Structural Overview

Apart from private communications, information on Burma is available online in three major forms:

Discussion Groups: More than 100 Burma-specific use/news/discussion groups, forums, bulletin boards, listservs or conferences which deliver messages to subscribers by email, or may require you to look at the messages via a news reader or website. These groups will generally be open to members' contributions, either moderated or unmoderated. Most have searchable or browseable archives.

Electronic Newspapers: Daily, weekly or other frequencies coming to subscribers by email. Mostly collected newswires and press articles, usually compiled by an individual or organisation. There may also be an archive, sometimes searchable, on a website. "Discussion groups" where only the moderator can post messages are included under Electronic Newspapers.

Websites: 4000 links (May 2003) to individual documents and 500 to multiple documents/websites, organised by subject, are placed in the "Main Library". Click on the top-level category to find the sub-categories and links to the documents. N.B. the URL of a document may change as websites upgrade. We try to keep up with the changes, but readers may have to go to the home page of the site and search for the document (please let us know if you find a dead link, with the updated link if you have found it). Alternative URLs are given where available. Some websites only keep documents, especially news items, for a few months.

The URLs of Discussion Groups, Electronic Newspapers and those websites which contain news, links and/or a mixed selection of articles on Burma are placed in an area called "Reading Room". Directories, bibliographies, book reviews etc. are also placed here. The sites listed here give indirect access to more than 150,000 documents on Burma.

Where possible and practical, the Library gives the specific website address (URL) of each document. Otherwise, we simply give the URL of the site and/or the particular issue of the periodical and ask readers to search. The internal search engines on some websites allow advanced searches for precise location of documents. 

Finding documents: 

There are three ways to find documents in the Library: 

1) use the search function, Use the options in the Search function to search specific sections and fields of the database. To find documents in a given language, put the name of the language (Francais, Deutsch, Burmese, Japanese, Espanol, Dansk, Norsk etc.) in the search box, check "Language", uncheck "All" and click on Search. 

2) browse the categories in Main Library and Reading Room,  

3) use the alphabetical list of subject headings. Or else use all three methods in combination.

Bookmark sections of the Library which are of particular interest to you.

For recent information, go to Reading Room > Breaking News and Current News which will direct you to online press, press agencies, search engine directories etc. as well as to the archives of the Burma Discussion Groups and Electronic Newspapers. Important new documents are listed in "What's New" (access from the home page).

The Librarian (David Arnott)
May 2003