ISEAS Library Annual Review FY 2018
I COLLECTION BUILDING
Acquisition of Books & Serials
Private Papers Collection
Plan and context recording sheets associated with excavation in Ratchaburi Province, Thailand from Ian Glover Collection
Mary Jane Edleson Photograph Collection
This collection includes rare aerial photographs of Jakarta and its waterfront taken in the 1970s and 80s documenting the city’s changing skyline and landscape, as well as Ms Edleson’s collection of Indonesian topeng and aerial views of Bugis boats comprising the largest wind-powered fleet in the world at the time. Some of these images were captured by professional photographers and are of exhibition quality. Mary Jane Edleson has authored several works on Indonesia, including the well-researched Sekaring Jagad Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat and Jakarta – a 5-volume work on the capital city. During her 24-year stay in Jakarta she built up a large photograph collection comprising close to 3,600 images, mostly 35mm colour slides and 2×2” unframed positives on Indonesia covering nearly three decades, documenting the changing landscape of the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
(Left)Ms Mary Jane Edleson explaining how she grouped her collection by subjects; (Right)One of the photographs from the Mary Jane Edleson collection: an aerial view of Jakarta in the 1980s.
Oral History Interviews
As part of the documentation for Myanmar’s modern political development and transition from military to civil government, the Library worked with ISEAS Visiting Fellow Mr Ye Htut to conduct oral history interview with ex-military officers and former political leaders in Myanmar over a period of two years. In this FY, a total of 88 hours of recorded interviews from 13 interviewees were archived, covering a wide range of subjects documenting both their personal life experiences and their involvement in various aspects of social and political development of post-war Myanmar. Ten of these interviews are available for immediate access by scholars and academics while the rest will be made available for access in 2022 and 2023.
The Library archived approximately 138 hours of audio and video recordings of 48 seminars, conferences and workshops organised by the Institute.
To support researchers who need to work on primary resource, the Library acquired 76 digitised file records (approx. 8,607 pages) from the UK National Archives and National Library of Australia. Some of the records relate to the late Prof John Legge, ISEAS’ second Director from 1969-1970, and shows the early corporate history of the Institute.
II COLLECTION MANAGEMENT
The Library catalogued a total of 2,543 titles of newly arrived books and journals, bringing the total print collection to 251,916 titles, of which those published in languages of the region made up about half as shown in Figure 1. The Library’s non-print collection includes a further 4,254 titles on microfilm and 59,427 titles on microfiche.
In this FY, the Library produced three descriptive catalogues to its private collection. Wong Ah Fook Collection: A Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Research Materials on an Immigration, Builder and Entrepreneur was published in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Wong Ah Fook. The catalogue documents Wong’s business activities in Johor Bahru and Singapore, such as his construction of palaces and other significant government buildings that form the bulk of the heritage buildings in Johor Bahru today, with the most important of them was the construction of a palace, the Istana Besar, for Sultan Abu Bakar, as well as his visionary undertaking in the establishment of Kwong Yik Bank in 1913- the first Chinese bank in the turn of 20th Century.
The Library performed its second full stocktake of its RFID tagged collection, amounting to 221,838 volumes. From the process of stocktake, books that are not in good physical condition or have wear and tear, were discovered by staff. They are then taken out where faded labels are replaced or given to the Library conservator for minor repairs. 631 hours were spent performing minor repairs and replacement of faded labels for close to 850 items. A further 17 rare/antiquarian books were outsourced for major repairs and conservation treatment.
(Left) The Library conservator repairing the spine of a damaged book; (Right) Library staff conducting a stocktake of the general collection.
III COLLECTION ACCESS & OUTREACH
SEALion Online Catalogue
The SEALion registered a 30% increase in search sessions year-on-year. Four geographical regions contributed to almost 99% of our users: Southeast Asia, Europe, the Americas and East Asia. Within the Southeast Asia region (excluding Singapore), Indonsia, Philippines and Malaysia were the top three usage groups. Table 1 has the breakdown.
Table 1: Virtual User Sessions on SEALion Online Catalogue
SealionPLUS for Online Access to Digitised Contents
Whilst SEALion is a platform for searching published books and journals available in the Library for loans, SealionPLUS allows registered users to search and access digitised materials from the Library’s non-print collections: Private Papers, photographs, audio visual recordings of seminar proceedings, oral history interviews and the Library’s daily selection of news articles from online sources. Like SEALion, users of SealionPLUS mainly came from the Southeast Asian region (62%). The other users that showed a strong presence came from Europe and North America (20%) and East/South Asia (16%). The top five usage of the collection in the database are as follows: Private Papers, Oral History Interviews, Photographs, News Articles & Commentaries which are the archived Daily News Alerts, followed by ISEAS publications and miscellaneous prints which includes research articles produced by ISEAS and extracted from other journal database.
Table 2: Usage of digitised contents on SealionPLUS
|Collection||Unique page views1
|Unique page views1
|Private Papers||308 (18%)||737(28%)|
|Oral History Interviews||97 (6%)||589(22%)|
|News Articles & Commentaries||282(16%)||347(13%)|
|Theses & Dissertations3||29(2%)||23(1%)|
1The number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once (this excludes the scenario where a user keeps refreshing the same page within the same period of time).
2This consists of the Ding Choo Ming Pantun Collection and the ISEAS Library Selection of Journal Articles.
3The Theses & Dissertations collection was created in FY17/18 and contains theses deposited by various universities in the Southeast Asian region.
305 new members were registered in this fiscal year, majority came from ISEAS and other academic institutions as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 New Library Members by Affiliation
In this FY, Library processed 386 enquiries, which represents a slight increase of six per cent year-on-year. The majority of the enquiries came from ISEAS researchers, followed by foreign academic students and staff.
For the year under review, there were 4,630 items consulted by users within the Library, representing a noticeable increase by 22 percent year on year, while the loan transactions of Library materials showed a slight reduction.
The Library released a total of 357 Info Alerts (totalling 26,446 selected articles). Majority of the articles related to Malaysian (33.5%) and Indonesian affairs (11.2%) followed by ASEAN (8.0%) and Myanmar (7.9%). In this FY, there were 93 new subscribers added to the mailing list. Since 2013, a total of 139,445 articles have been added to our newspapers/journals collection, 36% (49,974 articles) of which have been uploaded to the library online database SealionPLUS.
IV LIBRARY VISITORS
The Library visitorship stood at 5,126 this year. About 47 per cent came from outside the Institute, among them are delegates from Singapore Management University Libraries, UiTM Kedah (Malaysia), Raja Ali Haji University (Indonesia), University of Helsinki (Finland), and Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (South Africa).
Highlights of Library visits. (Top left) Sharing session on collection management with SMU librarians by Head of ISEAS Library, 6 July 2018; (Top right) Head of ISEAS Library guided a Tour to Library repository for antiquarian books, 6 July 2018; (Bottom left) Head of ISEAS Library showing Toshio Egawa Collection to visitors from University of Helsinki, 1 November 2018; (Bottom right) Staff demonstrating Library online catalogue to visitors from Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis, 29 March 2019.
V LIBRARY ADMINISTRATION
Work Experience Program (WEP)
Highlights from RGS Programme 2018. (Top left) Students doing technical processing of books from Toshio Egawa Collection; (Top right) Accessioning DVDs of digitised microfilms; (Bottom left) Students accessioning and describing Professor Ian Glover’s papers; (Bottom right) Group presentation sharing the work experience at ISEAS Library.
Donations to Regional Libraries
The Library donated 56 duplicate titles to the University of Surabaya in Indonesia, through Dr Hélène Njoto, Visiting Fellow, who was there to conduct the NSC Archaeology and Art History Field School in July 2018.