YMBA (Young Men’s Buddhist Association) requested Mahagandayone Sayadaw Ashin Janakabhivamsa and the Artist/Teacher Saya U Ba Kyi to write/illustrate the “History of Buddhism”. Grapevine said that Saya U Ba Kyi observed eight precepts for 45 days before undertaking the project. YMBA later published an addendum (English translation of Sayadaw’s text in Burmese) for readers who are not conversant in Burmese.
Dhammananda Sayadaw U Silanandabhivamsa sought permission from YMBA to reprint the book with descriptions in both Burmese/Myanmar and English. The book was printed and published in the US and was distributed by the Theravada Buddhist Society of America (TBSA).
For some reason, several books were “left”.
Some of them were handed as prizes for the successful participants of the “Summer [or other holidays] Dhamma Class/Camp”.
An Arts professor from Stanford University expressed desire to use “The Illustrated History of Buddhism” as a text for his course provided the book can be “ordered” from the University Book Shop. Since the book was meant for dhamma dana, the book had no ISBN (International Standard Book Number) that is used by book shops.
There are probably newer reprints of the book and even PDF (or equivalent) of Saya U Ba Kyi’s drawings.
Hope that Buddhist associations and web sites have access to the book.