The Sundanese Manuscripts are manuscripts that written and compiled in the Sundanese culture area (now West Java and Banten) and the manuscripts which contain stories or descriptions related to the Sundanese area and people as the main topic of the texts. On the other side, to make the exact term of the Sundanese manuscript is quite hard because there are many indicators including ethnics, language and region.
Old Sundanese Manuscripts
In 2010 Aditia Gunawan & Holil Munawar initiated to mention a more specific group of Sundanese Manuscripts, namely Old Sundanese Manuscripts. Manuscripts that are categorized as Old Sundanese Manuscripts (NSK) are based on the following considerations:
- Script. The script in question is the old Sundanese script which has an independent character, which can be distinguished from other types of script from other regions;
- Language. The language used is Old Sundanese which can be distinguished from modern Sundanese;
- Medium. The medium chosen ti write the texts are lontar, nipah, bamboo, and daluang;
- Colophon containing the place of writing of the manuscript;
- The origin of the manuscript, which provides the information on obtaining the manuscript, becomes the collection of BGKW and then PNRI.
Some of these manuscripts have become collections of government agencies (National Library of Indonesia, from the collection of Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschapen [BGKW], and West Java Museum), but it is estimated that there are still many manuscripts that are privately owned in the general public. Of course, manuscripts that are in the community are very susceptible to damage because they are not cared for, or lost. Although some people / groups of people still make efforts to maintain and keep the manuscript properly. Therefore, in addition to the research efforts that have been and are being carried out on saving the manuscripts, efforts are also needed to rescue the manuscripts that are still widely distributed among the public.
Old Sundanese manuscripts found in the community, for example, manuscripts made from bamboo blades in Mande-Cianjur, and lontar texts in the Cijenuk and Antapani areas, Bandung. Sundanese script with the Pegon script (Arabic-Sundanese) is estimated to be still widely available in Islamic boarding schools in West Java, considering that the number of pesantren with a tradition of writing with the pegon script is still widely distributed in West Java. These pegon manuscripts usually contain wawacan (narrative poetry), Islamic history, as well as fiqh and other Islamic teachings.