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Welcome to the USM Library Light Letters Digital Collection

The Light Letters (1771-1794) is a collection of manuscripts, comprising 1,200 letters, bounded in 11 volumes, which include correspondence, writings and notes involving Malay rulers and dignitaries from around the Malay Archipelago, business partners, wives of Malay aristocrats, Francis Light, and some English traders originally written over a period of 23 years between 1771 and 1794.

USM through its Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) and the Perpustakaan Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM Library) are given the sole rights to make the letters accessible to researchers, scholars and the public. The placing of the Letters at USM has broad implications for history, scholarship and further research during that period before the rise of imperialism and the establishment of colonial rule in the Malay Archipelago. The letters provide a new source for the writing and reinterpretation of the history of Pulau Pinang and the nation. Moreover, the images contribute to the domain of digital humanities and the representation of Art-Science education advocated by the University. The digitized Images has been kindly provided by School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London to USM through the Memorandum of Agreement formalized in September 2018.

The USM Library now makes its Light Letters Digital Collection accessible for online use. The contents are protected by copyright and is accessible with attribution under Creative Commons License/Fair Use.

For further information and reference, please contact:

Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Murad Merican
International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC-IIUM)
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
ahmadmurad@iium.edu.my / muradmerican@gmail.com

Radia Banu Jan Mohamad
Malaysiana and Archives Division
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut, Universiti Sains Malaysia
radia_banu@usm.my / bma@usm.my