To mark Indonesia’s Independence Day (17 August), here are some Indonesia-Glasgow stories from the archives.
The History of Sumatra Map
The first student with links to Indonesia was Charles Campbell, a surgeon and botanist to the East India Company at Sumatra. He studied Arts at the University in the 1760s, and went on to contribute his expertise to William Marsden’s
The History of Sumatra Title Page
The history of Sumatra, containing an account of the government, laws, customs, and manners of the native inhabitants, with a description of the natural productions, and a relation of the ancient political state of that island (1783). It was the first comprehensive account of the island’s natural history, and Special Collections holds a copy
The University’s earliest Indonesian-born student was Charles William Young, son of a merchant born in Batavia, modern day Jakarta, around 1813, who began his studies in 1831.
For more connections with Indonesia see the Indonesia country page of the International Story.
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:
Sp Coll Bl1-i.1
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.