Collection Development Policy
The National Library maintains a physical collection of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, music, music instruments, maps, manuscripts and unpublished works. It is also committed to building its digital collections to make them more accessible to a wider audience.
Click here to view or download a copy of this policy.
- NLL digitised collection of Lao palm leaf manuscripts http://www.laomanuscripts.net/en/index
- NLL digitised collection of Lao traditional music http://www.seasite.niu.edu/lao/
- NLL digitised collection of Lao images from the French Indochina period
There are more EResources located in EResources.
The Library’s book collection includes Lao language books as well as collections in English, French, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and Russian. The development of the Lao language book collection is one of the highest priorities for the National Library.
The reference collection totals more than 5000 monographs and serials. These publications are predominately in English with a small number in Lao language.
The Children’s book collection includes Lao Language picture books as well as a range of foreign language picture books in English, French, Thai and Japanese. The priority for the Library continues to be building the Children’s Lao language collection but it is open to accepting donations of foreign language children’s books, especially English language.
Palm Leaf (Bailan) Collection
The National Library has a collection of more than 1500 palm leaf manuscripts with some dating back more than 400 years. They appear in up to four scripts including Tham, and nine languages including Lao and Pali. These manuscripts provide a unique insight of Lao traditional knowledge covering subjects ranging from law, medicine, philosophy and religion to folk tales.
Traditional Music Collection
The National Library established the Archives of Traditional Music in Laos (ATML) in 1999. This project has created a collection of more than 3000 audio recordings, nearly 100 hours of video recordings as well as photographs, interviews, transcripts, drawings, music instruments and interviews from twenty five different ethnic groups across Laos.
In addition, the Library maintains a collection of more than 900 LP records of international contemporary music and speeches by public figures from Soviet era and a selection of contemporary Lao music in both analogue and digital formats.
Indochina Rare Book Collection
The National Library maintains a collection of more than 4000 rare books and journals from the French Indochina period (circa 1870s – 1954). These books and journals are predominantly in French and include a large number of photographs, lithographs and illustrations. This collection provides a rare and unique insight into life in Laos during the colonial period.
The library has a collection of more than 200 maps, plans and diagrams relating to Laos, its provinces and the city of Vientiane with some dating back to French colonial period (pre 1955).