SEALG Annual Meeting 2009, Leiden

by Louise Pichard-Bertaux

The Annual Meeting 2009 of the SEALG was held on 10-11 July in Leiden at the Leiden University Library . With close to four million titles and 60,000 Oriental and Western manuscripts this library holds the largest collection on Humanities in Leiden. Its collection on Southeast Asia and Oceania is together with the KITLV collection the largest in the Netherlands.

Participants
Arlette Apkarian (Maison Asie-Pacifique, Marseille France)
Per Hansen (NIAS, Copenhagen Denmark)
Hao Phan (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb USA)
Doris Jedamski (University Library, Leiden Netherlands)
Rahadi Karni (formerly KITLV, Leiden Netherlands)
Sergei Kukushkin (Russian State Library, Moscow Russia)
Louise Pichard-Bertaux (Maison Asie-Pacifique, Marseille France)
Rosemary Robson (formerly KITLV, Leiden Netherlands)
Eric R. Skaaning (NIAS, Copenhagen Denmark)
Kathryn Weller (Library of Congress, Washington USA)

Apologies
Margaret Nicholson (Hull)
Nicholas Martland (British Library, London UK)
Cao Thi Lieu (Musee Guimet, Paris France)
Willem van der Molen (KITLV, Leiden Netherlands)
Sud Chonchirdsin (British Library, London UK)
Jotika Khur-Yearn (SOAS, London UK)
Annabel Gallop (British Library, London UK)
San San May (British Library, London UK)
Jana Igunma (British Library, London UK)

Friday, 10 July
After a brief get together over a cup of coffee, Doris took us around the Leiden University Library, “following the book” through the various stages - from acquisition to cataloguing/indexing - that it has to pass before it is actually placed on the bookshelf, ready to be used by the customer. It was really interesting to visit all the departments of the library, including the rare books and manuscripts room. We then went to the UB Instruction room where Doris gave a talk about the electronic resources used in the library.
After a short walk, we reached the Library of Law Faculty, which is really splendid! A new building has been erected attached to an older one (historic site), giving a great “allure” to the construction. There, we met Albert Dekker, librarian of the Van Vollenhoven Collection , who welcomed us with a short coffee break and took us on a library tour. The Van Vollenhoven Collection contains a great variety of publications in many Western languages and in Indonesian on modern and traditional non-Western law and related topics (with a traditionally grown focus on Indonesia). The holdings are kept in open stacks with the exception of a small sub-collection of colonial, partly rare material.

In the evening, we shared dinner at Annie’s Verjaadag, a great restaurant in the heart of Leiden on one of its many canals.

Saturday, 11 July
On Saturday morning, we met at Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde . Dr David Stuart-Fox showed us the collections of the museum library before we entered the museum, where we appreciated viewing the ethnographic collections.

After lunch at the restaurant Grote Beer, we proceeded to Leiden University Library for our Annual Meeting.
Three presentations were given:
Kathryn Wellen spoke about “The Library of Congress holdings pertaining to Southeast Asia”.
Hao Phan dedicated his talk to “The Southeast Asia Digital Project at Northern Illinois University”, and
Louise Pichard-Bertaux gave a detailed overview of “The Burmese collections in France”.

Following the presentations, participants gave an update of what happened at their libraries since the 2008 meeting. From Washington to Moscow, and from Copenhagen to Marseille, all the Southeast Asian collections meet the same two main problems: lack of money for accessions and lack of specialised librarians, and the librarians who retire or resign are very often not replaced.
Finally, Doris handed out the financial report for the year 2008 that was prepared by Treasurer Margaret Nicholson.

The SEALG Annual Meeting 2010 will take place in Gothenburg (Sweden) in collaboration with the EUROSEAS Conference that will be held on 26-28 August 2010.

Many thanks to Doris Jedamski for her great and perfect organisation!