The unfamous collection of Malay letters of Dutch East-Indian Company (VOC) has been recently found in the archives of St.Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. Previously it belonged to the famous Russian collectioner and scholar N.P. Likhachov (1862-1936). The collection consists of 54 documents in Malay (jawi,pegon), Javanese, Dutch, Chinese and Spanish. Almost all documents are addressed to the governor-general of Batavia J. van Hoorn and date back to the end of the 17th and the 18th century written by Sultans and other Malay nobilities from different Malay states (Banten, Сeribon, Japara, Goa, Tallo, Bone, Bima, Bouton and Palembang.).
At the present moment the collection can be considered to contain rare documents of “early” letters as there are only about 100 Malay documents dated back to that period of time still preserved in the world. Moreover, the collection is distinguished by really unique decorative examples of Malay letter-writing like letters from Banten.