Primary Sources: History of Burma

This page, on the history of Burma and Myanmar (since 1989) is part of a collection assembling links to historical primary sources that are open on the web. It should be seen as a work in progress, and corrections or suggestions for additions are most welcome. These pages were primarily created for the convenience of students who depend heavily on English language sources and may have limited access to large research libraries or commercial databases. Most of the materials below focus on the colonial period sources up to independence in 1948 or various travel accounts published prior to British colonial rule that available online in digital form.


Pre-Colonial Burmese Sources in Translation

Burma Government Reports and Manuals

Legal History Sources

The Myanmar Law Library offers an extensive online and open access collection of PDF downloads of documents related to the legal history of Burma dating back to the colonial period. Some of these are very heavy files: if you are downloading many of these, consider doing so from the Internet Archive to reduce the burden on the law library, when they are marked as available there. Some of their sources include:

Other legal sources:

Burma Gazetteers

Burma Gazetteer District Volumes

For the following volumes, you may wish to refer to this Wikimedia map based on 1931 colonial period districts:

Census Records

See Burma Library Census section for some entries.

1872Report On The Census Of British Burma Taken In August 1872
1881Report of the Census of British Burma Taken on the 17th February 1881






SOAS Burma/Myanmar Collection

Other Online Collections Related to Burma


Library Guides and Link Collections

List of Books and Sources Available Online Related to Burma / Myanmar

The button below will display a list of over 200 mostly published sources related to Burma. With a few exceptions, they are linked to an online open access version of the work. Most of these are available on the Internet Archive, but some of these links take you to Google Books or the digital collections of various libraries and archives. Click the button to display the latest version of the list of sources:

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Contributors: Konrad M. Lawson. I would very much welcome other contributors to join in this effort. Please expect significant updates to this new page, especially during the fall of 2021. Please do help out: What are digital collections and resources that should be added to this page? You can reach Konrad at or @kmlawson on Twitter.

See also our other Primary Source guides.

Last Updated: 3 September, 2021.