Manuscript ‘Babad Diponegoro’ inscribed on UNESCO Memory of the World Register

KITLV is very proud with UNESCO’s announcement that one of its manuscripts has been inscribed on its Memory of the World Register. 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, is among 54 new additions to the Memory of the World Register, approved today by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. The chronicle 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. The original manuscript is considered lost, but a nineteenth century copy of the original (in Javanese with Arabic letters) is kept in the National Library of Indonesia, whereas an early translation into Dutch is kept at the KITLV. These two manuscripts are now inscribed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

‘Babad Diponegoro’ was submitted by Indonesia and the Netherlands and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.




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