Following decades of civil war and the targeted destruction of its educational resources, Cambodia faces a crisis in the preservation of its literary heritage. In this context, where access to books is almost non-existent, and public libraries are only available to the Cambodian public in the capital Phnom Penh, the CKS began to build a library collection specializing in Cambodian and Southeast Asian history and culture. Since it opened in 2001, the CKS Library has seen its collection grow from a few hundred to over 14,000 titles. With a very modest budget allocation, the CKS Library owes its development to the dynamism of its Cambodian team and to the generosity of individual donors. Situated in Wat Damnak, a living Buddhist monastery in the heart of Siem Reap, the Library is the largest public academic library in Cambodia outside of Phnom Penh, and the second most important for the social sciences and humanities in the whole country.
Our collection, managed by two CKS-trained Cambodians, serves as an invaluable information resource to scholars and researchers from Cambodia and overseas, local students, monks and the general public. The Library is open to everyone, free of charge, from Monday through Saturday. The majority of Cambodian visitors are high school teachers and students, researchers, Buddhist monks and professional tour guides. Young Cambodians drop by daily and read alongside international scholars and researchers.
Our journal collection has expanded to include, among others: KambujaSoriya, Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient, Aséanie, Asian Perspectives and the journals of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization’s Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA) and the Siam Society. The collection also contains unique out-of-print publications from local and overseas libraries, a wide selection of M.A. and Ph.D. dissertations from overseas universities and research papers by Cambodian university students and CKS Fellows. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, maps, guidebooks and daily national newspapers in English, French and Khmer are also available for reference. We offer public computers with internet access and a performing arts media station featuring traditional Cambodian music.
The CKS Library has been elected as a member of the Consortium on Research Material on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA) in the United States and is the first library in Southeast Asia elected to membership in the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).
The CKS library provides free access to JSTOR on CKS premises for it’s Senior Fellows. If you are a Senior CKS Fellow and would like to access JSTOR please email: email@example.com or to visit the Login page CLICK HERE
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