Radya Pustaka, Records The Spirit Of Age
If you are on vacation, or if you have free time and itchy feet want to go for a walk, you should go to the Radya Pustaka Museum in the Taman Sriwedari complex. This second oldest museum in Indonesia after the Bataviaasch Genoostschap (1778) is ready to welcome those of you who want to gain knowledge and historical memories about the archipelago in the past. The atmosphere in the museum is no longer horrific and does not make visitors goosebumps.
President Soekarno was fascinated by this museum. It was Bung Karno himself who inaugurated the bust of Ranggawarsita in front of the museum’s courtyard on November 11, 1953. This first president of Indonesia seems to be well aware that this building is not just an ordinary museum. It was born as a result of the historical process of society responding to the intellectual passion that exploded at the end of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century. Visitors need to be invited to understand the background of the Radya Pustaka museum being born and developing.
Patih Sasradiningrat IV (1890-1916), the founder of the Radyalibra Museum who was famous for his brilliant brain and progressive mind, lived in a blazing spirit of literacy. The spirit of the age—or what is so-called by the king of Indonesian historian, Sartono Kartadirdjo, as the soul of the times—is the key word to explain the reason for this museum being established.
The literary development of the palace at that time was very rapid. The famous poet, R.Ng. Ranggawarsita is an important icon in the literary world. He spawned many essays, which later became nourishing reading for the brain and fulfilled the spiritual needs of readers in museums. The greatest and last poet collaborated with C.F. Winter, a court interpreter, produced several books, such as Kawi Javaansch Woordenboek, Saloka akaliyan Paribasan, Saridin, Sidin, Serat Candrarini, and others.
As the emergence of quality literary works, Patih Sasradiningrat IV had the idea of establishing the Radya Pustaka association in ndalem Kepatihan before being moved to the public space of Kebon Rojo Sriwedari in 1913. The goal was to develop court literature and make people familiar with literature. Every Wednesday, a workshop is held to review palace literature and the Javanese language. Various values involving religious-magical aspects and reflecting Javanese power must be introduced and propagated in the community.
The noble ideals of establishing successful literary works are supported by the publication of Javanese characters, such as N.V. Budi Utama, Vogel an der Heide, G.C.T. van Dorp & Co, Albert Rusche and later Satoe Budi. The publishing company helps spread the values and wisdom of Java through the wrings of the poets. As a result, the library world is getting more developed. In addition, the first decade of the twentieth century was also marked by the presence of various types of newspapers, such as Nieuwe Vostenlanden, Soerabajaasch Handelsblad, Sedia Utama, De Java Bode, Sin Po, Sin Po, Ik Po, Darma Kondho, Bramartani, and Neratja.
The psychology and spirit of this era were then responded to by high – ranking “institutional” of Radya Pustaka by holding courses and activities for the development of Javanese culture and science for the wider community. Discussions on cultural themes, translation of literary works, discussions on Javanese writing (Edjaan Sriwedari), dalang courses, gamelan courses, and Kawi language courses are a series of events held at the museum, equipped with a library. This volunteer work produces great results. The name of the museum soared throughout Indonesia and amazed the intellectual world (Heri Priyatmoko, 2014).