O. W. Wolters

Portrait of O. W.  Wolters

Oliver William Wolters (8 June 1915, Reading, UK – 5 December 2000, Ithaca, N.Y., USA) was a British academic, historian and author who did pioneering work on the ancient Malay kingdom of Srivijaya, following the groundbreaking studies by George Coedes. He was also a Malayan civil servant and administrator for twenty years.

At his death, he was the Goldwin Smith Professor of Southeast Asian History Emeritus at Cornell University, chair he kept after retiring in 1984. Previously, he had taught at SOAS University of London. He left many essays on regional history, including "The Khmer King at Basan (1371-1373) and the Restoration of the Cambodian Chronology during the 14th and 15th Centuries" (1965).

On Srivijaya, the maritime and commercial kingdom that flourished from the 7th to the 13th centuries in the Malay Archipelago (centered on Palembang on the island of Sumatra), he published ''Early Indonesian Studies and the Origins of Srivijaya'' in 1967. In 1970, he published ''The Fall of Srivijaya in Malay History''.