Thailand Royal Archives
Wasant Wanichakorn  /  AP
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej waves to the crowd as Queen Sirikit looks on during ceremonies Friday, June 9, 2006, in Bangkok.
updated 6/12/2007 10:54:55 AM ET 2007-06-12T14:54:55

Chronicles and pronouncements of Thailand's king — the world's longest-serving monarch and a godlike figure to many — will soon be trumpeted online.

More than 60,000 searchable pages on King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 61-year reign will be on the Internet in time for his 80th birthday on Dec. 5, officials said Monday

The archives will be in the Thai language, with English in some parts.

The free site will include speeches, photographs and official documents related to the king, Queen Sirikit and other royal family members from 1934 through this year, said Rungruang Limchoopatipa, an official of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

The ministry is cooperating with the Office of the King's Principal Private Secretary to create the digital royal archives.

Given most Thais' intense reverence for the king — and the country's tough laws against insulting the monarchy — the archive is not expected to include any negative aspects of the reign, nor any accounts of the constitutional monarch being involved in politics behind-the-scenes.

Under lese majeste laws, anyone defaming the monarchy faces up to 15 years in prison.

Thai authorities blocked access to the popular video Web site YouTube in April, after a clip surfaced showing likenesses of Bhumibol defaced by graffiti, and with feet dangling in front of his image — a major taboo in Thai culture, where feet are considered the lowest, most unclean body part.

Bhumibol, the only king born in the United States, was raised in Switzerland and ascended the throne as a teenager after the mysterious death of his older brother, King Ananda Mahidol.

The king is immensely popular for his decades of work to help Thailand's rural poor, and for stepping in to calm several major political crises.

Bhumibol — a musician, artist and sailor — is also a computer buff, having used information technology in his numerous aid projects.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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