January 13, 2014

RENINC's Digital Library of Lao books - FREE

RENINC's title image
I don't know what it is but I have been having amazing luck in the last little while in finding amazing online resources and websites for sources of digitized versions of old books and other literature on Laos.  This time from California based Refugee Educators' Network, Inc. (RENINC).  The website seems a bit outdated now and a few of the book links yield no pdf however the vast majority still have active links.  Some notable titles in their library (and keep in mind there's plenty more at the website):
  • Out of Laos/Tawm Lostsuas Mus: A Story of War and Exodus, Told in Photographs (Bilingual version) By Warner Roger, 1996
    -  Translated into Hmong by Lue Vang, Cory Jasperson, Tsucheng Vang, Terfong Yang
  • Minority Cultures of Laos: Kammu, Lua’, Lahu, Hmong, and Mien By Lewis, Kam Raw, Vang, Elliott, Matisoff, Yang, Crystal, Saepharn, 1992
  • Handbook for Teaching Lao-Speaking Students By Luangpraseut, Lewis, 1989
  • New Year's Ceremony at Basak By Archaimbault, 1971
    - Description of the cultural context and activiites of the New Year celebration in southern Laos.

  • La Fete du Tat By Archaimbault, date unknown
    - Essays in French and photos about Lao spirit ceremonies, Luang Prabang, and the new year celebrations in Luang Prabang and Xieng Khouang
  • Meo of Xieng Khouang Province (Laos Paper No. 13) By Barney, 1990
    - The Meo (Hmong) of Laos: social and polical organization, economy, material culture, folklore and beliefs, life cycle, and recent changes.
  • In Laos and Siam By Bassene, 1912
    - 1912 travelogue about Laos and Thailand, translated from French and reprinted in 1995.
  • Tribal People of Laos By Halpern, Kunstadter, 1990
    - Article that provides background information on the various people who came to the US as political refugees.
  • Laos and Hilltribes of Indochina By Harmand, 1997, 2002
    - Translation of articles published in French periodicals between 1878-79, about journeys to the Boloven Plateau, Bassac, Hue, Laos.
  • Lao-English Dictionary, Vol I and II By Kerr, 1972
  • School books from Laos (in Lao language):
    • Lao Alphabet and Grammar
    • Lao First Grade
    • Lao Second Grade
    • Lao Third Grade
  • Dara Reads Lao Book 1, 2, 3 By Luangpraseut, 1984
    - Series developed to teach  Lao literacy in US.
  • Laos and the Laotians By Luangpraseut, 1995
    - Background information developed to teach outsiders about the people from Laos.
  • History of Laos By Manich, 1967
  • Little World of Laos By Meeker, 1959
  • Lao Women (in Lao) By Ngaosyvath, 1993
  • Area Handbook for Laos By Roberts, 1967
    - Early book about the people of Laos, for use by US military personnel.
  • Laos, Buffer State or Battleground By Toye, 1966
    - Account of the political issues facing Laos in the 1960s based on what happened there in 1960-62.
  • History of Laos By Viravong, 1964

Additional Background (according to their website):
"At one time, REN managed a resource center that included more than 6,000 items---books, reprints, artifacts, images, and videos. The collection was donated to California State University Library in 2007. The following difficult-to-find-books were first scanned to pdf format and included here."

RENINC was created in the 1980s and helped educators of southeast Asian immigrants and with immigrants directly.  Their members and supporters donated tons of material to their library.

Here are the links to the pages on their website for the PDFs:

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