Brunei Darussalam will receive the Queen’s Baton today (28.10.2013) The University welcomed its first students from Brunei in the 1960s, who both graduated with Medical degrees. The earliest connection identified by the International Heritage project is through this 1710 map of Borneo – Brunei, since 1984, being the only sovereign state completely on that island, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia:
The map can be found in Daniel Beeckman’s A Voyage to and from the Island of Borneo, in the East-Indies…, (London, 1718), and Brunei can be found with the map’s designation of ‘Borneo’.
As explained in the online entry, Beeckman was captain of an English merchant ship which traded with the British East India Company, and his book is a record of his observations and experiences in 1713–14. A most exciting claim is that Beeckman’s account of Borneo may have been the the first European reference to and illustration of the Orangutan (of Malaysia, not Brunei though). Intrigued? To see that illustration of the “ORAN-OOTAN” just ask for Sp Coll Bl1-i.1 on your next visit to Special Collections.