Earthquake Emergency Appeal for Support to Protect Archives


collageWe are deeply saddened to inform you that MPP building was severely damaged by the 25 April 2015 earthquake. Engineers have advised immediate evacuation and dismantling of the building to prevent further damage to the collections and threat to human lives. Therefore, we have had no choice but to suspend all our services until further arrangement.

Established in 1955 as a non-profit-making institution, MPP is the largest repository of Nepali-language materials in the world and has been home to more than 35,000 books, 50,000 rare photographs, 15,000 ephemera, over 10,000 manuscripts as well as audio and audiovisuals related to Nepal. MPP has been functioning as the principal archive for understanding the 19th and 20th century Nepal.

Our immediate activity even as the aftershocks continue has been to evacuate the destroyed building and put materials is safe storage before the onset of the Monsoon, which normally happens by third week of May. This will be followed by demolishing of the structure. Thereafter, we have to urgently build a viable temporary structure to carry out MPP’s activities including, accessions, archival work, reference provision, stack access and research. Our plan therefore is to put up this structure at the place of the old building by 1st July 2015. This building will be the kind that provides MPP and its stacks with all-weather shelter, and also give us a couple of years to plan and fundraise for the new building. The long-term goal, thus, is to design and build our permanent long-term structure, which will be ‘state of art’ and support a multi-faced, dynamic archival institution to do justice to the people and history of Nepal and the Himalaya.

The estimated cost for the temporary structure to house the MPP for a maximum of three years is NPR 50 lakh (USD 50,000), of which amount MPP already has about a fifth (NPR 10 lakh, USD 10,000) to contribute.

While it is a fact that archives and libraries are the keepers of historical memories and the foundation of any society, it is also true that archiving community is one of the least prioritized and funded communities anywhere. In this time of crisis there is no other party which can understand our situation better than our own fraternity of librarians, archivists and researchers. Therefore, we request you to kindly help spread the word on the situation at MPP and contribute in whatever ways possible to raise the amount of USD 40,000.

For further information please contact Amar Gurung, Director MPP Archives (email: amar@mpp.org.np, phone: 977-9841419943).