The International Heritage Project: South East Asia GRAB Lunch

IMG_0987 IMG_0988

On Wednesday April 24th the International Heritage Project put on a pop up display for the South East Asia GRAB lunch, with items reflecting the University’s links with Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei.

From Special collections we had two rare books to represent Indonesia.

Fleurs, fruits et feuillages choisis de L’ile de Java by Berthe Hoola van Nooten (Brussels, 1863)

Berthe Hoola van Nooten (1817-1892) was a Dutch botanical artist, noted for her botanical plates.  After initially living and working with her husband in America, she travelled to the island of Java with her brother, who was a highly successful merchant.  Being aware of the vogue in Europe for lavish illustrations of exotic flora, she set about producing 40 plates depicting interesting plant species from Java.  Her attempts to publish the work were unsuccessful until she acquired the patronage of Sophia Mathilde, wife of King William III of the Netherlands.

Durio_Zibethinus_Van_Nooten“Van Nooten was clearly a more than competent artist, for the splendid tropical plants, with their lush foliage, vividly coloured flowers and exotic fruit have been depicted with great skill. She managed to accentuate the splendour of each species by adopting a style that combined great precision and clarity with a touch of neo-Baroque exuberance, revelling in the rich forms and colours of the tropics.” — Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi,

Although the book was published in a number of editions, van Nooten died in straitened circumstances in Batavia, Indonesia, when 74 years old.

 (Glasgow University Library Special Collections, Sp Coll e160)


Antiquarian, architectural, and landscape illustrations of the History of Java, by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (London, 1844)

Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was born in July 1781 on the ship Ann off the coast of Port Morant, Jamaica.  Raffles was a British statesman; often described as the “Father of Singapore,” he is best known for his founding of the city-state. He was also heavily involved in the conquest of the Indonesian island of Java from Dutch and French military forces during the Napoleonic Wars and contributed to the expansion of the British Empire. On his return to England, Raffles set up the Zoological Society of London in 1826, becoming its first President, but died unexpectedly later that year.

Raffles was a remarkable collector and scholar, enthusiastically researching all aspects of natural and cultural history, civilization and languages in the countries which are now Indonesia and Malaysia. His History of Java is the still the starting point for studies of this area. It was first published in 1817.

 (Glasgow University Library Special Collections, Sp Coll RF 63)


Textile label for Diethelm & C., United Turkey Red Co Ltd Collection

The humorous ‘Elephant Steamer’ textile label was designed to identify United Turkey Red textiles destined for Diethelm & C., a multinational East Asian company established in 1871 in Singapore, for distribution in Singapore and Bangkok.

United Turkey Red Co. Ltd were bleachers, finishers and dyers based in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, formed in 1898 through the amalgamation of John Orr Ewing & Co., Archibald Orr Ewing and William Stirling & Sons. The firm specialised in Turkey red dyeing and exported textiles around the world. The collection has a large selection of colourful decorative labels that were used to identify different products.

The records held at Glasgow University Archive Services demonstrate numerous trade links with Singapore, including the calico printers Miller & Muter, who were based at Milton Print Works, Dumbarton, and were trading in textiles with Singapore from at least the 1840s.

 (Glasgow University Archive Services, UGD 13/7A/8/2)

dc185-60_Malaya Congrat Add_1951_a

Congratulatory Address from the University of Malaya, 1951

A congratulatory address was sent by the Principal of the University of Glasgow, Sir Hector Hetherington, to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Malaya, Sir George V. Allen, on the occasion of the latter’s foundation on 16 September 1949.  Two years later the University of Malaya reciprocated when a congratulatory address was presented to the University of Glasgow on the occasion of its 500th anniversary, in 1951, by Siow Mong LEE, an ex Council member of University of Malaya who attended as a delegate.

The Fifth Centenary of the founding of the University of Glasgow was commemorated by a formal programme of celebrations, which took place over the period 19-21 June 1951.  Celebrations opened on Tuesday 19 June 1951 with the Ceremony of Presentation of Addresses, at which the congratulatory addresses from the various universities, colleges, academies, learned societies and other bodies from which the delegates were drawn, were presented.

(Glasgow University Archive Services, University Records, DC185/60)


Nai Poot Matriculation Slip, 1910-1911

Nai Neum Engineering & Naval Architecture Class Photograph, 1911-1912


Nai Poot and Nai Neum (Nai being the English equivalent of Mr) enrolled in the Science Faculty to study Naval Architecture from 1910-1913.

Nai Poot was born in Bangkok, Siam (modern day Thailand). His father, Damrong, was a civil servant, although deceased when Poot came to study in Glasgow. Poot enrolled in the Faculty of Science, majoring in Naval Architecture from 1910-1913. During this time he attended classes in Mathematics, Engineering Drawing, and Naval Architecture Drawing.

Nai Neum listed his birthplace as ‘Umper Panom, Patrin, Montron Prachin, (Siam)’, Prachin Buri province in modern day Thailand.  During the Reign of King Rama V (1868-1910), the area was significant due to the discovery of gold.  Nai Neum studied in the Faculty of Science, majoring in Naval Architecture from 1910-1913.  He attended classes in Mathematics, Engineering Drawing, Naval Architecture Drawing, and Electrical Engineering.

 (Glasgow University Archive Services, University Records, R8/5/31/6 & UP5/4/10)

DC225_1_65- Johar Bin Noordin-detail

Medical Final Year Dinner Book, 1962-68

The first indigenous student born in Brunei Town, Borneo, to study and graduate from University of Glasgow was Johar Bin Noordin, who graduated with MBChB in 1968.

Dato Paduka Dr. Haji Johar bin Dato Paduka Haji Noordin, went on to become the Minister of Health of Brunei Darussalam c1990s.

 (Glasgow University Archive Services, University Records, DC225/1/65)

For more information on the University’s international connections please see our International Story website.

If you feel that the International Heritage Project could support your event or visit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Categories: Archive Services, Special Collections

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: