Print Culture in the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga during the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Main Article Content

Hafiz Zakariya
Wiwin Oktasari


Print empowers ways of communicating an idea. In fact, in many ways, it could promote democratization of an individual’s expression, which sometimes can be uncontrollable and even anarchic. Though printing has powerful impact on society; it has been ignored in mainstream scholarship. Existing studies about printing press and its impact on the Malay world are limited. It is surprisingly marginalized in the mainstream scholarship despite the fact that history actually bears witness that printing played an important role in the past. Thus, this article discusses the print culture in the Malay world with special reference to the Kingdom of Riau-Lingga. It begins by describing the techniques of printing especially lithography and typography used in the Malay world.  It also explains the advent of the print technology in the Dutch East Indies in general and Riau in particular, and how the print culture gradually replaced manuscript in knowledge transmission during the time of Raja Ali Haji. Subsequently, it describes how the Rushdiah Club utilized this technology during the end of the 19th century in Riau-Lingga.

Print culture in Indonesia, print culture in the Malay world, printing press, Rushdiah club.

Article Details

How to Cite
Zakariya, H., & Oktasari, W. (2019). Print Culture in the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga during the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 9(4), 1-9.
Original Research Article


Juwono H, et al. The history of the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga. Jakarta: Ministry of Religion. 2015;18.

Zakariya, Hafiz, Oktasari, Wiwin. From Riau to Singapore: A content analysis of the Rushdiah club’s major published writings (ca. 1890-1950). Umran: International Journal of Islamic and Civilizational Studies. 2017;4(3):11-25.

Morse H. Print culture; 2016. Available:
Retrieved 27 September 2019

Ives Colta. Lithography in the nineteenth Century In Heilbrunn. Timeline of art history. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 2000.
[Retrieved 20 September 2019]

Ahmad Ishak, Md. Sidin. Penerbitan dan percetakan buku Melayu 1807-1960. Kuala Lumpur: DBP; 1998.

Proudfoot I. Early Malay printed books: A provisional account of materials published in the Singapore-Malaysia area up to 1920, noting holdings in major public collections. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya; 1993.

Tengku Muhammad Fuad (A descendant of Tengku Bilik binti YTM X Raja Muhammad Yusuf) Interview by Wiwin Oktasori, Penyengat, Tanjung Pinang; 2011.

Singapore and the Straits Directory. Singapore: Fraser & Neave; 1920.

Bataviaqsch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. Oud Batavia: Gedenkboek. Batavia: G. Kolff. 1992;2.

Isa Zubaidah. Printing and publishing in Indonesia: 1602-1970. Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 1972.

De Graff HJ. (1969). The Spread of printing Eastern Hemisphere. Indonesia. 1969;6:12-24.

Sham, Abu Hassan. Puisi-puisi Raja Ali Haji. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka; 1993.

Jan van der Putten. Printing in Riau: Two Steps toward Modernity. Bijdragen. 1997; 153:717-736.

Hamidy UU. Riau sebagai pusat bahasa dan kebudayaan Melayu. Pekanbaru: UNRI Press, Yayasan Adikarya IKAPI and the Ford Foundation; 2003.

Hamzah, Abu Bakar. Al-Imam, its role in Malay society 1906-1908. Kuala Lumpur: Pustaka Antara;1991.

Syed Alwi al-Hady. The life of my father. In Gordon (Ed.) The real cry of Syed Shaykh al-Hady: With selections of his writings by his son Syed Alwi al-Hady. (pp.). Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Sociological Research Institute. 1999;69-84.

Mohd Sarim bin Hj. Mustajab. Gerakan Islah Islamiah di tanah Melayu 1906-1948 In Malaysia: Sejarah dan proses pembangunan. Kuala Lumpur: Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia. 1979

Alijah Gordon, Riau: The milieu of Syed Shaykh’s formative years In Alijah Gordon (Ed.) The Real Cry of Syed Shaykh al-Hady. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Sociological Research Institute, 1999;17.

Syed Mohamed Alwi al-Hady. Syed Shaykh through the prism of a child’s eyes and the al-Hady Clan. In Gordon (Ed.). The Real Cry of Syed Shaykh Al-Hady. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Sociological Research Institute. 1999;85-108.

Hack Karl. (n.d.) The Singapore Malay community enclaves and cultural domains.
[Retrieved 20 September 2019]