4942, ff. 228-229    Account of a conversion to Christianity, 19th c.
Blog post, 1 April 2018: Two Christian manuscripts in Malay

Or. 6899   Syair Makrifat
Blog post, 28 July 2014: Malay thoughts on the afterlife

Or. 9484   Proclamation by T.S. Raffles after the conquest of Java, 1811
Blog post, 11 August 2014: The British capture of Java

Or. 11365   Panji story
Blog post, 18 July 2014: Malay manuscripts on Javanese paper
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

Or. 12986    Seribu maksa, MS on bamboo, south Sumatra, 19th c.
Blog post, 16 April 2015: Malay manuscripts from south Sumatra

Or. 13295   Taj al-Salatin, Penang, 1824
Blog post, 6 Sept 2013: The Crown of Kings: a deluxe Malay manuscript from Penang

Or. 13716   Sifat dua puluh
Blog post, 3 December 2015: The Twenty Attributes of God in Malay: Sifat Dua Puluh

Or.14194   Prayerbook, from Aceh
Blog post, 3 December 2015: The Twenty Attributes of God in Malay: Sifat Dua Puluh

Or.14350   Hikayat Raja Handik & Hikayat Raja Pasai, Semarang, 1797
Blogpost, 24 Oct 2013: Hikayat Raja Pasai, the oldest Malay history
Blog post, 19 May 2015: A Jawi sourcebook for the study of Malay palaeography and orthography

Or.14537   Letter from Haji Abdul Rahman of Banjarmasin
Blog post, 7 Dec 2013: Malay manuscripts from Borneo

Or.14549   Syair Baginda, Brunei, late 19th c.
Blog post, 19 May 2015: A Jawi sourcebook for the study of Malay palaeography and orthography

Or.14734   Sejarah Melayu, Melaka, 1873
Blog post, 13 Sept 2013:  Sejarah Melayu: a Malay masterpiece
Blog post, 10 April 2015: Royal genealogies from Indonesia and the Malay world

Or.14858   Letter from Pangeran of Sumenep to Captain James Clark, 1814
Blog post, 5 August 2014: A Malay letter from Madura

Or.15510 A & Or.15510 B     Two letters from Mindanao, 18th c.
Blog post, 26 June 2014: Two letters in Maguindanao

Or. 15932    Papakem Pawukon, in Malay and Javanese, Bogor, 1814
Blog post, 10 April 2015: Royal genealogies from Indonesia and the Malay world

Or. 15646    Sayr al-salikin, Aceh, 19th c.
Blog post, 6 February 2017: Abdul Samad of Palembang, Malay guide to the writings of al-Ghazali

Or. 15936    Malay vocabularies. Leyden collection
Blog post, 17 Oct 2013: Early studies of the Malay language

Or. 15979    Sirat al-mustakim, Aceh
Blog post, 10 March 2015: Soother of sorrows or seducer of morals? The Malay Hikayat Inderaputera

Or. 16035   Mirat al-tullab, by Abdul Rauf of Singkel, 18th c.
Blog post, 5 December 2016: A Malay work on Islamic law from Aceh: Mirat al-tullab
Blog post, 19 May 2015: A Jawi sourcebook for the study of Malay palaeography and orthography

Or.16126   Letter from Temenggung of Johor to Napoleon III of France, 1857
Blog post, 22 Aug 2013:  A 'Golden letter' in Malay to Napoleon III

Or.16128   Hikayat Raja Khandak dan Raja Badar
Blog post, 4 August 2017: Malay manuscripts from Patani

Or. 16129   Religious work
Blog post, 4 August 2017: Malay manuscripts from Patani

Or.16214   Sejarah Melayu, early 19th c.
Blog post, 25 Nov 2013: Two Malay manuscripts from Wales, Sejarah Melayu and Hikayat Hang Tuah
Blog post, 19 May 2015: A Jawi sourcebook for the study of Malay palaeography and orthography

Or.16215   Hikayat Hang Tuah, early 19th c.
Blog post, 25 Nov 2013: Two Malay manuscripts from Wales, Sejarah Melayu and Hikayat Hang Tuah

Or.16446   Panji story
Blog post, 18 July 2014: Malay manuscripts on Javanese paper
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

Or. 16447   Hikayat Puteri Bakawali, Hikayat Galila Damina and a fragment of Syair Ken Tabuhan, Taiping, 1888
Blog post, 29 June 2015: Panji stories in Malay

Or. 16604    Hidayat al-salikin, Aceh, 1783
Blog post, 6 February 2017: Abdul Samad of Palembang, Malay guide to the writings of al-Ghazali

Or. 16762    Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or. 16763    
Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or. 16764    
Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or. 16765    
Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or. 16766    
Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or. 16767    Islamic texts in Malay and Arabic, Aceh, 19th c.
Blog post, 3 December 2015: The Twenty Attributes of God in Malay: Sifat Dua Puluh

Or. 16768    
Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or.16769   Kitab Mawlid, in Arabic and Malay, from Aceh

Or. 16773    
Religious texts, from Aceh, 19th c.

Or. 16875    Scroll with prayers and charms, 19th c.
Blog post, 23 Jan 2017: The Seal of Prophethood: Malay prayers for protection

LAMPUNG

MSS Lampung 1     Literary text
Or. 16936    Unidentified text in Lampung
Blog post, 16 April 2015: Malay manuscripts from south Sumatra

QUR'AN MANUSCRIPTS FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA

IO Islamic 3048   Qur’an, juz’ 23 & 24, from Java, 19th c.
Add. 12312     Qur’an, from Java, Crawfurd collection, c. 1800
Add. 12343    Qur’an, from Java, Crawfurd collection, c. 1800
Or. 15227
    Qur'an, Patani, 19th c.
Or. 15406    Qur'an, Aceh, 19th c.
Or. 15877    Qur'an, Madura. 19th c.
Or. 16034    Qur'an, Aceh
Or. 16877    Qur'an, Java
Or. 16915    Qur’an, from Aceh

Blog posts on Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia in the British Library:

12 Mar 2013: An illuminated Malay Qur’an 
24 Mar 2014: An illuminated Qur’an manuscript from Aceh 
28 April 2015: Qur'an manuscripts from Java 
4 Feb 2021: Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia in the British Library
25 Feb 2021: Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia digitised by the Endangered Archives Programme
8 Mar 2021: A Malay Qur'an manuscript from Patani
22 Mar 2021: A beautiful Qur'an manuscript from Kampar, Riau, digitised through EAP
5 April 2021: An 'enhanced' Qur'an manuscript from Madura
14 June 2021: Three Qur'an manuscripts from Aceh in the British Library
28 June 2021: The art of small things (a): Verse markers in Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia
12 July 2021: The art of small things (2): Text frames in Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia
9 Aug 2021: The art of small things (3): Surah headings in Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia
27 Sept 2021: The art of small things (4): Juz' markers in Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia
14 Feb 2022: The art of small things (5): Recitation markers in Qur'an manuscripts from Southeast Asia

Annabel Teh Gallop, Lead Curator, Southeast Asian studies

 

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