We welcome your comments about the DLLM website and suggestions for improvement or reports of difficulties or errors you have encountered. Research findings about the texts, corrections to the Inventory data, academic papers, links or other related information and resources which could be added to the site are also welcome.
Fonts and Website Text
The text is encoded using Unicode, and Lao fonts have been embedded in the DLLM website. However, in some operating systems and web browsers you may need to install a Unicode Lao font on your computer for the Lao script to display correctly.
The size of the text font on the DLLM website has been optimised for most users. If you find that it is difficult to read on a higher resolution monitor, then it can be enlarged by using ‘Control +’ on PC or ‘Command +’ on Mac.
It was not possible to make adjustments to individual images during the digitisation process due to their huge number. While most images are clearly legible, there is considerable variation due to the condition of the original manuscript and also the quality of the microfilm copy used for digitisation. In some cases where downloaded images are difficult to read, significant improvements can be made using image enhancement tools such as those found in Adobe Photoshop. Click here to see a guide to image enhancement for users of the DLLM collection.
A zoom feature is provided on the Text Overview page. Users can also click on ‘Show large image’ and enlarge the box to see a larger or full-screen image. Once downloaded, images can be enlarged using viewing software.
There is an option to ‘Download this image’ or ‘Download this text’ as a zipped folder of 72 ppi JPEG images. Please note that the file sizes of some texts are very large and may take time depending upon your Internet connection. The size of the file is given on the web page.
Downloaded images may be used for personal study, or for educational use on the web or in presentations. If you require higher quality 300 ppi JPEG images for publication, please contact DLLM.
PLMP Code Numbers
Each text surveyed and microfilmed in the Preservation of Lao Manuscripts Programme was given a unique 13-digit PLMP Code Number, which appears in the naming convention used for the digital images in the DLLM collection.
The first 6 digits of the code number identifies the location (province, district, and temple or village), the next 2 digits identify the category, the next 3 digits identify the manuscript bundle, and the final 2 digits identify the text within the bundle.
This number appears at the bottom of each manuscript image. A search option is provided on the Home page for all 13 digits (for a unique text) or the first 11 digits only (for all the digitised texts within a particular manuscript bundle).
Note: In a few cases, the Code Number appearing on the PLMP data sheet and at the bottom of the digital image frames has been corrected in the DLLM collection. All such cases are noted under Remarks in the inventory.
The National Library of Laos has an ongoing programme of manuscript preservation, research, and related work such as direct digitisation of texts.
The Digital Library of Lao Manuscripts makes primary sources available for study and does not yet include translations of texts. The Bibliography contains references for translations of some Pali and vernacular texts. Click here to see the DLLM Bibliography.
On the Search the Database page, it is possible to search by Title, Ancillary Term, Language, Script, Category, Material, Location, and Date. Click the small triangle to the left of the main search option to reveal or to hide the selections. For each search option, more than one title, language etc., can be can be included in your search. If more than one title and more than one language is selected, for example, then the search will be for Title 1 or Title 2 in Language 1 or Language 2. That is, selecting many titles or languages, etc. from within any one search option will broaden the search, whereas selecting from different search options will narrow the search to only titles in a specific language, etc. If no selection is made, the default entry for all search options is ‘any.’ Options are available to restrict searches to show only illustrated texts and/or only texts with colophons.
The Site Search (available on all pages except the Search the Database page) can be used to search for any data appearing in the DLLM Database in addition to the static web pages. In addition, searching directly via Google in English or Lao will also yield results for titles or other data in the DLLM database.
On the Home page, the PLMP Code Number can be used to find individual texts (using the full 13-digit code) or bundles (using the first 11 digits of the code).
Search by Title
There are two options for searching by title: begin typing a title into the ‘Enter a title’ auto-complete text box and then select from the listed titles, or browse and select title search terms from the alphabetical lists. The ‘Enter a title’ auto-complete text box searches for titles containing whatever title or part of a title is typed in. These are simplified lists to facilitate search and do not include orthographic variants or ancillary terms. It is possible to include more than one title in your search. If no title is entered or selected, the default search is for ‘any title.’ This enables, for example, to search for all titles in a particular language, script, etc., or any combination of the other search options.
Titles in the DLLM inventory are rendered according to the actual title given on the original, which can differ from the PLMP data sheet titles found at the top of each digital image. For example, texts without titles are inventoried as ‘Untitled’ in the digital collection even where a title has been assigned to a text by a PLMP researcher and therefore appears on the data sheets and microfilm images. In such cases, the assigned title appears in brackets after the word ‘Untitled’ to facilitate search. Any such discrepancies are noted in the inventory under Remarks. In the case of orthographic variants, the Inventory preserves the diversity of the originals. Please note that the Romanised Lao title is given before the Romanised Pali in the case of monolingual Pali texts, e.g. Thammabot / dhammapada. This means that when selecting titles via the alphabetical tabs, Pali titles beginning with ‘D’ or ‘Dh,’ for example, are found under the tab for ‘T.’ However, when using the ‘Enter a title’ auto-complete text box, it is possible to search by typing in Pali titles using the system of Romanisation found in the Critical Pali Dictionary. A full list of monolingual Pali titles can also be found by searching for Monolingual Pali under the Search by Language option. Click here for details of the rendering of Pali consonants in Lao script and their DLLM Romanisation.
Click here for details of the Romanisation system.
Search by Ancillary Term
A list of supplementary terms found in titles is provided as a search option. The list includes genres of text, such as salong, tamnan, jataka/sadok, translatory renderings such as śabda/sap, nissaya/nisai, vohara/vohan, metric forms such as khong, kham kon, samasa/samat, as well as titles and terms of address such as kampha, cao, thao, nang, phanya, etc. These are generally not included in the alphabetical Title Search list. It is possible to include more than one term in your search.
Search by Language
Searchable by Monolingual Pali, Lao, Lan Na, Tai Lue, Tai Nuea, Tai Dam, Thai, Other, or by Pali and vernacular combinations: ‘Pali and Lao,’ ‘Pali and Lan Na,’ ‘Pali and Tai Lue,’ ‘Pali and Tai Nuea,’ or ‘Pali and Thai.’ It is possible to include more than one of these in your search. Click here for more information and resources for languages and scripts found in the Collection.
Search by Script
Searchable by Tham Lao, Lao Buhan, Tham Lan Na, Tham Lue, Lik Tai Nuea, Khom, Tai Dam, Thai, or Other. It is possible to include more than one script in your search. Click here for more information and resources for languages and scripts found in the Collection.
Search by Category
The DLLM Collection uses the same system of categorisation as the Preservation of Lao Manuscripts Programme (PLMP), which is designed to facilitate search for texts. The exception is that the PLMP Category 04 Monolingual Pali is now under Language and does not appear in the list of categories.
Categories for Vinaya, Sutta, and Abhidhamma include related texts which are not to be found in the Theravada Canon. The category Jataka includes both canonical and non-canonical birth-stories. Anisong/Salong/Song is for texts describing the rewards of meritorious deeds (commonly called salong in Lao).
It is possible to include more than one category in your search.
Search by Material
The vast majority of manuscripts in the DLLM collection are palm-leaf. It is possible to include more than one material in your search.
Search by Location
Searchable via a list of Lao provinces and three special collections: National Library of Laos, Vientiane, and the Provincial Museum or Vat Mai Suvannaphumalam, Luang Prabang. Within each province, more detailed searches can be made at the District and at the Temple or Village levels, by clicking to expand the selection. It is possible to include more than one location in your search.
There is also an option on the Text View page (when viewing a particular text) to ‘Show other texts from this location,’ which searches for texts from the same temple or village.
Search by Date
The majority of dated texts are according to the Cunlasakkalat (CS), the so-called ‘Little Era,’ beginning at 638 Christian Era. Some texts are dated according to the Buddhist Era (BE, beginning at 543 BC), and a few according to the Christian Era (CE). Search of the database is possible by each of these three eras, before, between, or after selected years.
Texts which are not dated according to these three eras are entered as ‘Undated’ in the Inventory. Additional information from local calendars may be found on the PLMP Datasheet (DS2), which is normally the second digital image for a text. Details of months or days have not been added to the Inventory. Texts for which the date has not yet been identified are entered as ‘Undated’ and are of course not included in search results for specific date ranges. There is an option to search for ‘Undated’ texts.
To search by date, first select the Era (Cunlasakkalat, Buddhist Era, or Christian Era) and then enter the number of the year into the ‘From’ and ‘To’ boxes. Entering only a ‘From’ date will search for any following years. Entering only a ‘To’ date will search for any previous years.
Restrict a search using ‘Show Only’
Select from the options for search results to show only illustrated texts and/or only texts with colophons and/or only directly digitised texts.
Search by PLMP Code Number
Each text surveyed and microfilmed in the Preservation of Lao Manuscripts Programme was given a unique 13-digit PLMP code number, which appears in the naming convention used for the digital images in the DLLM collection.
The first 6 digits of the code number identifies the location (province, district, and temple or village), the next 2 digits identify the category, the next 3 digits identify the manuscript bundle, and the final 2 digits identify the text within the bundle. This number appears at the bottom of each digital image.
A search option is provided in the Home page for all 13 digits (for a unique text) or the first 11 digits only (for all the digitised texts within a particular manuscript bundle).
Note: In a few cases, the code number appearing on the PLMP data sheet and at the bottom of the digital image frames has been corrected in the DLLM collection. All such cases are noted under Remarks in the inventory.
View the brief inventory details and click on a title to see images of the text, or return to the Search page to modify the search criteria. Click on the thumbnail map to see your search results displayed on a map of Laos. Titles of directly digitised texts are displayed in blue.
On the Text View page, a map showing the location of the text being viewed is provided under the Map tab.
On the Search Results page, clicking on the thumbnail map will display results on a map of Laos. The texts are by location, with each red marker representing a temple or village. Larger markers indicate that a larger number of texts are found at that location. Holding your cursor over a marker will show the name of the location and the number of texts.
Please note that village coordinates are used in cases where the text is in private possession or the precise location of the temple is not yet available.
Options for different map views are found on the upper right hand side of the map.
Navigation and zoom tools are on the upper left hand side of the map. You may also zoom in by double-clicking on the map and navigate by left-clicking the map and holding to drag it within the viewer.
Click on a red location marker to see the name of the location and its district and province, together with details of the texts found there, and then click on a selected title to display the text.
Text View Help
The Text View page displays images of the selected text. Navigation and zoom tools are found in the upper left hand corner of the image being viewed. It is also possible to navigate within an image using the arrow keys on your keyboard. At the bottom of the image, enter a number to go to a particular frame in the digital images of the text, or to go to the first, previous, next or last images.
The following tabs are found on the right hand side of the menu bar:
‘Image Search’ opens a tool for searching within the digital images of a text.
‘Text Details’ displays full inventory details related to the text being viewed.
‘Thumbnails’ displays thumbnail images for the entire text. Scrolling and then selecting a particular image will show that image in the main viewer.
‘Options’ displays a drop down menu including ‘Download this Text,’ ‘Download this Image,’ ‘Add this Text to Favourites or Edit Notes,’ ‘View Favourites,’ ‘Show other Texts from this Bundle,’ ‘Show other Texts from this Location,’ and ‘Show Related texts’ (i.e. texts with the same title or alternative title).
‘Map’ displays the name of the temple or village, district and province where the text is stored, together with an image (if available) and its position on a map.
‘Comments’ allows registered users to post comments on the text being viewed. These comments will also be seen by other users.
Texts are downloaded as zipped folders of 72 ppi JPEG images, including html files of related inventory data. Please note that the file sizes of some texts are very large and may take time depending upon your Internet connection. The size of the file is given (XX MB) to the right of the download option.
Image Search Help
On the Text View page, the Image Search tab opens a tool for searching within the digital images of a text. Click and drag your cursor to select a word or phrase and then click the ‘Start Search’ button to search for other occurrences within the text.
The time taken will depend upon the size of the text and the refinement of the search. When completed, thumbnail images of frames containing results will be underlined in red. Detailed results within a selected image will also be boxed in red.
The search can be made more or less refined by adjusting the slider on the bar below the thumbnail images, and the search repeated. If the search is not finding cases of the selected term, make the search less refined. Likewise, if there are too many false results, make the search more refined.
Please note that the image search tool is an experimental feature of the DLLM website and is still under development. We welcome your comments or suggestions.