(18 Nov 2021) In the Kampong Cham province of Cambodia, not far from a section of the Mekong River, a temple known as Wat Phum Thmei Serey Mongkol houses the most complete library of palm leaf texts in the country. Having outlasted colonialism and civil war when so many libraries did not, the library is a rare exception and a testament to the power of preservation. Scholars estimate that between 1975 and 1990 more than 95 percent of manuscripts in Cambodia disappeared, either through neglect or outright destruction at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. This is what makes the Wat Phum Thmei library so remarkable. No other library emerged from the Khmer Rouge era as unscathed.
Find out more about the exquisite collection from the original report here.