Yayasan Perpustakaan dan Museum Ali Hasjmy
Prof. Ali Hasjmy was a youth leader in the Indonesian revolution in Aceh and later became the governor of Aceh after the province was split off from North Sumatra in 1959 (in response to the Darul Islam rebellion in the region). He also served as the inaugural rector of IAIN Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh, and led the Majelis Ulama Aceh. Amazingly, Ali Hasjmy kept alive his interests in poetry, literature, and journalism long after he had become a major political and religious figure in the province. In 1991, he established a foundation which now cares for his personal collection of books and papers. Most locals come to to the library for the collection of secondary materials that they cannot find elsewhere. The research materials at this library that are most interesting to foreign researchers are primarily to be found in the "bags" collection, including both all the proceedings of the conferences Ali Hasjmy attended for decades, as well as his personal papers.
Jl. Sudirman, No. 28/29 Lamtemen, Banda Aceh, NAD, Indonesia
Schedule & hours
Monday-Thursday, 8am-1pm; Friday 8am-11am
Almost everything in the collection is in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia); very little is in Acehnese (Bahasa Aceh) or Malay (Bahasa Melayu).
Directions to the archive
The best way to get here, like most places in Banda Aceh, is by becak. If you driver is unfamiliar with Jl. Sudirman, tell him lewat Setui, terus kiri di monumen. You will then see the Yayasan on your right in about half a kilometer.
The foundation has written down the broad strokes of their collection in both special English and good Indonesian. This outline gives excellent credit to some of the impressive manuscripts and religious documents that the collection houses, but downplays the real gem here, which is the "bag collection."
The bag collection is literally bags, saved from all of the conferences that Prof. Ali Hasjmy attended over his long and prestigious academic career. Several additional bags have been sequestered to house personal papers and his own works. The very thick catalog is excellent at chronicling all of the articles and conference proceedings in the bags, but less complete when it comes to personal papers/ archival material. Most of this, however, is found in the last few numbers of the collection. Some papers are from Ali Hasjmy's time as governor, but more are from his later years as the head of the Majelis Ulama Aceh and from his work with IAIN Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh. Although the collection from his impressive early years as a youth activist during the revolution exists mostly in rare shelved material, a few papers from that period are still floating around in the bags.
No special letters are needed to access the collection, however all foreign researchers are required to obtain a research permit (Surat Izin Penelitian) from MenRisTek for any academic research in Indonesia and to report themselves to the local government in each province where they conduct research. For more information on this process, see Research Procedures for Foreigners from the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology.
Although there is no cost to access this collection, you may be asked at the end of your time there to give a donation to the curator(s). This is a perfectly accepted cost of doing business in places like Aceh, and furthermore it is probably a reasonable request considering the allotment made in the original wakf gift covers the collection itself and not its caretakers.
Permitted and prohibited items
Although the lack of posted rules means that staff can impose whatever rules they find prudent at the time, there are no restrictions on bringing laptops, notebooks, pens, etc., back to the reading table. They do, however, ask that you leave your bag out front. Cameras, and even taking page-by-page pictures, are also permitted.
Document ordering and delivery
The great collection of secondary works ranging from history to literature to religion are standing on the shelves for self-access. Anything else will require the assistance of the library staff. To access the bags, they have a catalog for the contents of each of the 140-some-odd bags, but it is not entirely complete, often failing to mention the personal papers held in the last couple of bags. Other collections also have their own catalogs, and the library staff can help you navigate them. They will be delivered immediately, but they ask that you only have one on the reading table at a time, so that collections do not get mixed up together.
The library staff can arrange for anything to be photocopied, but this will be done outside the foundation, and only available the next day (or sometimes after 2 days). Good manners dictate that you should deposit money with the staff in advance when requesting photocopies, although payment only on receipt of the copies is theoretically possible. Make it very clear in advance if you need specific receipts for any reason.
(give names of archive staff and other individuals who can help researchers)
(links to relevant websites and resources)