[TimorLesteStudies] Acquisitions trip to East Timor

Nuno Vasco Oliveira nuno.oliveira at anu.edu.au
Thu Jan 15 12:54:43 EST 2009

Dear Anya and colleagues,
Both the RDTL Government and the Ministry of Education are highly interested - and deeply appreciative - of any efforts pursued by international partners regarding the future National Library of Timor-Leste. 
It is paramount, at a stage when the project is giving its first steps and the lack of infrastructure and technical staff is still a reality, that joint efforts be made between East Timorese institutions and possible international counterparts. In such context, building a National Collection is not just a necessity - it is but one of many areas where support is much needed. 
As I previously explained to Anya Dettman (see my email below, sent on the 22nd of June 2008, but to which there was never any response), the Secretary of State for Culture is the body within MoE responsible for the National Library project. We have been - and still are - seeking to develop partnerships with reputed international institutions, who may assist in providing assistance, both in terms of staff training, acquisition policy and management, project development, etc.
The National Library of Timor-Leste project is now entering a critical phase and we reiterate the request of assistance, made previously to institutions such as the National Library of Australia. Our Office is aware of some of the efforts that have been made in the past by institutions elsewhere, in order to develop and maintain collections that may one day be donated to a future National Library in the country. Such efforts are highly appreciated and we hope to soon be a position to welcome those collections in Timor-Leste.
If you wish to discuss this or other matters with either Mr. Virgílio Simith, Secretary of State for Culture, or Dr. João Câncio, Minister of Education, in your forthcoming visit to Dili, please let us know.
Kind regards,

Nuno Vasco Oliveira

Assessor/Adviser Secretaria de Estado da Cultura
Ministério da Educação, Rua de Vila Verde, Dili
República Democrática de Timor-Leste
T: + 670 333 9647
M: + 670 736 9666

Email: nuno.oliveira at anu.edu.au

----- Original Message -----
From: <nuno.oliveira at anu.edu.au>
Date: Sunday, June 22, 2008 10:07 pm
Subject: Re: Libraries in East Timor
To: Anya Dettman <adettman at nla.gov.au>
Cc: "Fernandes, João" <Joao.Fernandes at dfat.gov.au>,"Pires, Andreia" <foholau at gmail.com>, "Serrão, Lucas" <lucas1835 at yahoo.com>,"Smith, Virgilio" <virgiliosmith at yahoo.com.br>

> Dear Anya,
> Many thanks for your kind words, I have indeed submitted my 
> thesis last month and am now working as an adviser to Mr. 
> Virgílio Simith, Secretary of State for Culture. The Secretariat 
> is under the Ministry of Education, whose Minister is João 
> Câncio. The Cultural National Directorat is the executive 
> body of the Secretariat which is responsible 
> for museums, libraries, cultural heritage and related 
> issues in Timor-Leste.
> The draft version of the strategic plan that was 
> presented at the Asian Pacific Week, in Canberra, was used 
> to receive feedback from scholars across different research 
> areas. I had been to Dili in November 2007 and also liaised with 
> several individuals and institutions in order to assess cultural 
> related information. One of the persons I talked to in Dili is 
> Karen Meyers, who is working for the CAVR but is a professional 
> librarian and has knowledge of the current situation in Timor-
> Leste regarding libraries.
> The Secretary of State for Culture's five-year strategic plan 
> has just been presented to the Minister of Education, and 
> a national cultural policy based on that document is now 
> being drafted. The creation of a national library in Timor-
> Leste is part of that five-year plan, and one that the Minister 
> João Câncio and the Secretary Virgílio Simith would like to see 
> accomplished soon. With that in mind, a space in Dili and 
> initial funding for infrastructure have already been 
> allocated. However, Timor-Leste does not yet have qualified 
> librarians or other technical staff that will be 
> recquired in order to have a national library working.
> The need to liaise with experienced international 
> institutions with a similar focus that may assist in 
> planning and in providing technical assistance has been 
> identified and will be pursued. We are currently in the 
> process of gathering information for major projects that involve 
> building of infrastructure and training in various areas 
> (national library, national museum, school of arts, 
> and music school). In that sense, we are interested in 
> assessing the type of support that the National 
> Library of Australia is able to provide. 
> Regarding research work carried out in Timor-Leste, it is our 
> perception that we need to provide local researchers with better 
> opportunities, both within the country and abroad. One of the 
> projects that we are currently looking at is a web page where 
> all published works on Timor-Leste may be accessed, free of 
> charge. In some areas that will be achieved through a system of 
> fieldwork permits, in which researchers will be granted 
> permission to carry out fieldwork in the country, on the proviso 
> that they provide us reports and *pdf files of resulting 
> publications. The need to engage with the local universities 
> will also be suggested. 
> We are hoping that the web page will be operational until the 
> end of this year, but any help regarding advertising the need 
> and advantages to liaise the Secretary of State for Culture, 
> when doing fieldwork in Timor-Leste, would be highly appreciated.
> I hope this gives you a general idea of what we hope to 
> achieve. 2008 will be the year to assess existing possibilities, 
> so I would suggest you liaise with us when you next come to Dili.
> Best,
> Nuno Vasco Oliveira
> PhD Scholar, Department of Archaeology and Natural History
> Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
> College of Asia and the Pacific
> The Australian National University
> Assessor/Adviser Secretary of State for Culture
> Ministério da Educação, Rua de Vila Verde, Dili
> República Democrática de Timor-Leste
> T: + 670 333 9647
> M: + 670 736 9666
> Email: nuno.oliveira at anu.edu.au
> http://palaeoworks.anu.edu.au/Nuno.html

----- Original Message -----
From: Anya Dettman <adettman at nla.gov.au>
Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 4:25 pm
Subject: [TimorLesteStudies] Acquisitions trip to East Timor
To: "'easttimorstudies at anu.edu.au'" <easttimorstudies at anu.edu.au>


> > 
> > Dear colleagues,
> > The National Library of Australia is funding me, as the East Timor librarian, to travel to East Timor this financial year for an acquisitions trip. I am interested in obtaining books of course, but also magazines, newspapers, audio-visual material, maps, pamphlets and even ephemera.
> > 
> > As the material I obtain will hopefully be of use to you, esteemed East Timor scholars, I am seeking your suggestions regarding the sorts of material you think will be of interest, or titles you have obtained before for yourselves (which we don’t have), and where to get them. I am interested not only in specific titles you know of but contact details of both individuals and institutions you feel would be worth contacting for material. I will be able to travel outside of Dili. As well, I am also keen to know of any forthcoming book related events - e.g. firm dates for the Portuguese bookfairs. The date of my trip has not yet been decided apart from the fact it must occur before July, so it can fit in with any event. Please respond directly to me at the email/phone number below, not to the list.
> > 
> > Although this trip is on behalf of the National Library, as we lend material on interlibrary loan I am hoping that it will be of benefit to researchers outside of Canberra. But those of you who attended the talk I gave a the ASAA conference in July will be aware that I am also quite concerned about the lack of collecting on behalf of  a future National Library of Timor-Leste. As you know, with small print runs, this material is often difficult to find even a few months after publication. The NLA has started a small collection of current Indonesian materials on Timor-Leste to donate in future, and this trip may be an opportunity to acquire extra copies of Timorese material for donation as well. However, I don’t think the NLA will be willing to fund additional purchases for donation unless we have some clear arrangement with those responsible for the National Library of Timor-Leste that they would welcome support of this type. If they do, there may be an opportunity for others to assist in this way as well. I would welcome discussion and suggestions on what we can all do to assist the building of research collections in T-L, especially from those in Timor-Leste involved with the founding of the National Library.
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Anya Dettman
> > 
> > Head, Indonesia and East Timor Unit
> > Asian Collections
> > National Library of Australia
> > ph: (02) 62621647
> > email : adettman at nla.gov.au
> > 
> > 

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