MYANMAR Writers and Journalists Association has unveiled plans
to open a digital research library devoted to the history of Myanmar
literature by the end of the year.
The library will be named in honour of writer and journalist
U Htin Gyi (U Tin Maung), who died in January 2004 after devoting
his life to studying Myanmar literature, said U Myo Thant (Maung
Hsu Shin), a member of the association’s executive committee
and an advisor to the Ministry of Information.
He said the library, estimated to cost K3 million, would be
opened on the second floor of the Sarpay Beikman Literary Bureau
on Merchant Street.
U Myo Thant said U Htin Gyi’s family donated K600,000
in initial funding for the project.
“We would welcome further donations to help fund the installation
of computers at the library,” said U Myo Thant.
“The idea for the library came from U Htin Gyi’s
hobby of collecting information about the history of our literature,”
The Tekkatho Htin Gyi research library will help association
members to gather information about Myanmar literature from the
20th century to the present time, U Myo Thant said.
The library would also benefit other researchers, such as students
studying for a Diploma of Library Sciences who wanted to write
a biography of a prominent author.
Information on the library’s computer database would comprise
U Htin Gyi’s extensive collection of material and include
biographies and photographs of writers, journalists, poets and
cartoonists as well as newspaper and magazine clippings.
U Htin Gyi (U Tin Maung) received a National Literary Award
in 1992 for his book on the history of the press in Myanmar. It
was one of many literary honours he received that included a SEA
Write Award in 2001.
He also compiled examples of English usage and published them
in a bilingual book which is a commonly used reference by Myanmar
journalists and translators.
During his career, U Htin Gyi served as the director of the
Sarpay Beikan Literary Bureau from 1964 to 1976 and as secretary
of the Literary Workers’ Association from 1976 to 1981.
He was appointed a full-time member of the Myanmar Language Commission
in 1985 and became a part-time member of the Myanmar Historical
Commission in 1991.
The decision to establish the library was made at a meeting
of the association held at Traders hotel on September 19.
After the library has been established, the association plans
to use its database to compile a reference work on Myanmar’s
literary history which will be published in Myanmar and English.