Hikayat Hang Tuah is regarded as a Malay literary classic and a traditional Malay epic. This folk tale has been proudly recounted to generations of Malays. It is recognised as a national literary classic which is well-known not only amongst the Malays but also to the people in the Malay Archipelago. Much studies have been made on this manuscript by local and foreign researchers.
Hang Tuah is characterised as most illustrious Malay hero in Malacca and represented absolute loyalty to the ruler as the ultimate champion of Malay loyalty, chivalry and obedience to tradition. Hikayat Hang Tuah symbolises the greatness of Malacca at that time whilst projecting the bravery of the Malays.
The National Library of Malaysia has in its possession two manuscripts of Hikayat Hang Tuah, with identification number MSS 1658 and MSS 1713. The manuscripts are written on old European paper about 200 years ago. Colophon statement is distinctly absent, as is usual in the tradition of Malay manuscripts writing. To this day the author of the hikayat remains unknown. The manuscripts are being preserved in an acid-free box and kept in strong room which is designed according to the accepted standards of preservation requirements.