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KORTE MEDEDELING (PROFESSOR M.A. JASPAN'S COLLECTIONS IN THE UNIVERSITY)

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G. E. MARRISGN

PROFESSOR M.A. JASPAN'S COLLECTIONS IN THE UNIVERSITY
OFHULL

Mervyn Jaspan was born in Johannesburg in 1926. He did anthropological
fieldwork in South and East Africa, leading to his Oxford B.Sc. in 1951.
From 1955 to 1961 he had appointments in Indonesia, and from 1961 to
1967 in Australia: from 1961 to 1964 he held a Research Fellowship at
the Australian National University, Canberra, in the course of which he
did fieldwork among the Rejang of southern Sumatra from 1961 to 1963,
leading up to his Ph.D. thesis for the ANU: From patriliny to matriliny:
Structural change among the Redjang of Southwest Sumatra, 1964. In 1967,
he was appointed Visiting Professor of Anthropology and Sociology in the
University of Leiden. From 1968 till his death.in 1975, Professor Jaspan
was Director of the Centre for South-East Asian Studies in the University
of Huil. During that period, he was working on two major projects: Theory
andpractice of traditional medicine in South-East Asia, and a study of the
Literature of South Sumatra, including Rejang oral literature and the South
Sumatran Malay texts as preserved in the ka-ga-nga or rencong script: this
latter work was begun in collaboration with Dr. P. Voorhoeve, who with
his wife and other helpers transliterated into Roman script^ large number
of these texts.
Professor Jaspan presented a small number of South-East Asian Manu-
scripts to the Brynmor Jones Library, University of Huil. After his death,
a large collection of his working papers were deposited in the Library, and
others were held by the Centre for South-East Asian Studies. Part of the
library holdings are briefly described in M.C. Ricklefs and P. Voorhoeve:
Indonesian manuscripts in Great Britain (OUP, 1977), and in the sup-
plement to that work in BSOAS 45/2,1982, pp. 300-22., but there is much
more awaiting cataloguing, including a further deposit of Jaspan's papers
which will be placed in the Brynmor Jones Library shortly.
The collection contains over 800 items, most of which are typed or written
by Jaspan. Nearly half are texts in languages of South-East Asia, rendered
in the Roman script. The most substantial part is the Rejang Archive,
which includes hand-written field notes, and typescripts of Rejang oral
texts and of notes and short essays on various aspects of Rejang anthro-
pology, together numbering over 200 items. There are also 145 South
Sumatran Malay texts, some which he collected, but most are copies of
transliterations made by Dr. Voorhoeve. Other linguistic materials include
Cham traditional texts collected from villages on the Mekong in Cam-
bodia, 1966-7, and notes, mostly of medical interest, in the dialect of
Sagada, from the Bontoc Igorot region of northern Luzon. There are
smaller numbers of items relating to Java, northern Sumatra, Malaysia and
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Korte Mededeling
the Khmer, and some Indonesian texts from other hands relating to local
affairs. There are other copies of some of the language texts in the Leiden
University Library: Dr. Voorhoeve's original transliterations of South Su-
matran Malay texts are at Cod.Or.8447, and a selection of Rejang folk
tales from Jaspan's collection are at Cod.On 18.154. Jaspan 'sMaterials for
a Rejang-Indonesian-EngUsh dictionary were edited from papers in Huil by
Dr. P. Voorhoeve, and published by the Department of Linguistics, Re-
search School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Can-
berra, 1984. Since the beginning of 1987,1 have been cataloguing Pro-
fessor Jaspan's collections in Huil with help and advice from Mrs. Helen
Jaspan, Dr. Voorhoeve, and members of Huil University Staff, and arran-
gements are in hand for this to be published by the Centre for South-East
Asian Studies, University of Huil, probably in 1989.
Ulverston
15 February 1988

Source:
http://www.kitlv-journals.nl/files/pdf/art_BKI_1352.pdf

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