Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia

A person smiling while holding a bookDescription automatically generated 
“We will all pass on, but our writings will last, and that’s what keeps me going”. 
- Dato’ Dr Annabel Teh Gallop -  


A British Historian Safeguarding the Rich Tapestry of Malay Manuscripts and Arts 
Datuk Dr. Annabel Teh Gallop is a distinguished historian with a passion for unravelling the secrets hidden within historic manuscripts written in the Malay language.  

Born in Britain and raised in Brunei, Dr. Gallop has dedicated over three decades to this unique endeavour, a feat achieved by very few. 

A group of people standing around a tableDescription automatically generated 
Showing His Majesty the Yang Dipertuan Agong some of the Malay manuscripts 
in the British Library, December 2

Dr. Gallop's Path: From Mathematics, to Malay Studies 
Initially majoring in mathematics, Dr. Gallop later earned a Master in Malay Studies and a Ph.D. on the Malay Seals.  

Her academic prowess has been acknowledged through various roles, including serving on the editorial board for the journal “Indonesia and the Malay World” and being appointed as an adjunct professor at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu. 

She also co-directed the British Academy-funded research project "Islam, Trade, and Politics across the Indian Ocean" and served on the committee of the Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the UK (ASEASUK). 

The Curator and Guardian of Malay Culture and Arts 
Dr. Gallop heads the Southeast Asia section in the Asian and African Collections of the British Library, which boasts around 10,000 printed books, journals, newspapers, and 120 manuscripts in Malay and Jawi.  

In recognition of her groundbreaking work on Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean writing traditions, book cultures, and the art of the Qur’an, Dr. Gallop was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in September 2019.  

Dr. Gallop’s current research focuses on Qur’anic art in Southeast Asia, highlighting the importance of material and cultural features in manuscripts alongside their textual content.  

Additionally, she is digitising valuable old Malay papers to make them easily accessible for those eager to learn more. Her work has reignited interest in historic Malay manuscripts, which not only hold linguistic richness but are also adorned with intricate drawings and unspoken meanings.