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EFEO Workshop on Academic Materials Pertaining to Southeast Asia, Chiang Mai July 2017

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More and more publications are being published worldwide. The last surveys show that within the 50 countries that publish the most, 5 are from Southeast Asia: #17 – Vietnam (24000+), #18 – Indonesia (24000+), #23 – Malaysia (18000+), #30 – Thailand (13000+), #35 – Singapore (12000+). Materials are being published, but are not necessarily easily accessible, for various reasons: small publishing company, small research center publishing its bulletin in a very small number of issues, geographical complexity, absence of bookstores that can cover an entire country/region, etc.

Furthermore, the process of building trust and cooperation with local partners can take a very long time. We all have our own connections and networks, but they might not cover all of Southeast Asia.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together all the actors concerned with Academic materials pertaining to Southeast Asia – publishers, librarians, scholars – to discuss how we could enhance access to these materials.

This workshop is planned to take place on 19 July 2017, just after the International Conference on Thai Studies (16-18 July) and before ICAS 10 (20-23 July) at the EFEO centre in Chiang Mai (École française d’Extrême-Orient, 131 Charoen Prathet Road, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand). A library tour could be organized for those interested.

Tentative Agenda:

9:30: introduction

10:00 – 12:00: roundtable

12:15 – 13:30: lunch break

14:00 – 17:00: small group discussions on area subjects and e-resources

17:30: wrap up

For details and registration please contact Antony Boussemart at antony.boussemartATefeo.net.

 

Digital Humanities for Asian and African Texts – report from a workshop

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On 6 June, 2016, a one-day workshop dedicated to the theme “Digital Humanities for Asian and African Texts” took place at SOAS, London, which was attended by approximately 40 participants from a variety of UK and European institutions.

The first session focused on digitisation projects and the scholarly use of such projects for research and teaching. The first presenter, Erich Kesse (SOAS Library, with Christine Wise) spoke on “Current digital projects at SOAS and future plans for Asian and African texts” and gave an overview of a variety of digitisation projects carried out by SOAS Library, which by now have made approximately 18,000 items available online. He highlighted certain aspects of technical requirements, cataloguing and standards, metadata and coding, funding, commercial partnerships and co-operation with SOAS exhibitions.

Lars Lamaan (SOAS) and Fresco Sam-Sin (Leiden University) presented a paper on “Manchu online study and research environment: from scrum to crowd sourcing” and explained the importance of Manchu sources for historical research and the significance of transliteration, translation and annotation tools in digital manuscript/text collections. Fresco Sam-Sin also demonstrated his digital research and learning platform Manc.hu that is used as a collaborative online classroom for university students.

Almut Hintze (SOAS) followed with a talk on “The multimedia Yasna”, a project that deals with a Zoroastrian ritual of the Parsi community in India in which the oral tradition of memorising texts plays a more important role than the written tradition. The aim of the project is to learn more about the oral texts used in this ritual by recording the performance, editing the recording, transcription and transliteration of texts, creation of metadata and finally provision of online and print editions.

Dmitry Bondarev (SOAS/University of Hamburg) gave an introduction to “Old Kanembu Islamic manuscripts: digital collection, archive, database?”, a project that aims to enable more and better linguistic research into Kanembu Islamic manuscripts found in West Africa, particularly the comparison of different versions of texts.

Jody Butterworth (British Library) presented an overview of the British Library’s “The Endangered Archives Programme: digitising vulnerable material around the world”. The priority of this project is to preserve material that is under threat due to natural disasters or political conflicts – not only manuscripts, but also newspapers, photographs, audio-visual material, family archives etc. – and to make it available online for research. The project has worked with over 290 partners in 80 countries.

The second session emphasized concepts and methods of Digital Humanities for Asian and African Studies. The first speaker in this session, David Beavan (UCL) presented “A Beginners guide to Digital Humanities”, giving an overview of the general steps digitisation, transcription and analysis involved in digitisation projects for scholarly research. He gave advice on project planning, transcription softwares, as well as quantitative methods for analysis.

Nora McGregor (British Library) spoke about “Doing digital research at the British Library with Asian and African Collections” and her involvement in various initiatives of the library’s Digital Research Team which include Big Data creation, Crowdsourcing, PhD placements, Digital Scholarship, training programmes for library staff etc.

Finally, Chris Dillon (UCL) presented a paper on “Community sourcing and non-Latin scripts” in connection with his project Bridge to China, a free online grammar of Mandarin, that was created by community sourcing.

The workshop was a great opportunity to meet people working in various areas of Asian and African Studies who, at the same time, are also engaging with Digital Humanities. The presenters demonstrated how long-standing research traditions can be linked with newly emerging methods and technologies, new perspectives and research practices.

16th General Conference of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL) XVI

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Bangkok, 11-13 June 2015

The 16th General Conference of CONSAL is one of the regular activities conducted by the host country of the CONSAL Meeting.

From 11-13 June 2015, the National Library of Thailand in cooperation with the Thai Library Association will be hosting the 16th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XVI). The Congress will be convened at BITEC (Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre) in Bangkok, Thailand. The Conference theme is “ASEAN Aspirations: Libraries for Sustainable Advancement”. There will be numerous paper presentations on library and librarians issues from CONSAL country members in the conference. This is an excellent opportunity for networking between Southeast Asian libraries and librarians.

For more information, registration, programme, keynote speakers and important dates, please view the conference homepage.

Bangkok, Chulalongkorn University campus

Bangkok, Chulalongkorn University campus

Job vacancy at SOAS Library

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An opportunity has arisen for a senior professional with a strong Library or Archives background to help lead as Assistant Director the Research Library Services division at the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. The division is supported by about 35 professional librarians, archivists and cataloguers, and the Assistant Director will have strategic and operational responsibility for Collection Management, Collection Development, Archives, Special Collections, Teaching and Research Support, and Library Digital Services.

The SOAS Library is designated by HEFCE as the UK National Research Library for Asia, Africa and the Middle East, alongside four other designated NRLs (Cambridge, LSE, Manchester, Oxford). The SOAS Library is a member of Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and carries a number of obligations to collect and hold material on behalf of the nation, making this material available to a wide constituency of UK and internationally-based researchers. The SOAS Library is part of the SOAS Library & Information Services Directorate, which is organised as three divisions: Customer Services & Operations; Information Systems; Research Library Services.

The closing date for job applications is the 19th of September, 2014.

Full details and guidance for applicants can be found on the SOAS homepage.

Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship at National Library of Singapore

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The National Library of Singapore is inviting applicants for the 2014 Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow program. The program started in 2005 and is into its 9th year. The Fellowship aims to facilitate new research and publishing about Singapore and Southeast Asian culture, economy and heritage. This will enrich the Asia-centric collections and resources of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library at the National Library of Singapore. Talented scholars and researchers are encourage to use the Library’s resources and services, and to collaborate with them on joint research projects to create new knowledge. The LKC Research Fellowship will be offered to individuals interested in suggested fields of research identified by the Library.

Who Can Apply?
The LKC Research Fellowship is open to both local and foreign applicants who are able to undertake prescribed research topics that raise awareness of our collections. Successful applicants should have scholarly and research credentials or its equivalent. Applicants could be curators, historians, academics or independent researchers who should preferably have an established record of achievement in their chosen field of research and the potential to excel further.

Research Area
Preference is given to research in the following areas, for 2014:

• Early Printing & Publishing: Singapore’s role in early printing – Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English publications including works of Mission Press, private publishers, government printing offices, etc. / Works before 1950s
• Early Printing & Publishing: Malay manuscripts and early printed books – Early works on Malay literature
• Early maps: Study of early maps and navigational charts on early Singapore and the region – Notable collection of Parry Maps acquired by the library in 2012 / Early Singapore and regional maps
• National Literature / Literary Arts: Voices of Singapore Literary Arts writers (or any art genres) post 1965  – Literature /  literary works on Singapore writers

Terms of the Award
The award of the Fellowship is for a period of six months and is subject to renewal if necessary. Fellows may not hold a concurrent fellowship or propose a research area which he has already completed his research for a masters or a doctoral thesis. The research fellow should not hold a concurrent employment or other fellowships simultaneously with the Lee Kong Chian Fellowship.

A stipend of up to a maximum of S$2,000 per month will be provided to help LKC Research Fellows meet living expenses, local transportation and photocopying expenses. In addition to the stipend, overseas Fellows will be provided with the following on a case-by-case basis:
a. One-time relocation package for Research Fellows to Singapore of up to a maximum of S$1,500. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if the lowest prevailing market rates for airfares still exceed the above capped amounts at time of purchase
b. Monthly accommodation allowance of up to a maximum of S$2,500 subject to market rates and approval from the Selection Committee

Application closes on 25 Jul 2014. Instructions on how to apply and other details about the Fellowship can be found on the homepage of the National Library Board Singapore.

Thai manuscripts at the Royal Asiatic Society, London

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The Royal Asiatic Society London is pleased to announce that its small collection of Thai manuscripts is now searchable on its online catalogue.

The subject of the texts is very varied, ranging from Thai law, history and literature, to Buddhism, herbal medicine, proverbs and fortune telling. All but one of the manuscripts is in the form of a folding book and most date from the 19th century. Some are unfortunately only single volumes from multi-volume texts. Several of the manuscripts were given to the Society in the 1940’s by H. G. Quaritch Wales, and the rest came from various donors.

RAS MS 10A f6 (Courtesy of Royal Asiatic Society)

RAS MS 10A f6 (Courtesy of Royal Asiatic Society)

To see catalogue records for the manuscripts, go to http://ras.libertyasp.co.uk/library/Home.do and search for ‘Thai manuscripts’. Visitors are very welcome to view the manuscripts in the library. The Library page of the RAS web site at www.royalasiaticsociety.org has details of access arrangements.

More details about the Thai manuscripts collection at the Royal Asiatic Society and many other interesting collection items and events can be found on the RAS Blog.

 

Important news about the KITLV – Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology

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As of July 1st, 2014 the care of the collections of the KITLV will be transferred to the Leiden University Library (UBL). All books, periodicals, archives, photographs, maps and print collections etc. will be moved to the UBL buildings – situated just opposite the present location of KITLV. The acquisition of books and periodicals will in future be a task of the UBL, a steering committee consisting of representatives of the UBL, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and KITLV will oversee consistency.
The present reading room of KITLV will close on the date mentioned but it is hoped that about a week later requests for books, periodicals etc. can be fulfilled at the UBL building. A separate reading room for KITLV is planned and current periodicals and manuals will be available there. Within a few years the UBL plans to open an Area Studies Library with its own reading room, in which KITLV will be incorporated.
A large part of the present library staff of KITLV will have to be made redundant, the remaining staff will be employed by the UBL.
KITLV will continue as a research institute of the KNAW, located on the Leiden campus.
The management of KITLV’s Jakarta office will be taken over by the UBL. It will maintain its functions of acquiring books and periodicals published in Indonesia and of supporting the research institute.
These developments are in consequence of a retrenchment-, reorganization- and relocation- operation by KITLV’s parent organization, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam.

[Reported by RS Karni]

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