Justin McDaniel Works to Build Digital Library of Ancient Thai Manuscripts

April 1, 2016

Justin McDaniel, professor and chair of the religious studies department, along with the National Library of Laos, has launched the Digital Library of Northern Thai Manuscripts, bringing thousands of ancient manuscripts out of monastic temples and making them available as open source material online.

The digital library contains images of approximately 5,000 manuscripts of ancient Thai literature, codes of law and history, which can be searched and viewed online or downloaded for free at lannamanuscripts.net. More materials with related resources from the region will be added to build the database out to more than 7,000 manuscripts. 

McDaniel is principle investigator for the project, working with the National Library team in Thailand led by Harald Hundius, David Wharton and Bounleut Thammachak.

“This is a huge project to preserve, make accessible, catalogue and scan the entire corpus of Northern Thai manuscripts,” McDaniel says. “Anyone from students and researchers to monks and nuns can now read this preserved literature of an entire people.”

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