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MUSEUMS DEPARTMENT: THE CUSTODIAN OF CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE SULTANATE
MORE than a million people have been presented on the cultural heritage of Brunei Darussalam through the various accomplishments of the Museums Department. From 2015 to March 2020, a total of 1,225,888 people have visited the museums in the sultanate and numerous agencies have collaborated with the department through various programmes and events over the past years. The cultural heritage of the sultanate has been safeguarded by the department through these efforts to ensure the cultural heritage of Bruneians, both materials or non-materials are well preserved in the modern world while adhering to world standard.
Every 18thMay museums around the world celebrate the International Museums Day and the theme for the year 2020 is 'Museums for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion'. This aims to educate people about the importance of museum institution in promoting solidarity, peace within the community and appreciation towards differences in our lives. Below are the museums and sections operating under the Museums Department.
Royal Regalia Museum
The Royal Regalia Museum was officially opened on 30thSeptember 1992. The building was uniquely designed to incorporate the vision and philosophy of the nation under the Malay Islamic Monarchy and to display numerous regalia and insignia of the Brunei royalty.The museum has four magnificent galleries containing special exhibitions portraying momentous occasions of the monarchy, namely the Royal Regalia, the Royal Exhibition, the Silver Jubilee and the Golden Jubilee galleries. In addition, an impressive collection of Pesambah, the souvenirs or gifts from leaders and delegates from around the world presented to His Majesty the Sultan, are being displayed along the pathways of the museum.
National Archives of Brunei Darussalam
Established in 1977, National Archives of Brunei Darussalam has been responsible for enacting the Brunei National Archives Act 1975, Revised Edition 1983 of Chapter 116, Laws of Brunei. The National Archives aims to be a national resource and research centre for Brunei, as well as identifying and preserving records that are of historical and national importance for the future generations. The collection at the National Archives includes public records, agreements, manuscripts, photographs, cartographic materials such as maps and plans, audiovisuals and newspapers.
Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park/ Natural History Section
Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park is located in the Tutong District, known as the ASEAN Heritage Park in Brunei Darussalam and is managed by the Natural History Section, one of the academic sections under the Museums Department. Its objectives are to conduct periodical research and collect items in relation to the biodiversity in Brunei Darussalam to build up a comprehensive collection of fauna and flora. The section also plays a part in spreading knowledge through various activities such as taxidermy demonstrations and curating exhibitions to encourage the public to learn and appreciate the importance of Brunei's nature. Today, the section has amassed more than 50,000 specimens which are made up of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, plants, crustaceans, shells, mushrooms, eggs and nests.
Malay Technology Museum/ Ethnography Section
The Malay Technology Museum was officially opened on 29thFebruary 1988. The museum exhibits various types of traditional technologies utilized by the indigenous people of the sultanate. It displays some of the traditional handicrafts previously used by the local residents living in Kampong Ayer as well as the other ethnic groups who lived on land. This museum has been managed by Ethnography Section since 1978 and is responsible in conducting research on the cultural heritage of people in Brunei Darussalam.
Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum/ Archaeology Section
The Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum was officially launched on 23rdMarch 2015. This museum has a distinctive design which resembles the front view of a ship to demonstrate the Sultanate's role as a centre of flourishing trade in ancient times. The Maritime Museum represents the historical repository of maritime which includes valuable artifacts and craftsmanship items from multiple eras. The Maritime Museum was built to reminisce and educate Bruneians on the involvement of their ancestors in the maritime activities and appreciate the great cultural heritage of the country.
Belait District Museum/ Administration, Media and International Affairs Section
This building was built in 1938 on a 6-acre land initially as the official residence for the Assistant British Resident which then later becomes the residence of the Belait District Officer until 1990. Its structure is a captivating blend of Malay and colonial architecture. The residence had also previously been used as a banquet hall for His Majesty's visit to the Belait District in conjunction with His Majesty's birthday celebrations.The Belait District Museum houses four permanent galleries, namely the Natural Heritage, Cultural Heritage, History of the Administration and Development of the Belait District and History of Oil and Gas galleries.
Sports Gallery/ Acquisition Section
Brunei Darussalam Sports Gallery is located in the same building as the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. The gallery was officiated in 2014 and currently showcasing sports development of the sultanate and respected sport figures who participated in numerous international sports competition. The gallery is managed by the Acquisition Section of Museums Department. The section is given the task to manage countless artifacts of the Museums Department and is responsible for the security and storage of the whole collection under the department.
Art Gallery/ Exhibition Section
The Art Gallery is located at the Dermaga Dirajain Bandar Seri Begawan is housed in a building initially for the Old Customs Building around the 1950s. The gallery is used to hold art exhibitions as well as to display art crafts and paintings collected by the Museums Department and contributions from members of the public. The gallery is also frequently used for the annual Regatta Exhibition. Managed by Exhibition Section of Museums Department, the gallery is operated with the aim to show visitors the creativity of local artists, thus educating people on the cultural heritage of Brunei Darussalam.
Kota Batu Archaeological Site/ Conservation and Restoration Section
Believed to be the ancient capital site of Brunei in the 14thto 17thcenturies A.D., Kota Batu is considered to be an important archaeological site in the country. Among the main archaeological findings at the site include the Sultan Sharif Ali Tomb (1425–1432 A.D.), the Sultan Bolkiah Tomb (1485–1524 AD), Kota Batu I Complex (KB I), Kota Batu II (KB II), Causeway (KB III) and Terindak Island. This site is currently managed by the Conservation and Restoration Section of the Museums Department. Established in 1983, this section is divided into 5 units, namely the Scientific Laboratory Unit, Paper Conservation Laboratory Unit, Binding Unit, Organic Laboratory Unit and Inorganic Laboratory Unit. The roles and responsibilities of the section are to protect, preserve and conserve the cultural materials of the department.
Since it was first established in 1965 at the Community Hall Building in Brunei Town with the name Brunei Museum Library – it has then moved to the Brunei Museum in Kota Batu in 1971 and was finally relocated to the National Archives Building at Jalan Dewan Majlis in 1998 and now is known as Brunei Museums Department Library. With a vast collection of over 200,000 references in its holding, the Special Library caters not only to patrons from the department, it also extends its services to external and foreign researchers. For those interested, their Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) can be accessed through the e-Library portal at www.librarybrunei.gov.bn/library/jabatan-muzium-muzium/.
Education and Publishing Section
The Education and Publishing Section of the Museums Department is divided into two units, namely the Education Services Unit and Publishing and Marketing Unit. The Publishing and Marketing Unit is responsible for the publication of numerous resource materials for the department while the Education Services Unit is tasked to provide various educational services such as briefings, workshop to schools, government higher education institutions, private sectors and the public.
Jabatan Muzium-Muzium, Kementerian Kebudayaan, Belia dan Sukan © Hak Cipta Terpelihara.