Papers of Sir Richard Olaf Winstedt

Scope and Content

Papers, 1925-[1960s], of Sir Richard Winstedt relating to his publications, comprising annotated proofs of Malay dictionary, 1960; manuscripts of Malay Dictionary, undated; copy of his An English-Malay Dictionary (1952), with extensive manuscript annotations and alterations [after 1952]; manuscripts and typescripts for his memoirs Start from Alif: Count from One (published in 1969), largely relating to his time in south-east Asia [1960s]; manuscript on philosophy, undated; letter on Malay law to [S G?] Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1945; letter on a Malay manuscript from P Voorholne[?] of the Bibliotheek der Rijks-Universiteit te Leiden, 1951; part of a letter on Raffles College and educational needs in Malaya from an unknown correspondent, 1965; miscellaneous offprints by Winstedt on Malay literature, law, customs and culture, 1925, 1929, 1945, and undated.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Oxford, 1878; educated at Magdalen College School and New College, Oxford; MA; Cadet, Federated Malay States Civil Service, 1902; posted to Perak, and studied Malay language and culture; appointed District Officer, Kuala Pilah, 1913; appointed to the education department, 1916; stationed in Singapore for 15 years; DLitt, Oxford, 1920; first President of Raffles College, Singapore, 1921-1931; his recommendations were instrumental in the founding of a new teacher training college, the Sultan Idris Training College at Tanjong Malim, to which was attached the Malay Translation Bureau, 1922; acting Secretary to the High Commissioner, 1923; Director of Education, Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States (FMS), and member of Legislative Council, Straits Settlements, 1924-1931; CMG, 1926; member of Federal Council, FMS, 1927-1931; General Adviser to the Malay State of Johore, 1931-1935; retired from the Malayan Civil Service and was appointed KBE, 1935; lecturer in Malay, School of Oriental (later Oriental and African) Studies; Member of the Colonial Office Advisory Committee on Education, 1936-1939; Reader in Malay, School of Oriental Studies, 1937-1946; President, Association of British Malaya, 1938; member of Governing Body, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), 1939-1959; Director, Royal Asiatic Society, 1940-1943, 1946-1949, 1952-1955, 1958-1961, President, 1943-1946, 1949-1952, 1955-1958, 1961-1964, Gold Medallist, 1947, and Honorary Vice-President, 1964; during World War Two, broadcast in Malay to Malaya under the Japanese occupation; following the re-occupation his joint authorship of a letter to The Times played a role in the reversal of the British government's Malayan Union policy and the institution of a federal government which led ultimately to Malayan independence; Fellow of the British Academy, 1945; retired from SOAS, 1946; Honorary Fellow of SOAS, 1947; Vice­President of the Royal India Society, from 1947; Vice-Chairman of Executive Committee for Exhibition of Art from India and Pakistan, Royal Academy of Arts, London (and headed a delegation to India to arrange for collection of exhibits), 1947-1948; Hon LLD (Malaya), 1951; Honorary Member of South-East Asia Institute, USA; Honorary Member, Royal Batavian Society and of Kon Instituut voor Taal­Land­en Volkenkunde, The Hague; died, 1966. Publications: numerous works on Malay language, culture and history.


Manuscript and typescript memoirs, 1 box (Ref: 1); manuscript Malay Dictionary, 1 box (Ref: 2); proofs for Malay Dictionary, 3 boxes (Ref: 3); letters, offprints, and other documents, 1 file (Ref: 4); annotated copy of An English-Malay Dictionary, 1 volume (Ref: 5).

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Presented in 1974.