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John Peterson’s passion for old Javanese manuscripts

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Mon, July 22, 2019  /  05:47 pm
John Peterson’s passion for old Javanese manuscripts

Devotion: John Peterson and a staff member of Yayasan Sastra Lestari (Yasri) read an ancient script in Surakarta, Central Java. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

An Australian scholar shows how the love of ancient manuscripts and history does not recognize borders. When John Peterson arrived in Indonesia from Australia in 1996, he was a doctoral student of the history and culture of 19th century Java at Monash University, Australia. During this time, he visited Sebelas Maret State University (UNS) in Surakarta to conduct research for his dissertation. “I needed old manuscripts to complete my dissertation. I was crazy about old texts for a long time and thus got fully engrossed,” said Peterson at the office of Yayasan Sastra Lestari (Yasri), a literary foundation in Banjarsari, Surakarta, Central Java, recently. Peterson, who was born in Melbourne in 1956, and Supardjo, a lecturer at UNS Surakarta, founded Yasri in 1997. The foundation’s missions are the preservation, transliteration and digitization of manuscripts ...