YMBA (Young Men’s Buddhist Association) requested Mahagandayone Sayadaw Ashin Janakabhivamsa to write a brief “History of Buddhism” and world renowned Artist Saya U Ba Kyi to provide illustrations.
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).
Several books were left. Some of them were handed as prizes for the successful participants of the “Summer 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 have been some requests to reprint the book.
There are probably newer reprints of the book and/or PDF version of Saya U Ba Kyi’s drawings.