Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Project Gutenberg of Burmese History

Important European historical sources for the history of Burma (1400-1600) have been published online recently by Dr. Michael Charney, lecturer in Burmese history at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. This project follows in the footsteps of the longstanding Project Gutenberg which publishes classic books with expired copyrights online making them available to people all over the world for free via the internet. For more information see Wikipedia's article on Project Gutenberg.

A recent edition of Dr. Charney's new journal The SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research includes several early descriptions of Burma written by European adventurers. These sources are important because they can be used to verify historical details in indigenous Burmese language historical chronicles. Also see Gaspero Balbi's writing which was included in a previous issue.