Friday, 12 July 2013

Indonesia untuk Dunia: Memory of the World

UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. Impetus came originally from a growing awareness of the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world.War and social upheaval, as well as severe lack of resources, have worsened problems which have existed for centuries. Significant collections worldwide have suffered a variety of fates. Looting and dispersal, illegal trading, destruction, inadequate housing and funding have all played a part. Much as vanished forever; much is endangered. Happily, missing documentary heritage is sometimes rediscovered.

1. Archives of the Dutch East India Company

The Dutch East India Company (VOC, Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), founded in 1602 and liquidated in 1795, was the largest and most impressive of the early modern European trading companies operating in Asia. About twenty-five million pages of VOC records have survived in repositories in Jakarta, Colombo, Chennai, Cape Town, and The Hague. The VOC archives make up the most complete and extensive source on early modern world history anywhere with data relevant to the history of hundreds of Asia’s and Africa’s former local political and trade regions.

Additional information is available at the website

Year of submission: 2003
Year of inscription: 2003
Countries: Netherlands, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Sri Lanka

2. Babad Diponegoro (Autobiographical Chronicle of Prince Diponegoro) 

The autobiographical chronicle of the Javanese nobleman, Indonesian national hero and Pan-Islamist, Prince Diponegoro (1785-1855) (literally 'The Light of the Country') of Yogyakarta - the Babad Diponegoro ('The Chronicle of Diponegoro') - written in exile in North Sulawesi (Celebes) in 1831-1832. It is the personal record of a key figure in modern Indonesian history. It is also the first ego-document (autobiography) in modern Javanese literature and shows unusual sensitivity to local conditions and experiences. (picture:

Year of submission: 2012
Year of inscription: 2013
Countries: Indonesia and The Netherlands

3. La Galigo

La Galigo is a poetic text set in a strict metre and using a particular Bugis vocabulary. Its language is considered beautiful and difficult. The work is also known by the name Sureq Galigo. Dating from approximately the 14th century and with its origin in oral traditions, its contents are pre-Islamic and of an epic-mythological nature of high literary quality. The size of the whole work is enormous (an estimated 6000 folio pages) and may be considered as the most voluminous literary work in the world.

Year of submission: 2010
Year of inscription: 2011
Countries: Indonesia and The Netherlands

4. Nagarakretagama

The Nāgarakrĕtāgama gives testimony to the reign of a king in the fourteenth century in Indonesia in which the modern ideas of social justice, freedom of religion, personal safety and welfare of the people were held in high regard. It also testifies to the democratic attitude and openness of authority before the people in an era that still adhered to the absolute rights of kingship. (picture:

Year of submission: 2012
Year of inscription: 2013
Country: Indonesia


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