Skip to main content

Preserve the Asia Collection at the National Library of Australia

Statement of AMSEAS concerning the National Library of Australia Asia Collection

The Association of Mainland Southeast Asian Studies (AMSEAS) Council and its members are deeply concerned at the news that the National Library of Australia (NLA) is closing its Asian Collections Reading Room and may be considering ceasing its future acquisitions of works on mainland Southeast Asia.

AMSEAS is evidence of the fact that there is a large and growing community of around 400 hundred scholars in universities around Australia working on mainland Southeast Asia research. Since the opening up of Myanmar in 2011, there has been a boom in Burma/Myanmar Studies in Australia. The opening up of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam since the 1990s has led to a similar increase in teaching and research on these countries in Australia. Thailand has a longer history of openness and consequently one of the largest numbers of academics and postgraduate students working on that country. Another important growth area for mainland Southeast Asian Studies in Australia is postgraduate students from mainland Southeast Asia countries. The rapid growth in the numbers of international students in Australian universities over the last two decades includes many students from these countries.

The NLA’s Asia Collection is home to a world class collection on mainland Southeast Asian Studies and includes a Burmese, Cambodia, Thai, Vietnamese and Lao collection. The specialist staff in the Asian collection are essential to the maintenance and expansion of the collection, and offer outstanding support to users of the collection.

AMSEAS strongly supports the maintenance of the Asian Collections, particularly the collections on mainland Southeast Asia. We would also encourage any of our members to write to the Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres or show their support for the Asian Collections online (@nlagovau, #preserveAsianCollections).

Popular posts from this blog

The impact of Covid-19 on research

Covid-19 is currently disrupting academic publishing in a number of ways.  There are disruptions to the global supply chain for the manufacture and distribution of printed journals. The following publishers have halted journal printing until further notice: Cambridge University Press (from 25 March 2020) Taylor & Francis (from 10 April) S ome journal editors or editing boards have suspended or delayed the review or publication process for academic journals.  On the other hand, some publishers are providing open access content for a limited period of time. See the following links from the UNSW library  and the  ANU library , or select publishers websites such as  OUP .  The University of California Press has opened free access to all its journals until the end of June 2020 Hart Publishing is currently offering free access for libraries to its online platform,  Bloomsbury Collections , until the end of May. To enable access for your institution, email Hart at O

Access to Justice and Administrative Law in Myanmar

Administrative law is an important part of access to justice because it can operate as a check and balance on government decision-making, and provide an avenue for individuals to seek review of government decisions. In a report sponsored by USAID and TetraTech for their 'Promoting the Rule of Law in Myanmar' program, I emphasise the importance of administrative law in Myanmar in promoting good governance, accountability and checks on executive power.  The main avenue for judicial review of administrative action in Myanmar is the constitutional writs under the 2008 Constitution. Since 2011, a large number of applications for the constitutional writs have been brought to the Supreme Court. The Writ Procedure Law 2014 was introduced to clarify the Supreme Court procedure for handling writ cases. The constitutional writs are a new area of law and support needs to be provided to a range of legal actors in order to take hold of the potential opportunity this provides.  Ef

Professional Legal Education in Commercial and Corporate Law in Myanmar

Dr Melissa Crouch and Associate Professor Lisa Toohey of UNSW Law Faculty are undertaking a Professional Legal Education Project in Commercial and Corporate law in Myanmar (2016-2017), funded by the Asian Development Bank.  Melissa Crouch is the Team leader and Legal Education and Myanmar Law expert. Lisa Toohey is the Legal Education and Commercial Law expert on the project.  Emma Dunlop is the Legal Researcher and Project administrator. Melissa Crouch at the USC Strategic Action Plan meeting 2016 The focus of the project is on improving legal education and skills integral to the transactional practice and adjudication of commercial law, at this critical time in Myanmar's transition to democracy. The project includes developing a training program for the practical legal training needs of private lawyers, government lawyers, prosecutors and judges in commercial and financial law.  Melissa, Lisa and Melinda with law students from Dagon University In 2016, the first stag