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New issue of SEALG Newsletter available online

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The latest issue of the SEALG Newsletter has been published recently and can now be downloaded from our group’s homepage at http://www.sealg.org/pdf/newsletter2016.pdf . Please feel free to forward the link to anyone you think may be interested in reading the newsletter.

Contents of the newsletter include:

SEALG Annual Meeting 2016, Copenhagen (report by Doris Jedamski and Holger Warnk)

Early newspapers in Burma (article by San San May)

Vietnamese manuscripts at the British Library (paper presented at the annual meeting by Sud Chonchirdsin)

The mystery of the ‘naughty monks’ in Thai manuscript illustrations of Phra Malai (article byJana Igunma)

Call for Papers: EUROSEAS Conference, Oxford 2017

Older issues of the newsletter can be downloaded freely from our homepage www.sealg.org. Feedback is always welcome by email to myself (jana.igunma AT bl.uk) which I will forward to the contributors of the newsletter.

(Jana Igunma)

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Report from the SEALG Annual Meeting 2016, Copenhagen

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The Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asia Library Group 2016 took place on 24-25 June 2016 in Copenhagen (Denmark), hosted by the Library of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS).

Participants from Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand and the United Kingdom attended this year’s meeting.

On Friday morning, 24 June, all conference participants and guests were welcomed by their host, Inga-Lill Blomkvist, NIAS Library & Information Centre, and Dr. Doris Jedamski, Chair of the Southeast Asia Library Group.

Holger Warnk opened the first panel with his paper on “Malay Islamic Publishing in Malaysia in Jawi Script”. The Arab-based Jawi script has been used for the Malay language for centuries. However, in religious publishing for pupils, students and scholars affiliated with traditional Islamic schools in Malaysia the speaker noted a drastic decline in recent years and a growing tendency toward using the Latin script instead in religious publications. Holger emphasized the urgency of collecting those diminishing publications in Jawi more systematically, as had been done by Sophia University (Tokyo).
Sud Chonchirdsin spoke on the “Vietnamese Manuscripts at the British Library”, which for obvious reasons, so he noted, were clearly outnumbered by the plentiful collections of hand-written books in Burmese or Thai kept in London but which, nonetheless, represent various historical and literary styles. Sud elaborated on the various variants in script and language of those Vietnamese books and scrolls and also analyzed the mythical animal symbolism present in the beautifully illustrated manuscripts influenced by Chinese traditions.

The second session commenced with Preedee Hongsaton and his presentation on “Thai Cremation Volumes: Precious Sources for Historical Research”. Preedee depicted the beginnings of this particular genre and further development since the l880s. Cremation volumes, limited editions of chiefly Buddhist texts, also often provide valuable biographical information on the deceased, and therefore they can form magnificent sources in the field of social history, the history of emotions, and social anthropology. Predee primarily related to his research of the rich collection of more than 4.000 titles in ca. 3.000 volumes kept in the National Library of Australia.
Jotika Khur-Yearn then presented his paper “Following the Footprints: H. J. Inman and his Remarkable Works on Shan Manuscripts at SOAS University of London”. Jotika gave an overview of the collection of Shan manuscripts at SOAS Library with a focus on two particular manuscripts that have been well researched by Captain J. H. Inham who taught Shan at SOAS between 1936 and 1948. Inham, in particular, pioneered the studies of Shan literature and manuscripts which to date have been heavily understudied.

After the lunch break [lovely Scandinavian sandwiches served at the conference venue] it was time for the last presentation. Doris Jedamski reflected on “What’s in an Archive?”. She presented fascinating examples of several recently acquired archives, both from private persons and organization and associations, still to be processed and added to the Leiden University Library collections. Among the examples were the Jager-Maasen family archive, the research archives of the scholars Hildred Geertz and Frans Hüsken, as well as the so-called Koopman-archive covering four generations of Dutch colonial power, but also the archive of the Batavia Voetbal Club (1903-1955) and its alumnis.

In the afternoon the conference participants visited the Royal Library, where the Research Librarian Bent Lerbæk Pedersen showed us a great number of treasures from the Southeast Asian manuscript collections. Among them were Batak tree-bark books (pustaha), Khmer books and Burmese manuscripts, Javanese palm leaf manuscripts (lontar) and letters to the Danish merchant-adventurer Mads Lange written by his Balinese wife on palm-leaf in Malay language. After Bent’s retirement next year, his position will most probably not be filled again. The day ended with a lovely conference dinner in the wonderfully Danish Toldbod Bodega.

On Saturday, 25 June, we were kindly allowed to hold our Annual SEALG Business Meeting at the conference venue at NIAS. Present were Inga-Lill Blomkvist, Christophe Caudron, Sud Chonshirdin, Claudia Götze-Sam, Per Hansen, Doris Jedamski, Jotika Khur-Yearn, Holger Warnk, and Gerald Jackson, who attended part of the meeting as a guest. Apologies had been received from Annabel Gallop, Jana Igunma, Mikihiro Moriyama, Margaret Nicholson, Louise Pichard-Bertaux, San San May, and Mia Nilsson.

Doris Jedamski welcomed all participants. After establishing the quorum, she presented the agenda, the minutes from the Annual Meeting 2015 in Paris, and the financial report that once again had been compiled by our treasurer Margaret Nicholson. The following item on the agenda was the election of the committee. Doris Jedamski as Chair, Holger Warnk as Vice-Chair, Margaret Nicholson as treasurer and Jotika Khur-Yearn as Secretary of SEALG were re-elected in these functions. Louise Pichard-Bertaux had informed the committee beforehand that she had decided to step down as member of the committee due to her new work situation. Christophe Caudron and Mia Nilsson (in absence) were welcomed as new members of the committee. All other committee members were confirmed. Jana Igunma, also confirmed as member of the committee, had beforehand agreed to continue her work on the SEALG Newsletter and SEALG blog with the support of other committee members.

Responding to a proposal from the well-known and experienced academic publisher NIAS Press, represented by Gerald Jackson, the long aspired and repeatedly discussed SEALG book project had been put back on the agenda. Gerald Jackson kindly joined the meeting to discuss a possible joint NIAS-SEALG project that should exceed a mere conference volume. Gerald presented his ideas to the group: the proposed book should be no erratic compilation of articles but a means to put Southeast Asian Studies and the collections back on the map. Such publication could even serve as some kind of handbook to be used for profiling several special Southeast Asian collections in relation to the world of teaching and research. For this purpose, it would be essential to bring together librarians/curators and scholars/researchers with experiences with particular Southeast Asian collections and to spark a dialogue between both parties. This dialogue could be documented in the book as well. A first ‘brainstorming’ could take the form of a panel at the EUROSEAS conference 2017 in Oxford. Questions to be raised might include: What is collecting, how does it change (Jedamski)? What are the sources or materials, how are these items used (Caudron)? How does in the age of information science the use of sources change and effect research (Caudron)? What kind of sources will survive – both physical and digital (Jackson)? Furthermore Gerald raised the question what audience the proposed book should address: should it be an academic book or a kind of source book? He mentioned the option to think of an additional series with volumes focusing on one particular region at a time. The reactions covered both enthusiasm and apprehension; in particular practical aspects were brought forward: Who will do the extra-load of work that it will take to put together such a book? How to cover the various regions equally? Is this kind of publication really necessary – aren’t there enough other platforms to promote our collections/activities.
It was agreed to set up a group that should look into the possibilities of organizing a EUROSEAS panel in preparation for the proposed publication. A tentative title will be needed soon but could not be formulated as yet. Gerald agreed to contact a couple of scholars who might be interested, so did Christophe Chaudron, Doris Jedamski and Holger Warnk. Doris and Holger announced already their willingness to be members of the steering group.

The meeting continued with the reports from the participants. Many members rendered somber news all related to budget cutbacks and extensive workload. However, there were also proud reports of successfully completed projects as well as new initiatives:

Inga-Lill Blomkvist reported on the long-term effects that the drastic changes of the recent years have brought about: The fusion of the NIAS collection with the University Library has more or less anonymized the NIAS collection. For scholars visiting NIAS, the change of location results in time-consuming travelling, the reduction of staff has made it more difficult to support and facilitate research activities. However, Inga-Lill has accepted the challenge and expressed her keen interest to expand the digital collections of NIAS.
Christophe Caudron provided an overview of the IrASIA and CREDO libraries in Maison Asie-Pacifique in Marseille. Serving two universities, his library faces various challenges. As in many other libraries space for books might become a problem soon.
Claudia Götze-Sam announced the good news that their application to the Specialized Application Services provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DfG) has been successful. Together with their partners from the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg this special budget will secure the acquisition of books on and from Southeast Asia for the coming years. Moreover, Claudia told us about the special training programmes that have been introduced for their library users.
Holger Warnk informed the group that in May 2016 an electronic loan system was finally introduced at the Library of Southeast Asian Studies at Frankfurt. This new loan system allows for inter-librarian loan. The integration of the OPAC of the former Asia House Library is still delayed due to severe technical problems. Furthermore, Holger evaluated last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, in particular the performance of its Special Guest of Honour, Indonesia.
Per Hansen mentioned dramatic budget cuts which might lead to the dismissal of numerous colleagues. He also gave a short account of the acquisition policies, which strikingly enough exclusively allows the Asian Studies collections to buy printed materials, unfortunately on Social Sciences only.
Jotika Khur-Yearn reported that the SOAS Jubilee in 2016 will see the opening of a new building for the school in September 2016 which then will also include several exhibitions. SOAS Library has carried out several cooperations with British Library, e.g. in digitalization projects. However, SOAS Library has also faced budget cuts, which will affect staff members, but not the acquisition of books.
Sud Chonchirdsin provided a summary of the latest developments at British Library. The retro-cataloguing of the old card catalogue of books in vernacular languages will be continued as well as the digitization of Southeast Asian manuscripts. The new Asia-Africa Blog of the library has attracted a great many visitors and apparently had quite some impact on the website. Finally, it is now allowed for users to use their own cameras in the reading rooms.
Doris Jedamski informed the group about the progress of the Asia Library at Leiden University which will formally opened in September 2017. This achievement will be celebrated with an “Asia Year” in 2017 in the city of Leiden and beyond. The large-scale preparations are ongoing and very time-consuming. Apart from a book publication, there are three exhibitions planned for 2017, all involving the South and Southeast Asian collections. Massive retro-cataloguing projects have started and parts of the collection are being digitized. At the same time the UB Leiden has chosen to introduce various new programmes, for instance ALMA, MARC 21, or Islandora. On top of that, the website is also entirely renewed.

The next item on the agenda was the SEALG Meeting 2017. It was agreed that an effort will be made to organize next year’s meeting once again as a panel of the EUROSEAS Conference, which will take place in Oxford, on 15-18 August 2017. The deadline for the submission of panel proposals has not been announced yet on the EUROSEAS website. A SEALG proposal will be put together as soon as possible. We hope again to attract participants and audience from both the library and the scholarly world.
Leiden was mentioned as an option for a joint SEALG-SAALG conference in 2018.
The discussion on possible SEALG fund raising has been postponed again due to lack of time, but shall be put on the agenda for the committee meeting in 2017.

Concluding the meeting, and on behalf of Jana Igunma, Doris briefly reported on the SEALG weblog and forwarded Jana’s appeal to all members to send in contributions.

Concluding this report, our thanks go to Inga-Lill Blomkvist and her team from NIAS for the perfect organization of a wonderful meeting!

Doris Jedamski, Holger Warnk

Presentation at the SEALG Annual Meeting at NIAS, Copenhagen

Presentation at the SEALG Annual Meeting at NIAS, Copenhagen

Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asia Library Group 2016

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Copenhagen, 24-25 June 2016

You are cordially invited to participate in the SEALG Annual Meeting 2016 to be held in collaboration with the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen from June 24 to 25, 2016.

As in the years before, the SEALG Meeting combined with a one-day-conference will be a fabulous opportunity to meet with colleagues from all over Europe (and possibly beyond). We all encounter similar problems in this rapidly changing world of libraries and archives. SEALG hopes to stimulate the exchange of information among Southeast Asian librarians, to strengthen the network and to help facilitate our everyday work.

Participation in the SEALG Annual Meeting offers SEALG members also the opportunity to present their original work and/or to report about projects and initiatives from their institutions. Apart from librarians we also wish to encourage scholars to contribute to the conference with a presentation or a research paper focussing on library collections (for more information please see the attached Call for Papers). Hence, please forward this invitation to researchers who might be interested in attending the SEALG meeting/conference.

The SEALG Annual Meeting including the conference part will take place at:

NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at University of Copenhagen, City Campus, Bld 18, 1, fl., Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen

In preparation of the SEALG Annual Meeting 2016, we invite proposals for papers on any theme relating to collections, archives and the library work as well as recent developments in the field of South East Asian Studies.

A paper presentation should not exceed 30 minutes (including time for questions/discussion). Paper abstracts should be no more than 200 words and must include a title, author’s name and affiliation, as well as contact details.

Please submit your paper proposal including abstract to Inga-Lill M Blomkvist not later than by 31 May 2016. We encourage submissions from library and archive staff as well as from scholars and graduate students.

Publication of a paper will be possible in the SEALG Newsletter which is online at www.sealg.org.

For more information, please contact either Inga-Lill Blomkvist or Doris Jedamski .

Map of the venue of the SEALG annual meeting 2016 in Copenhagen

Map of the venue of the SEALG annual meeting 2016 in Copenhagen

New issue of SEALG Newsletter available online

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The latest issue of the SEALG Newsletter (2015) has been published and is now available online at http://www.sealg.org/pdf/newsletter2015.pdf .

Included in the Newsletter is the report of our group’s Annual Meeting that took place in July 2015 in Paris. This Annual Meeting was the second successful collaborative conference with the South Asia Archive and Library Group whom we owe a debt of gratitude. The theme of the conference “The French Connection – with South and Southeast Asia” gave us the opportunity to look at Southeast Asian materials from a different angle.

In addition to a detailed report from our Annual Meeting in Paris, the new issue of the Newsletter contains the following articles:

Under the Eyes of French Adventurers: Social Conditions of the Upper Mekong Region in the 1860s (Jotika Khur-Yearn, SOAS, University of London)

Archives about Indochina in the National Overseas Archives (ANOM) (Olivia Pelletier and Isabelle Dion, Centre des Archives nationales d’outre-mer (ANOM), Aix-en-Provence)

French Studies of Nusantara: A Glance from Russia (Liubov Goriaeva, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

Indonesia calling! Crowdsourcing catalogue records for the British Library’s Indonesian collection (Annabel Teh Gallop, British Library, London)

Previous issues of the Newsletter in electronic format are available on the SEALG homepage.

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SEALG Annual Meeting 2014 – report online

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Our group’s annual meeting took place on 27-28 June in Frankfurt, Germany, in collaboration with Goethe University Library. It was an amazing and well organised event with participants from nine countries. Eleven papers were presented covering various areas of Southeast Asian librarianship, including manuscript studies and conservation, special collections and the use of primary sources, old and new, for academic research. The full report with all details of the annual meeting can be found on the SEALG homepage under “Meetings”.

Following our election, which takes place bi-annually, we welcome Doris Jedamski (Leiden University Library) as Chair of SEALG, Holger Warnk (Goethe University Library, Frankfurt) as Vice-Chair of SEALG, and Jotika Khur-Yearn (SOAS, London) as Secretary of SEALG. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate all of them and wish them success in their new positions. At the same time, I would like to thank all SEALG members for their trust and support for the past nine years during which I was chairing the group. I am also thanking Louise Pichard-Bertaux and Doris Jedamski who supported me as Secretary and Vice-Chair of SEALG in recent years. I think we have made some achievements that we all can be very proud of, and I am confident that Doris, Holger and Jotika will continue the good work.

I will continue to edit the SEALG Newsletter and make contributions to this blog as well. In this context, I would like to invite you to send me news from your institutions, projects, conference announcements, or job advertisements if you think these are relevant to our work. For the Newsletter, we are always looking for contributions, either articles related to your work or to Southeast Asian librarianship in general.

(Jana Igunma)

 

SEALG Annual Meeting 2014 – Update

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Frankfurt (Germany), 27-28 June 2014

The Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asia Library Group 2014 will be organised in collaboration with the Library of Southeast Asian Studies at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main (Germany).
The meeting will take place on 27-28 June 2014 at the Goethe-University’s Bockenheim Campus and will include a Southeast Asian Studies Library tour with access to the closed stacks, as the library is affiliated with the main University Library.

Programme

There will be presentations of papers on library and archive related issues by SEALG members and guest speakers.

Starting on Friday 27 June at 9 a.m., there will be four sessions on that day with nine speakers presenting their papers on a variety of topics.  A tour of the University Library with a visit to the closed stacks will also take place on the same day.

On Saturday 28 June, we will begin at 9:30 a.m. with one final session that accommodates three more speakers.  This will be followed by the Annual General Meeting including our bi-annual election of committee members, which is due this year.

Click here to download the CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

For further details and registration, please contact:

Holger Warnk
J.W.Goethe-University, Southeast Asian Studies,
Senckenberganlage 31, 60325 Frankfurt/M, Germany
Phone & fax: 0049-69-798-28445
Email: h.warnk AT em.uni-frankfurt.de

Frankfurt historical town centre

Frankfurt historical town centre

New issue of SEALG Newsletter online

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The latest issue of the SEALG Newsletter  is now online on the SEALG homepage.

It contains a variety of articles – most of them had been presented at our Annual Meeting last year in Lisbon, which we used to convene a panel on “Digging up hidden (re)-sources: The changing roles of libraries and archives in Southeast Asian Studies” at the 7th EUROSEAS Conference in Lisbon. You will find the details about this panel in the report about our Annual Meeting on page 2 of the Newsletter. You will also find information about our upcoming Annual Meeting 2014 which will take place in June 2014 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. As usual, the meeting is open not only to librarians and area specialists but also archivists, students and members of the research commmunity

Contents of the SEALG Newsletter 2013:
● SEALG Annual Meeting 2013 Report (Jana Igunma)
● Identifying and collecting primary sources of information in the archives and libraries in England, New Zealand, United States and Singapore to reconstruct the details of daily lives and activities of the civilian internees at the Changi Prison and Sime Road Camp during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, 1942-1945 – issues and challenges (Peng Han Lim)
● Accessing Malay manuscripts worldwide through ICT (Wan Ali Wan Mamat)
● Commoners in traditional Vietnamese society – accounts from late 19th and early 20th century records (Sud Chonchirdsin)
The importance of primary source materials with special reference to the Buddhist manuscripts of Thailand (Yohei Shimizu)
Roles of the Thai Library association in the development of Thai libraries, librarianship and library cooperation (Prachark Wattananusit)
British Library’s Malay Manuscripts Digitisation Project (Annabel Teh Gallop)
Announcement SEALG Annual Meeting 2014

Former issues of the Newsletter are also available online via our homepage (click on “Newsletter”).

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