Petition called for digitising Thai manuscripts in the National Library

A group of Thai scholars raised a petition to the National Library of Thailand to digitise the ancient manuscripts held there. The institution says that it lacks financial and human resources to undertake such work.

Scholars want ancient manuscripts to go online
Bangkok Post, 03 November 2014

Problems in gaining access to ancient manuscripts at the National Library has motivated more than 10,000 people to sign an online petition seeking to have them put online.

The government’s Fine Arts Department has cited staff shortages and limited budgets as obstacles in the way of offering online access to the manuscripts.

Fine Arts Department director-general Borvornvate Runrujee said efforts to digitise the ancient manuscripts are encountering difficulties.

“The problem stems from our lack of resources, both financial and human,” Mr Borvornvate said, adding officials are now working on an interim measure — an internal search engine that would help readers find books of manuscripts.

Mr Borvornvate was responding to a call from a group led by academic Praphatsorn Phosrithong, who on Thursday submitted the petition urging the National Library to put online the documents, particularly those originating before the era of King Rama V.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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