National Library of Thailand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
National Library of Thailand
หอสมุดแห่งชาติ (ท่าวาสุกรี).jpg
National Library in Bangkok (2017)
TypeNational library
Established1905; 118 years ago (1905)
Coordinates13°46′20″N 100°30′18″E / 13.772337°N 100.505094°E / 13.772337; 100.505094Coordinates: 13°46′20″N 100°30′18″E / 13.772337°N 100.505094°E / 13.772337; 100.505094
Size3.2M items (2013)
Other information
Budget86,840,300 baht (2013)
DirectorKanok-on Sakdadate (2013)
Staff197 (2013)

The National Library of Thailand (Thai: หอสมุดแห่งชาติ) is the legal depositary and copyright library for Thailand. It was officially established on 12 October 1905,[1] after the merger of the three existing royal libraries, and is one of the oldest national libraries in Asia. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture in Bangkok, Thailand.[2]

As of 2013, the library in Bangkok housed over three million items and had 11 provincial branches. Its budget was 87 million baht and it employed about 200 staff.[3]


Sign, National Library of Thailand

The National Library of Thailand's main tasks are collecting, storing, preserving, and organizing all national intellectual property regardless of medium. Collections include Thai manuscripts,[4] stone inscriptions, palm leaves, Thai traditional books, and printed publications as well as audio-visual materials and digital resources. The library is a national information resource serving citizens nationwide.

The National Library has a long history. Its precursor was the Phra Vajirayana Royal Library (Thai: หอสมุดพระวชิรญาณ) which was established in 1883, by sons and daughters of King Mongkut (Rama IV) to honor their royal father. Later in 1897, King Chulalongkorn returned from his European visit and expressed his desire to dedicate the Vajirayana Library to the Capital. In 1905, three libraries, the Mandira Dharma Library, the Vajirañāṇa Library, and the Buddhasasana Sangaha Library, were amalgamated at the command of King Chulalongkorn and renamed the "Vajirañāṇa Library for the Capital City". The library has remained under royal patronage since that date. In 1933, after democratic reforms, the Fine Arts Department was established and assumed administration of the Vajirañāṇa Library by royal degree. It was subsequently renamed the "National Library". In 1966, the National Library was relocated to Samsen Road in Bangkok and is now administered by the Ministry of Culture.

Outline history[edit]

Year Event
1905 Three royal libraries was combined by King Rama V.
1916 The Vajirañāṇa Library for the Capital City was moved to Thavaravathu Building, east of Wat Mahathat.
1925 Printed material collections were housed in the Thavaravathu Building, later renamed "Vajiravudh Library" by King Rama VII. All original ancient manuscripts and Thai gilded bookcases were transferred to Sivamokkabiman Hall and renamed the "Vajirañāṇa Library".
1933 The library was placed under the care of the Fine Arts Department as the "Library Division"
1947 Damrong Rajanubhab Memorial Library was founded and later transferred to a new building in the Varadis Palace compound on Lan Luang Road.
1966 The National Library was moved to Samsen Road.
1972-2009 Establishment of 16 provincial National Library branches
1979 Establishment of the Naradhip Centre for Research in Social Sciences in the Thavaravathu Building
1981 King Vajiravudh Memorial Hall was constructed to house royal private collections and exhibit royal waxworks as well as Dusit Thani Experimental Democratic Cities of King Rama VI.
1990 Opening of King Bhumibol Adulyadej Library Building.
1994 Opening of the Princess Sirindhorn Music Library.
1997 Opening of King Rama IX Music Library.
1999 Opening of Lat Krabang National Library Branch.
2000 King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hall set up as the centre of royal activities information to honor and commemorate royal activities via a permanent exhibition within Thavaravathu Building.

Mission statement[edit]

  1. Collect, catalog, and research national intellectual property.
  2. Develop standards for the storage and preservation of national intellectual property.
  3. Create and augment the value of national intellectual property.
  4. Develop systems for rendering services to the diverse users of the library.
  5. Develop systems to manage the nation's intellectual property heritage.


  1. ^ "A National Siamese Library". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly). 24 January 1906. p. 60. Retrieved 2022-10-25 – via NewspaperSG.
  2. ^ National Library, Organization Archived 2014-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "NATIONAL LIBRARY OF THAILAND ANNUAL REPORT [2014]" (PDF). National Diet Library, Japan. National Library of Thailand. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  4. ^ Reeder, Matt (2016-05-16). "The National Library of Thailand, Manuscript Collection". Dissertation Reviews.

External links[edit]