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ASEAN Digital Libraries Initiative

The Handa Center is working with the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) and university partners in the ASEAN region to build an ASEAN Digital Library with information by and about the ASEAN region. The ASEAN Digital Library will leverage state of the art digital library and information technologies in the world and bring together information that is currently scattered or inaccessible, on topics of importance spanning the ASEAN member nations. The platform will operate in seven major Southeast Asian languages and encompass ASEAN-wide and member state publications, as well as datasets and academic and other literature related to science, technology, business, politics, economy, culture, and society. The ADL will utilize the most advanced search and collaborative digital research technologies developed by SUL. This collection is envisioned to be a resource for global, regional, and national users in government, civil society and academia, as well as an important educational tool. It will also build the capacity of ASEAN libraries to collect, manage and provide access to these materials in an ongoing way. 

ASEAN has entered a phase of increasing regional collaboration, particularly in the economic sphere, through the creation of a single market (the ASEAN Economic Community) as well as in cooperation on cross-border regional issues not directly related to trade and investment. Such issues include huge challenges facing the region, such as migration, human trafficking, climate, environment, developing legal frameworks, promoting science and technology, etc. The partners to this initiative seek to collect government publications and reports, academic publications, the publications and reports of civil society organizations and international NGOs, that deal with the full range of major issues affecting ASEAN as a region. This would include governance, law and politics; science and technology; climate change; environmental issues; public health; human rights, etc. There are various web portals and such that have some materials, mostly in specific areas, but there is nothing like what we are undertaking. The ADL will initially be primarily text based, but multimedia components may be included at a later date.