Early Malay Printed Books in the SOAS Library’s Holdings

By Jotika Khur-Yearn|August 13, 2012|South East Asia|0 comments


SOAS Library has a treasure of early Malay publications in Arabic script (known as Jawi script), and most of them were published in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Until late 1990s, the SOAS holding of these books were kept on the open shelves of the main library at classmark IBA although a few of them might have been classified at IBC.

However, after Ian Proudfoot published his catalogue on the Early Malay Printed Books (1993), it alerted people to the SOAS holdings of these rare books. Therefore, for a better safety and security of these rare books, a decision was made to withdraw them from the open shelves and transfer them to the library’s special collections. Consequently these items have been reclassified by adopting the shelf-marks of SOAS Library’s special collections, beginning with ‘EA’, ‘EB’, ‘EC’ ‘ER’, etc. and they are available for consultation only on request in the library’s Special Collections Reading Room (SCRR). For more information, contact  docenquiry@soas.ac.uk

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