Preservation and Digitisation of Endangered Sundanese Manuscripts of Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal Collections, Kuningan Regency, West Java Province, Indonesia (EAP1029)

Aims and objectives

The manuscripts that will be digitised are kept as part of the family properties of “Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal” which are inherited from Pangeran Madrais Sadewa Alibassa Kusumah Wijaya Ningrat (1832-1939). In the Dutch colonisation era, he was known as the leading figure who revitalised the Sundanese spiritual belief in Cigugur, Kuningan, West Java. He guided his followers to realise humanity values and develop nation characters to reach the ultimate goal of life, sampuraning hirup, sajaning pati (to achive perfection in life, then to attain the genuine death).

Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal manuscripts are important sources as the main references for the Sundanese traditional community (AKUR) in their social and religious practices. For the time being,  there are only two people who can read and understand the content of the manuscripts. They are Prince Djatikusumah, the customary leader of the community, and Queen Emmy Ratna Gumilang Damiasih, the second daughter of the leader. The manuscripts are difficult to read by common people because the cacarakan script in the manuscripts are no longer used by common people. Furthermore, each alphabeth has many special variations so it needs further and longer study for those who intend to read the manuscripts. Therefore, this situation clearly indicates that these manuscripts  urgently need to be preserved.

The manuscript collection of Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal is an important resource not only for the Sundanese traditional community but also for scholars in various fields. However, for certain reasons, the manuscripts have never been published for the public. Following the current development of religious life in Indonesia, which is more open and tolerant and considering the vulnerability of the manuscripts, the family has decided to cooperate in preserving, digitising and giving open access for research purposes.

This project will digitise 30.000 pages of Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal manuscripts collection. Since the principal applicant and co-applicant for this project are mainly based in Bandung and Jakarta, we will come to the location in managing this project three days in a week for 12 months.

Before digitising, we will purchase the photographing and backup data equipment as well as coordinate with Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal family to prepare an adequate room for conducting this project.  We will also organize training over two days for local family members on manuscript preservation, archival management and manuscript photography. The trainers will be invited from the Indonesian Association for Nusantara Manuscripts (MANASSA) and the National Library of Indonesia (PERPUSNAS). They are the experts in manuscript preservation, audiovisual media and archivist. Moreover, they have had experience in conducting EAP project. After completed the training, it is expected that the knowlege of the local family will be enhanced so that they are going to be able to apply manuscript preservation and digitisation.


After the training, the project will be started by involving four team members. They are (1) Emmy Ratna Gumilang Damiasih as the one can read the manuscripts and will help co-applicant in completing the listing worksheet, (2) B. Satrio Widiananto as a photographer who mainly based in Jakarta, (3) Asep Wigandi as a photographer who mainly based in Kuningan (4) Kurniawan will be the assistant who clean and store the original material.  Our team will conduct a daily workflow as follows:

  1. Preparing and cleaning the material that will be digitized as the basic preservation.
  2. Photographing the material based on the EAP guidelines. By using two DSLR cameras and conducting eight hours work, it is estimated that there will be 480 pages of manuscripts in a day. During the photographing process, we put color checker below each manuscripts to maintain the original color. The images saved in the SD cards of cameras will be transfered into computer. Then, we will name and arrange the digital files name and folders. In addition, the quality of  images will be checked at the end of each day.
  3. Listing the material. It will be conducted by completing the listing templates provided by EAP. We will complete four worksheets such as worksheet 1 – institution of deposit, worksheet 2- description of material, worksheet 3 – biograpical and administrative detail information of individual/family/ institution connected with material, worksheet 4 – technical details of images.
  4. Storing the material into the non acid box storage and arranging them into cupboard based on the code.

After the digitisation has finished, all digital copies will be transferred to external hard drives and submitted to the British Library and Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal Family.


The manuscripts collection of Paseban Tri Panca Tunggal contains handwritten documents by Prince Madrais Sadewa Alibassa Kusuma Wijaya Ningrat. He wrote the manuscripts from the late 1800s until the mid-1900s during Dutch colonial. After completing this project, the team has digitised 30,143 pages that consist of 287 volumes.

The records copied by this project have been catalogued as: