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Recovering Lost Gems of Myanmar’s Past: Collecting, Preserving, and Accessing Old Texts from Palm Leaves and Parabike Manuscripts
by Dr Thaw Kaung

Date: 23/10/2008
Time: 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: ARI Seminar Room, 469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Dr Maitrii Aung-Thwin & Dr Titima Suthiwan

Dr Maitrii Aung-Thwin, Department of History, National University of Singapore.

This paper explores the institutions, individuals, and contexts in which the Myanmar past has been constructed through the collection and preservation of old paper manuscripts. It will survey efforts made by colonial and post-colonial officials to identify, locate, and acquire Burmese Palm Leaves while introducing new efforts to digitize these rare and disappearing sources to the Southeast Asian past.

Thaw Kaung is a Member of the Myanmar Historical Commission and former Chief Librarian of Universities Central Library (Yangon). He chairs several national, regional, and international library/preservation committees and he is recipient of the 2005 Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize. Dr. Thaw Kaung studied at the University of London where he earned a post-graduate diploma in Librarianship. He founded the Department of Library Studies at the University of Yangon in 1971 and established a post-graduate curriculum in Library and Information studies. Dr. Thaw Kaung has published numerous books and articles in both the Burmese and in English, influencing a generation of scholars within Myanmar and abroad. Some of his notable publications include: “Preservation and Conservation Work in the Universities Central Library” (1997), “Bibliographies Compiled in Myanmar” (1998), “Post-Colonial Society and Culture: Reflections in Myanmar Novels in the last 50 Years” (1999), and “The Ramayana Drama in Myanmar” (2002).

Admission is free. We would greatly appreciate if you RSVP to Sharon Ong at Tel: 6516 8784 or Email:

Related Books:
The first published sale catalogue of Pali and Burmese manuscripts on palm leaves
Report on survey of ancient manuscripts and antiquities in Burma

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