Yangon heritage building to become national library
President U Htin Kyaw has approved a Yangon Heritage Trust proposal to relocate the National Library to downtown Yangon, making the national archives more accessible.
PRESIDENT U Htin Kyaw has approved a Yangon Heritage Trust proposal to relocate the National Library to downtown Yangon, making the national archives more visible and available to the public.
The books will be moved from their current location on Thiri Mingalar Yeikthar Road in Yankin township to the former Burma Oil Company headquarters on Merchant Street, after the building has been renovated by YHT.
“This will be a great step forward for the rejuvenation of the old downtown. The library will also be far more accessible to the general public,” wrote YHT chair U Thant Myint-U on the group’s Facebook page.
He thanked U Thant Thaw Kaung, chief librarian at Yangon University Central Library.
The Ministry of Energy tendered the building late last year for long-term rent. Daw Shwe Yin Mar Oo, public relations manager for YHT said she could not yet provide additional details.
State media reported on July 29 that the National Library has 172,556 books, 435,580 periodicals, 12,323 palm leaf manuscripts, 345 hand-written letters, 25,468 rare books and other literary materials.
The Global New Light of Myanmar published a brief history of the library, which has reportedly been relocated several times since independence. The Bernard Free Library was taken over by the Ministry of Culture in 1952, renamed State Library, and moved to the Jubilee Hall, it said.
It later became the National Library and moved to Pansodan Street and then to Yangon City Hall. After moving twice more, the books were temporarily housed in Tarmwe township when the building was damaged during Cyclone Nargis in 2008, they were moved again to their current location in Yankin.
A pedestrian crosses the street in front of the former Burma Oil Company headquarters on Merchant Street.