Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation

Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF) was formed in 2001 as an arm of the Myanmar Book Centre and registered as a non-governmental and non-profit foundation.

History

The Myanmar people are devoted to reading, but many lack the means to buy books from outside the country, so we formed a group of librarians, scholars and writers to help meet the needs of our countrymen. MBAPF adopted the motto: “Supplying the world knowledge” to Myanmar. Myanmar has a very good literacy rate, but unfortunately many libraries lack funds to buy foreign publications to fulfill the needs of readers. MBAPF acts as a bridge between overseas publishers, foundations and local libraries.

Myanmar Book Centre (our trading arm) is a leading book importer and distributor established in 1991, and has close relationships with various foreign publishers. Many publishers have sympathy for the Myanmar situation and donate books; moreover, since importing books is difficult, MBAPF accepts them on behalf of foreign donors from international publishers and foundations.

Objectives

MBAPF was formed with the following objectives:

  1. Assist in importing donated books and distribute them to local libraries.
  2. Develop electronic versions of books, journals and newspapers from Myanmar for distribution to local libraries in CD-Rom format and online.
  3. Preserve traditional Myanmar manuscripts, rare books and newspapers to provide free access for scholars, both local and overseas.
  4. Cooperate with overseas foundations and institutions on preservation projects and offer access via internet as well as CD-Rom format.
  5. Cooperate with overseas foundations and institutions to conduct workshops and seminars in training librarians and archivists.
  6. Cooperate with foreign donors to distribute library equipment— computers, photocopiers, scanners, & digital cameras—to local libraries.

Past Activities

  1. 1996-2001- Digitalize the complete set– Journal of Burma Research Society(1911 – 1978). This searchable database was donated to major libraries.
  2. 2001-2006 -Project for preservation and conservation of traditional Myanmar manuscripts sponsored by C-DATS and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The digital form of this five-year project is offered free access through the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies website.
  3. 2002 – Preserve “Selective works of Myanmar history, culture, archaeology and literature after Independence” funded by the Library, University of Washington, Seattle: a searchable database donated to major Myanmar libraries.
  4. 2006 – Coordinate “Symposium for Preservation and Conservation of Traditional Myanmar Manuscripts” held in Yangon, Myanmar. Ten overseas librarians and scholars from the British Library, EFEO(France), USA, Japan and 40 local scholars, archivists and librarian participated to share their knowledge. The papers were published by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies as a monograph under the title: Enriching the Past and distributed by MBAPF free of charge.
  5. 2006 Jan-June – six month project: “Continuation of Preservation and Conservation of Traditional Manuscripts,” funded the Toyota Foundation.
  6. 2006-2008 – a two-year project: “Preservation and Conservation of Traditional Myanmar manuscripts with special emphasis on Shan and Mon manuscripts.” We digitized hundreds of rare manuscripts which can be accessed online free of charge.
  7. 2007-2008 – Donate electronic databases for a one year subscription to Myanmar e-Library website, the country’s portal for online university and college libraries network.
  8. 2007-2008 – Preserve and digitize Dr. Than Tun’s collection, Myanmar’s most famous historian.
  9. 2007-2008 – Preserve by microfilming a rare newspaper collection in the Ludu Library,Mandalay.
  10. 2007-2008 – Assist Cetana Foundation [based in USA] to channel books into Myanmar which are distributed locally.
  11. 2008 – Preserving and digitizing Dr. Hla Pe’s Collection, an eminent Professor of Myanmar Language and Literature, retired from University of London. (Passed away in 2007).

Current Activities

  1. Accepting donations in kind or in cash.
  2. Importing and distributing donated books & purchase from abroad with donated money.
  3. Importing and distributing donated library supply materials, e.g. computers, scanners, digital cameras and photocopiers.
  4. Preserving books, manuscripts & providing free access via internet and CD-Roms.
  5. Arranging symposiums and workshops for library staffs, archivists and researchers.

Board Members of MBAPF

  • Dr. U Thaw Kaung Chair Member, Myanmar Historical Commission, Chief Librarian, UCL,Rtd
  • Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung Director Managing Director, Myanmar Book Centre
  • Dr. John Badgley Director Curator, (Ret.)Cornell University Library
  • U Tin Maung Lwin Member VP(Ret.) Myanmar Library Association, Librarian, YMCA
  • U Than Ohn Member Librarian, (Ret.) National Library
  • U Tin Saung Member Librarian, (Ret.)National Library
  • Dr. Aung Maw Member Director, iGroup, IT Dept.
  • Dr. May Moe Nwe Secretary Director, Myanmar Book Centre