East Timor - Libraries and museums



Prior to its closing in 1999, the Universitas Timor Timur (UNTIM) Library had a collection of 7,000 books. There were small branch libraries concentrating on politics and education in Dili, and on agriculture in Hera, each of which had a collection of some 400 books. The Polytechnic Library in Hera had a collection of 20,000 books. The Dili Public Library, in Vila-Verde, had 35,000 books, but the building was subsequently gutted and burned. As of 2002, it was proposed that a new National Library of East Timor would be established in the old Vila-Verde building, along with a National Archive. The new university, the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosae (UNTL), was established in 2000 as an amalgamation of the UNTIM and the Polytechnic. The new UNTL library, housed in a former gymnasium, opened for student access on 21 January 2002.

With assistance from UNESCO and the World Bank, work on a National Museum and Culture Center of East Timor began in late 1999, but at the time there were no artifacts to display and no one to administer the museum. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) providing training for the establishment of the museum. Following the renovation of the first wing of the museum, an exhibition of Timorese textiles and artifacts from the former national museum were to be held.

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