Preserving Prince Diponegoro’s Legacy: Wikisource Loves Manuscripts Engages Youth in Historic Manuscript Revival

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As part of The Wikisource Loves Manuscripts pilot initiative in Indonesia, the Yogyakarta Wikimedia Community (Komunitas Wikimedia Yogyakarta) in collaboration with Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (PPIM), and Jangkah community successfully held an event to attract new Wikisource contributors from youth segment in the event called WiLMA (Wikisource Loves Manuscripts) Engages History: Babad Diponegoro on November 9th, 2023. In addition to drawing in new editors, the event also served as a commemoration of a decade since Babad Diponegoro’s inclusion in UNESCO’s International Memory of the World Register from Indonesia in 2013. The Manuscript holds immense historical significance in Indonesian history as it represents the first autobiographical chronicle in Javanese literature of Prince Diponegoro, a key figure in modern Indonesian history and a revered national hero. Prince Diponegoro led the largest regional resistance in Java against colonialism, famously known as The Java War.

The event drew nearly 30 enthusiastic youth participants interested in contributing to Wikisource and learning about the significance of the Babad Diponegoro manuscript in Indonesia’s history through workshop and proofread-a-thon. These young individuals came from various universities, heritage communities, and high schools in Yogyakarta. Prior to the event, the participants took part in a workshop led by Prof. Oman Fathurahman, a distinguished Indonesian philologist, focusing on the importance of digitization through open source, with specific reference to Babad Diponegoro. Additionally, the participants had the privilege of gaining insights and motivation from Ms. Ana Lomtadze who represented the UNESCO Jakarta Office. In her remarks, she emphasized the crucial role of young Indonesians in preserving the country’s documentary heritage.

“Today as you transcribe Babad Diponegoro and make it available through the Wiki platform, you are giving it a new life and making it more readily available for the wider world to enjoy and to learn from,”

Ms. Ana Lomtadze, Programme Specialist for Communication and Information Unit, UNESCO Jakarta Office

After finishing the workshop, the youth received basic training on Wikisource from the Yogyakarta Wikimedia Community (Komunitas Wikimedia Yogyakarta) led by Nur Fahmia (Username: Kunirasem) before starting the proofread-a-thon. 

The proofread-a-thon activities lasted throughout the event and successfully proofread and transcribed significant amounts of content in Babad Diponegoro on Wikisource. The top participants contributed significantly, with the leading participant (Username: Budiartold) contributing 17,000 bytes (10 manuscript pages), the second-place participant (Username: Lin contributing 14,000 bytes (8 manuscript pages), and the third-place participant (Username: Dessyil) contributing 8,000 bytes (6 manuscript pages), all achieved within the span of nearly 3 hours.

SPramudya (WMF), CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

The WiLMA Engages History: Babad Diponegoro event can be viewed as a model for involving young people in preserving documentary heritage. It achieves this by highlighting the historical significance of manuscripts and introducing participants to Wikisource as a platform for its preservation.

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