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Preliminary Papers 8: Cultural Heritage/Social Informatics
Time: 24/Mar/2017: 3:30pm-5:00pm · Location: Yangtze

Community involvement in the Management of Palm Leaf Manuscripts as Lanna Cultural Material in Thailand

Piyapat Jarusawat, Andrew Cox, Jo Bates

The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

The Lanna region in Upper Northern Thailand has a distinct cultural heritage, one of the most important aspects of which are palm leaf manuscripts. These are seen at one and the same time as forms of sacred writing, containers of cultural knowledge, religious symbols, beautiful artefacts, products of particular cultural traditions and fragile historical documents. Libraries may have an important role to play in managing the collections of such cultural material (Becvar & Srinivasan, 2009; Jory, 2000). Yet following the management practices of developed countries may be inappropriate (Kreps, 2005). Participatory models of collection suggest that information professionals should encourage local people to participate in collection management to meet their needs (Shilton & Srinivasan, 2007). The aim of the study is to develop a model of community-based collection development for palm leaf manuscripts, by exploring the views of community members and experts. Semi-structured interviews, participant observation and photographic inventory (Collier & Collier, 1986) were used as methods in this research.

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