The National Library of Cambodia is located on Street 92, 500m west of Wat Phnom. The Library was inaugurated by the French colonial administration on 24 December 1924, with an initial collection of just 2,879 books, mainly in the French language. Thereafter it was successively managed by French staff until the appointment of its first Khmer Director, Mr. Pach Chhoeun, in 1951.

After independence in 1954 there was a steady growth in Cambodian publishing, which was reflected in the increased number of Khmer language books in the National Library. Closed down during the Khmer Rouge era, the National Library was used for several years as accommodation by members of the Pol Pot regime, who destroyed many of the books.

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