The UNIMAS Museum project will be prioritised this year as the university commemorates its 20th anniversary.
UNIMAS vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid said many universities in Japan like Waseda University run their own museums to preserve information, documentation and research findings.
“The idea to set up our own museum started when we wanted to gather and compile all the relevant information and documents regarding the formation of the university since 1992.
“We found out that most of our information and documents are scattered all over the place with some kept by individuals and others in offices and various faculties. We want to put all these things together under one roof,” he told journalists after opening the inaugural Borneo Heritage Symposium 2012 at DeTAR Putra, UNIMAS here yesterday.
Khairuddin said the university had preserved a complete collection of butterflies in Sarawak and a corner of the upcoming museum would exhibit the works.
“We have a collection of frogs, butterflies, some plants and even our research findings on the ethnic groups and languages in Sarawak. We would like to play a role in preserving all of these items.”
He added that the museum would preserve “what we have as a university and whatever Sarawak has to complement other museums and agencies.”
He said the university was still conducting studies on what kind of museum it would establish.
“We will try to learn from mass practices, locally and internationally. Sometimes a museum has a different philosophy, approach and functionality so we have to study all the concept first and then make the right decision.”
The UNIMAS Museum would be situated within the University House building to facilitate its commission, he pointed out.
“I think it is enough for a start. If the museum were to have a building of its own, it would take time. This year is our 20th anniversary so we would like to launch the museum at least with a decent collection before end of this year.”
To a question, Khairuddin said he was not certain whether Unimas would be the first university in Malaysia to own a museum.
“Some universities in Malaysia do not call it a museum but a gallery. A gallery is more dynamic space to showcase certain current and important events.
“But again, we expect our museum to grow and develop to complement other museums in Sarawak like the Sarawak Museum, especially to put on display our important findings from our research work, everything that is relevant and important to preserve.”
Extracted from the Borneo Post.