Preserving and digitising the endangered manuscript in Kampar, Riau Province, Indonesia (EAP1020)

Aims and objectives

Information about manuscripts in Kampar is still rare. Mostly, they are kept by individuals or families that have not the professional skills in preserving or handling manuscripts properly. Meanwhile they are stored in an abandoned palace in Gunung Sahilan Kingdom established in the 18th century. This situation increases the possibility of the manuscripts being damaged. Some of them have potential to handover to manuscripts hunter, even one of the owner said that he will sell the manuscript with the right price to the one who want to buy it. It is strongly recommended to preserve manuscript in Kampar immediately by this project.

Based on the information from Kampar people, there are many other manuscripts that are owned by individuals and collectors and it is expected there are more than 150 extant manuscripts. All manuscripts are written in Jawi and Arabic.

The manuscripts in Kampar are a very important resource as the reference in the various fields, such as cultural, history, religion, law and good governance. Mostly they have not been published. This causes a lack of information for the public about our memory from the past. Today, Kampar is only known as one district in Riau province. Whereas, in the past, Kampar was part of trading traffic between India, Arabia, as well as many other countries. It is shown by the existence of Muara Takus Temple. Through this project, we expect history of gold ancient Kampar will be revealed.

The conditions of the manuscripts are endangered. Some of them are broken by human error, insects, fungi, and humidity. In addition, some of the manuscripts that we have found on the first survey are unidentified (EAP153). The oldest manuscripts approximately from 18th century and the earliest is from 20th century. 

This project focused on collecting data and digitizing of manuscript in Kampar, Riau Province, Indonesia. The outcomes will be delivered to archival partner where provide access for public who interested in Malay manuscripts. We hope that this project will lead to developed as the major project in the future. 


11 collections from different locations (Air Tiris, Bangkinang, and Kuntu) were collected and digitised. They total 8843 photographs within 64 files. The collections consist of 59 handwritten manuscripts, 4 printed materials and 1 stamp.

In addition, the team also identified the manuscripts from Kampar, but that had been collected by private or institutions from elsewhere: Rokan Hulu, Pekanbaru, and Padang. These collections have been digitised and are also part of this project.

The following survey was submitted as part of the outputs from this project.

The records copied by this project have been catalogued as: