About the VNPF

The Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation arose from the postwar efforts of Vietnamese and Americans who feared that an entire literary culture--the 1000 years of writing in Chữ Nôm used to record the Vietnamese language and its vast heritage of poetry, history, medicine, royal edict, and religion--was about to go extinct. As a result of these efforts, a core set of Chữ Nôm characters was successfully encoded in Unicode / ISO 10646.

Realizing that standardization alone was not sufficient, in 1999 the founders (James Đỗ Bá Phước, Ngô Thanh Nhàn, John Balaban, and later, Ngô Trung Việt) incorporated the VNPF as a 501c3 public charity, raising funds to preserve and popularize this rich cultural heritage by developing software tools for its digitization, printing, study, physical conservation, and internet sharing of the many works in national libraries and Buddhist temples. At the same time, the VNPF developed programs to support students and senior scholars, while encouraging public awareness. A particular focus was to awaken the younger generation to the potential for employing the tools of high technology in the preservation and study of this great cultural heritage.

After almost 20 years of working to promote the study of Hán-Nôm texts and the culture that produced them, the VNPF board decided that the original goals of the VNPF had been achieved and, as others endeavored to continue the work, moved to dissolve the Foundation at the end of 2018. Our website, with its basic texts and linguistic resources will remain available on the worldwide web.

We would like to sincerely thank our many contributors and colleagues for their generous support over the years.

John Balaban, Lee Collins, Stephen Lesser, John Phan, D. Neil Schmid, Ngô Trung Việt.