User's guide


Internet users interested in this shared database documents are invited to register.

Registering with the EFEO Lanna Manuscripts Project allows the user to access additional documents (abstracts of the manuscripts in PDF format) not otherwise provided. Registered users may also make a special request for HD pictures of manuscripts if the reading of the document displayed on the website is too difficult.

Registering will help to create a research network for further exchange of new documents and sharing ideas. 


Some manuscripts bears long text covering several bundles or phuks (up to 12 ) for a total of hundreds of pages (up to 700). They have been presented on two or three different windows (A, B, C) because one single entry would have been to heavy to be workable in an ordinary Internet environnement and regular browser. For instance the Tamnan Mueang Nan (001_011) bears more than 280 pages that could not be presented under one window therefore one will access this manuscript in two parts 001_011_A and 001_011_B.

Transcription and transliteration

The Thai words transcribed in English follow the method recommended by the Royal Institute of Thailand or Ratchabandittayasathan (ราชบัณฑิตยสถาน). The Royal Institute publishes the Royal Thai General System of Transcription or RTGS, the official way of transcribing Thai into the Latin alphabet but also an official notification for the romanization of province names (changwat), county (khet), district (amphoe) and sub-district (kingamphoe) that we have systematically followed here.

[click here for the RTGS in PDF (Thai)]

[click here for the RTGS in PDF (English)]

The RTGS is easy and convenient but it is a limited system. This system can in no way replace a complete system of transliteration respectful of the complexity of the Thai alphabet. Only transliteration can effectively recognize the terms borrowed from classical Indian languages such as Pali and Sanskrit. This is why we also use, when this seems necessary (especially for manuscript titles), a transliteration system for the Khmer, Mul, Thai, Yuan [Northern-Thai], Lao and Tham-Lao alphabets, in use at the EFEO and published in La pureté par les mots : Saddavimala, by Bizot (François) and Lagirarde (François) in “Textes bouddhiques du Cambodge, Laos, Thaïlande [3]”, EFEO, 1996, pp. 271-275. This system has been slightly modified to fit the Unicode font standard and follow a more natural and simplified approach.

For instance:

Thai   xื = ịị

Thai   ฝ = F

Thai   ฟ = f

[click here for the transliteration system in PDF]

The manuscript description file

The file format has been adapted from the standard file recommended by Prof. Dominic Goodall, our EFEO indianist colleague. It was originally developed in the FileMaker Pro computer program to be turned into MySQL for Internet by Dièse, an enterprise managed by L'École nationale supérieure d’informatique pour l’industrie et l’entreprise (ENSIIE).

A. IDENTIFICATION (Id No, Catalog No and category)

The description of any manuscript starts with its identification code made up of two triple digits (for instance “001 001”). The first number refers to the place (repository) where the original manuscript is kept and where it has been digitized and goes up to 042, for forty-two places visited. The second number refers to the manuscript itself. A list of all the repositories and all the tamnan manuscripts digitally archived by the project is available as a PDF file. [click here for the repositories and tamnan list in PDF]

This ID is only valid for our collection and has nothing to do with previous archive or microfilm reference systems. When we were able to match a manuscript with another identification number it appears in the field “Other No” or Catalog No. With the exception of the Siam Society’s collection, work of this sort in the monastic collections required considerable sensitivity: all kind of situations were encountered. Since manuscripts tags have been left on bags and bags sometimes manipulated without care, accidents were inevitable. However, in some cases, a new ola or palm leaf with a reference number and title in modern Thai has been added to the manuscript, making things easier.