Maranao manuscripts digitized to preserve precious heritage

No Comments
Digitized Maranao manuscripts. Source: GMA Online, 20190323
Digitized Maranao manuscripts. Source: GMA Online, 20190323
Digitized Maranao manuscripts. Source: GMA Online, 20190323

via GMA Online, 23 Mar 2019: Digitization project of the written records of the Maranao people of Southern Philippines.

The Grupo Kalinangan, Inc. (GKI) has digitized more than 10,000 pages of centuries-old manuscripts of Maranao Jawi and Kirim to preserve the heritage of the Maranao people, a project that began in May 2018.

Digitized copies of the manuscripts that were collected from Marawi city and around the towns of Lanao del Sur, contain genealogies of prominent families, religious books, treatises, epics and short stories that highlight some of the most important events in the history of the Maranao people.

Source: Maranao manuscripts digitized to preserve precious heritage | Lifestyle | GMA News Online

Francis Light’s letters digitised at USM

No Comments

via Bernama/, 23 October 2018: Universiti Sains Malaysia and SOAS will create a project to digitise the letters of Sir Francis Light, the founder of Penang. The letters offer a window into geopolitical events into the Malayan region at the time. Article is in Bahasa Malaysia.

Naib Canselor USM, Datuk Dr Asma Ismail berkata , koleksi bersejarah yang disimpan di School of Oriental and African Studies, Universiti London itu bakal merubah lanskap sejarah Pulau Pinang malah juga di dunia apabila tercetusnya sebuah projek dikenali sebagai ‘The Beacon of Light @ USM’.

“Ini adalah koleksi digital 1,200 surat, merangkumi 11 jilid dari tahun 1771 hingga 1794, selama kira-kira 23 tahun, semuanya dalam tulisan Jawi,” kata Dr Asma pada Majlis Anugerah Sanggar Sanjung USM 2017, di George Town, semalam.

Raja Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail selaku Canselor berkenan berangkat ke majlis tersebut.

Source: USM dapat hak eksklusif kaji surat digital Francis Light

Sigiriya frescoes to be scanned and digitised

No Comments

via FT Online, 20 October 2018: The frescoes of the Sigiriya World Heritage site are to be scanned and digitised.

Sigiriya Frescoes. Source: FT Online, 20181020

Sigiriya Frescoes. Source: FT Online, 20181020

The news that the Sigiriya frescoes and graffiti are being copied using laser technology is indeed a welcome move. The frescoes dating back to the 5th century are accepted as the oldest examples of mediaeval paintings in Sri Lanka. The need to preserve them for posterity has been discussed on and off and finally it has been made possible due to modern technology.

Source: Preserving for posterity | FT Online

Preserving literary heritage

No Comments

via Bangkok Post, 09 April 2018: Digitisation of Northern Thai Manuscripts Project

At Wat Sung Men in Phrae province, monks and a dozen local villagers are busy scanning the temple’s old manuscripts into a computer. The same activity, in fact, is happening at several temples in the North, including Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong in Chiang Mai as well as others in Lamphun and Nan. Initiated by a German professor, the novel efforts of digitising and conserving ancient manuscripts have caught on with enthusiasm among locals.

Source: Preserving literary heritage

Javanese Manuscripts from Yogyakarta Digitisation Project launched by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X

No Comments

via The British Library Asian and African studies blog, 21 March 2018:

The 75 Javanese manuscripts to be digitised include 70 known or believed to have been taken by British troops following an armed assault on the Palace (Kraton) of Yogyakarta in June 1812 by forces under the command of the Lieutenant-Governor of Java, Thomas Stamford Raffles, as well as five other related manuscripts. The manuscripts primarily comprise works on Javanese history, literature and ethics, Islamic stories and compilations of wayang (shadow theatre) tales, as well as court papers, written in Javanese in both Javanese characters (hanacaraka) and in modified Arabic script (pegon), on European and locally-made Javanese paper (dluwang). Some of these manuscripts are by now well known, such as the Babad bedah ing Ngayogyakarta, Add. 12330, a personal account by Pangéran Arya Panular (ca. 1771-1826) of the British attack on the Kraton and its aftermath, published by Peter Carey (1992), and the Babad ing Sangkala, ‘Chronogram chronicle’, MSS Jav 36(B), dated 1738 and identified by Merle Ricklefs (1978) as the oldest surviving original copy of a Javanese chronicle so far known. Peter Carey (1980 & 2000) has also published the Archive of Yogyakarta, two volumes of court documents, correspondence and legal papers. However, many of the other manuscripts have never been published.

Source: Javanese Manuscripts from Yogyakarta Digitisation Project launched by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X

Freer and Sacker Galleries go online in January

1 Comment

Starting next year, the collections of the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian museums will go online – the public will be able to examine over 40,000 artworks from the galleries, including 1,200 pieces from South and Southeast Asia. It’s a massive undertaking, but this is technology making museum collection open to the public at its best!

Freer and Sackler Galleries to Release Complete Digitized Collection Jan. 1, 2015
More than 40,000 Masterpieces of Asian and American Art Available for Free Public Use

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art, will
release their entire collections online Jan. 1, 2015, providing unprecedented access to one of the world’s most important holdings of Asian and American art. The vast majority of the 40,000 artworks have never before been seen by the public, and more than 90 percent of the images will be in high resolution and without copyright restrictions for noncommercial use.

The Freer and Sackler galleries are the first Smithsonian and the only Asian art museums to digitize and release their entire collections, and in so doing join just a handful of museums in the U.S.

“We’re poised at a digital tipping point, and the nature of what it means to be a museum is changing,” said Julian Raby, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art. “We strive to promote the love and study of Asian art, and the best way we can do so is to free our unmatched resources to inspire appreciation, academic study and artistic creation.”

In the initial release, each work will be represented by one or more stunningly detailed images at the highest possible resolution, with complex items such as albums and manuscripts showing the most important pages. In addition, some of the most popular images will also be available for download as free computer, smartphone and social media backgrounds. Future iterations plan to offer additional functionality like sharing, curation and community-based research.

“The depth of the data we’re releasing illuminates each object’s unique history, from its original creator to how it arrived at the Smithsonian,” said Courtney O’Callaghan, director of digital media and technology at the Freer and Sackler galleries. “Now, a new generation can not only appreciate these works on their own terms, but remix this content in ways we have yet to imagine.” Read more from

The museum’s masterpieces range in time from the Neolithic to the present day, featuring especially fine groupings of Chinese jades and bronzes, Islamic art, Chinese paintings and masterworks from ancient Persia. Currently, the collection boasts 1,806 American art objects, 1,176 ancient Egyptian objects, 2,076 ancient Near Eastern objects, 10,424 Chinese objects, 2,683 Islamic objects, 1,213 South and Southeast Asian objects and smaller groupings of Korean, Armenian, Byzantine, Greek and Roman works. In addition, the Freer Study Collection–more than 10,000 objects used by scholars around the world for scientific research and reference–will be viewable for the first time.