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[Curator's Tours] Tales of the Malay World: Manuscripts and Early Books

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Level 10, Gallery

100 Victoria Street

National Library Building

188064

Singapore

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What kinds of stories were popular in the early Malay world? And how was the manuscript tradition different from printed books? Join our curator's tours to learn about these and more.

Meeting Point: Level 10, Gallery entrance
The tours will be conducted in English.
Free admission.
Registration is required.


About the Exhibition, Tales of the Malay World: Manuscripts and Early Books

For centuries, Malay was the language of trade, diplomacy, religious discourse, and literature for maritime Southeast Asia. This exhibition explores traditional Malay literature captured in ink on paper – from handwritten manuscripts to early lithographed books.

These rarely seen items provide glimpses into the society that produced and read these literary works. Discover lesser-known stories of women authors and 19th-century lending libraries in the Malay world. Learn about the dramatic impact of printing on the manuscript tradition, and Singapore’s role as the early Malay/Muslim printing hub for the region.

The exhibition features precious manuscripts on loan from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, shown in Singapore for the first time. It is a unique opportunity to view these collections together.

Highlights include a manuscript (copied in 1710) of one of the oldest existing syair (narrative poem), which tells of the war (1666–69) between the Dutch and Makassar; the earliest manuscript on the exploits of the legendary Malay hero, Hang Tuah; one of the most ornate Malay manuscripts; and an 1811 letter from the sultan of Pontianak in Kalimantan to Stamford Raffles.

Come, discover these and other fascinating stories.

Click here to learn more.

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Date and Time

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Level 10, Gallery

100 Victoria Street

National Library Building

188064

Singapore

View Map

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