Since the decline of Buddhism in Tibet, Mongolia and other parts of the Northern Buddhist world, the Kingdom of Bhutan has come to be seen as the last bastion of Mahayana Buddhism. With its long history of isolation and independence, Bhutan has remained a unique repository of the cultural and religious wealth of the Buddhist Himalaya. Its secluded monasteries and temples today represent a literary treasure trove that is largely unharmed and still unexplored.
This project successfully digitised the entire collection of manuscripts at Gangtey monastery, producing for each image a jpeg and a raw file. The jpeg images are suitable for research purposes whilst the raw files will be stored as archival copes. A total of 270,398 images, including jpeg and raw copies, have been produced and submitted to the British Library on five external hard drives. An additional set of copies has been deposited with the National Library and Archive of Bhutan and with Gangtey Monastery.
As there was not even a handlist of the miscellaneous titles, approval was given for an xml catalogue of the miscellaneous collection to be produced at the end of the project, using surplus funds. Although the catalogue is basic, a total of 1130 titles, with numerous sub-titles within some of them, have been catalogued.
Gangtey’s remoteness and lack of electricity hampered the project but despite these problems the digitisation project at Gangtey has been a success.
Click here for more information on the digitising manuscripts at Gangtey Monastery in Bhutan.
More British Library #endangeredarchives project posts on Buddhism Now.