Archiving the Myanmar American Story
Starting in 2010, Burmese American Collective began partnering with the Library of Congress’ Asian Division to establish a new repository of Burmese American materials for their Southeast Asian Collection. The Burmese American Collection materials are gathered from across the United States documenting the daily lives, stories, and history of the Myanmar American diaspora. By archiving our stories with “America’s Library,” Myanmar American footprints will never fade from the history of the United States.
Archived materials include parabaik (mulberry paper) and peisa (palm leaf) manuscripts, sound and video recordings, books on Myanmar American artists etc. We need donations from the community to keep this collection growing and to keep the voices of Myanmar Americans heard.
From our beginning days in 2010, Burmese American Collective spearheaded and organized the participation of Myanmar American communities in the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival Asian Pacific American Program. Gathering families, friends, and neighbors from across the DMV and Tri-State areas, we highlighted the history and culture of the Myanmar diaspora to the American public. The beauty behind Tha-na-kha, traditional dances and an ear-boring ceremony, Burmese foods, martial arts style Bando, and the artistry of Chinlone were showcased on the National Mall in the heat of the D.C. summer!