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Indonesian National Library Cooperates with British Library to Strengthen Library Sector



4 June 2023 12:55 WIB

Head of the National Library Muhammad Syarif Bando (right) and Phil Spence from the British Library (left) sign a memorandum of understanding in the field of libraries at the British Library Building on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (ANTARA/HO-Perpusnas)

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia's National Library (Perpusnas), again, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Library (BL), the national library of the United Kingdom, to strengthen collaboration in the library sector.

"The National Library (Perpusnas) has again entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Library (BL). This collaboration is expected to establish close collaboration in the library sector," Head of the National Library (Perpusnas) Syarif Bando noted in a written statement received in Jakarta on Saturday.

The National Library inked an MoU with the BL at the British Library Building on Wednesday (May 24).

The MoU was signed by Muhammad Syarif Bando from the National Library and Phil Spence from the BL. Earlier, the National Library of Indonesia and BL had inked an MoU in the field of libraries in 2018-2021.

Head of the National Library Muhammad Syarif Bando stated that the MoU will be implemented over the next three years.

During the earlier MoU period, several activity agendas were carried out, including inviting Annabel Teh Gallop, Lead Curator Specialist for Southeast Asia, to become one of the reviewers in the National Manuscript Journal (Jumantara), published by the National Library, and a guest speaker at the webinar on digitizing archipelago manuscripts.

The National Library, along with the Yogyakarta Palace, also succeeded in obtaining 75 digital copies of ancient manuscripts from the BL to coincide with the 2019 Manuscript Exhibition "Strangling the Traces of Nagari Ngayogyakarta Civilization."

Bando expressed his gratitude to the BL staff, who received visits from the National Library and responded to the Memory of the World Programme.

"We will prepare everything, including academic manuscripts, to get a letter of support from the British Library to nominate Hamzah Fansuri's manuscript for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register," he stated.

The Head of the National Library is optimistic that conducting the exchange of information and knowledge, sending human resources, and exchanging library materials would continue.

Meanwhile, Spence said relations between the two institutions are very close and date back several years since the first head of the National Library, Ms. Mastini.

The British Library will always be the best supporter of the National Library, he stated.

The event was also attended by Chief Operating Officer of the British Library Phil Spence; Head of Collections and Curations of the British Library Xerxes Mazda; Head of Asian and African Collections, the British Library, Luisa Elena Mengoni; Lead Curator for Southeast Asia, the British Library, Annabel Teh Gallop; Head of International of the British Library Marcie Hopkins; and Duties of Education and Culture Attache, Indonesia Embassy in London, Khairul Munadi.

The British Library is working with partners in Indonesia, especially the National Library of Indonesia, to help develop metadata for digitizing Javanese manuscripts and observing all aspects of manuscript management at BL.

The BL also guarantees the Nusantara Manuscripts Society (MANASSA) and the Digital Repository of Endangered and Affected Manuscripts in Southeast Asia (DREAMSEA) to promote and conduct research on Javanese manuscripts in the BL collection.

Selected digital Javanese manuscripts from the BL will also be transliterated in collaboration with the Sustainable Literature Foundation (YASRI) and will be accessible via the Javanese Literature Pioneer Portal with the link


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