Brunei University library receives valuable collections on Brunei history

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - University Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Library received valuable collections of primary sources material, including copies of governmental dispatches, memoranda papers, minutes, reports and books for the Brunei Studies Collection yesterday in a handover ceremony at the UBD Library.

The collection was a donation from Dr Haji Bachamiya Abdul Hussainmiya, former UBD Associate Professor, consisting mainly of Colonial Office records, Dominion Office records and Commonwealth Office papers relating to recent Brunei history, especially the founding of the Brunei Constitution and the process of self-government granted to Brunei through negotiations with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Some papers are on the early reign of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

Present at the event were Associate Professor Dr Mohammad Ayub Sadiq @ Lin Naing, the Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) of UBD, and Dr Haji Bachamiya.

The event began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, followed by opening remarks by Amirul Shahezal bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Head of Acquisition of UBD Library, who highlighted that the donated items cannot be found elsewhere but at the Public Records Office in London, and these present valuable information related to Brunei modern history.

"The library hopes these items will stimulate more interest in our local undergraduates and researchers to study, understand and appreciate our country’s history and encourage Bruneians to produce more research on the history of Brunei," said Amirul Shahezal.

The event continued with a speech from Dr Haji Bachamiya, followed by the handover ceremony by Dr Haji Bachamiya to Associate Professor Dr Mohammad Ayub Sadiq who received the collection on behalf of UBD.

The documents were collected by the Brunei History Centre team, to which Dr Haji Bachamiya was part of from 1992 to 1997, from the archives in Britain, the US and Asean member countries. The team also discovered unknown source material from Brunei National Archives.

Dr Haji Bachamiya was a former academic in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) in UBD from 1988 until early 2016, who wrote mainly on Brunei’s history. He wrote several books such as the biography of Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam, published by the Oxford University Press in 1995 in addition to many research articles, which were made possible by the support extended by UBD to his research and teaching.

The Brunei historical collection will be placed in the UBD main library for use by Brunei students and researchers. UBD hopes to receive more of such collections for research from benefactors and accomplished scholars.