Library of Tibetan Works and Archives

Location Dharamsala, India
Type Culture

The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives was opened in 1970. It’s aim is to collect and preserve precious Tibetan books and manuscripts, teachings and artefacts.

The library has an audio and visual department which also work to preserve recordings of contemporary and ancient Tibetan events as recalled by witnesses, scholars, refugees and other important figures in Tibetan history. The collections at the library are a unique and very important resource of Tibetan culture. Many of the items housed there were smuggled out of Tibet when it was invaded by China in 1959.

The library are in the process of digitising as much of this unique material as possible to make sure it is not lost forever.

“Our archive has around 35,000 hours of recordings in audio and video tapes, which include many old and rare recordings. With passing time these recordings in the tapes lose their quality, so we digitise them first and later these digitised recordings will be edited.”

– Karma Khedup, Head of Audio Visual Department, LTWA


Data storage
With tens of thousands of hours of recordings to be digitised and preserved, the audio visual department needs a good strong system for storage.

The grant we gave this year enabled the department to purchase a new backup storage machine. The machine can store more than 6TB of date – which equates to thousands and thousands of hours of recordings and will help make sure that these precious resources aren’t lost forever.

Many of the Tibetan employees of the library have young children. So that they can work to support their families without worrying about childcare, the library provides a small crèche for children under three. The LTWA cover the running expenses of the crèche and parents pay a fee to cover others costs such as nannies, toys and meals.

Unfortunately, the rooms of the crèche are particularly badly effected during monsoon season with furniture and fixings being constantly damp and developing mould. This has been causing some of the children to become unwell.

With a small grant from Tibet Relief Fund, the crèche have been able to buy a humidifier to keep the air dry, the building in tip-top condition and – most importantly – the children safe and well!

Stay informed!

Interested in: