To learn all about TBRC, or to explore the entire library, go to www.tbrc.org.
Tibetan Medical Collection,
TBRC: Keep the Wisdom Alive
An engaging introduction to TBRC with rare photos and footage.
A full-length documentary film about E. Gene Smith.
us build Khyentse Foundation's funding base so that we can continue to
support text preservation initiatives. When you become a monthly
donor, every dollar you donate is matched by the Patrons of
READ A TEXT
A sample of the wealth to be found at TBRC
Collected Treasure Revelations by a modern visionary from
Nyarong, Rangrik Dorji
Secret Tibetan yoga (Tsa Lung practices) illuminations from the Qing Court. This remarkable text is written in both Chinese and Tibetan.
Kunga Gyaltsen, one of the greatest scholars of 13th century Tibet, was the 4th patriarch of the Sakya tradition. This is his text on the three vows or disciplines of Buddhism that correspond with Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana (Dom Sum Rab Gye).
Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, which I deeply admire, has rendered
incomparable service to the spiritual and secular traditions of Tibet."
—His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa.
Letter from Jeff Wallman
collaboration with Khyentse Foundation is a critical part of the health
of our organization. Not only does KF provide key financial support,
they also supported us in governance and strategic planning.
important for people to know that Khyentse Foundation not only gives
generously of funds, but of people. KF Executive Director Cangioli Che
(also a board member of TBRC) and strategist Ivy Ang were absolutely
critical to the development of strategic plans and metrics that we
could report against. It was the beginning of our reporting the huge
numbers that are a part of our organizational focus—we know how to do
stuff at scale.
would not be where we are today without that financial and
organizational support. We now have realized a long-term preservation
plan for the entire Tibetan literary heritage. Amazing."—Jeff Wallman
"We think Gene would be very happy"
work of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) is a prime example
of outstanding impact. TBRC's vast and unique vision of digitally
preserving the literature of the Tibetan people, realized by concrete,
actionable goals (such as number of volumes to be scanned annually,
number of library objects created and indexed, number of libraries
distributed and online website sessions) has significantly affected the
future of Buddhism far beyond the scope of TBRC’s founding vision.
Between 1999 and 2014, TBRC scanned more than 18,000 volumes (9.5
million pages), continuously making them accessible in digital formats
on and offline, and developed a robust model for preservation
that can be replicated in any language for any topic. A key
element of TBRC's success is its outstanding ability to adapt its
organization (internal structures and processes, external communication
and network) and its technology to the changing requirements of its
growing reach and relevance.
Gene Smith founded TBRC in 1999 to collect, preserve, organize,
digitize, and disseminate Tibetan literature. The result is a modern
digital library unlike any other, an unparalleled collection of texts
that illuminate more than 1,300 years of Tibetan literature. The texts
include not only philosophical and religious treatises, but works on
traditional medicine, astrology, astronomy, alchemy, art, history,
biography, grammar, folk culture, and poetry.
2015 is a pivotal year for the organization. See What's Next.
E. Gene Smith, founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Project.
TBRC and Khyentse Foundation
2002, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche gathered a group of about 20 people
in the living room of Cangioli Che's San Francisco home to discuss
what we could do as a group and as a sangha to preserve and protect the
Dharma for centuries to come. What steps could we take now to help
ensure that the Buddha's wisdom will be accessible to our
Smith had flown in from New York, where he was just beginning to
realize his lifelong dream, the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Project
(TBRC). Ever humble and ready to serve the Dharma, Gene squeezed in on
the sofa with the rest of us, respectfully disregarding the praise that
Rinpoche heaped on him. "This man is a true Bodhisattva," Rinpoche
said. "He has been such a valuable advisor, friend, and inspiration."
Foundation doesn't want to reinvent any wheels; instead, the foundation
seeks out people and projects with great potential and provides the
financial and structural support to realize that potential. In TBRC,
Rinpoche saw amazing possibilities.
the next decade, Khyentse Foundation committed to two 5-year plans of
support for TBRC, for total funding of more than US$2 million. "This
infusion of funds created the capacity to complete Gene's dream of
digitizing his entire library of Tibetan texts," said Jeff Wallman,
executive director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Project (Gene
appointed as executive director in 2009). "It would not have happened
without KF support; we would still be creeping along." And in August
2015, TBRC passed the 10 million-page mark of texts scanned, a huge
milestone. "We think Gene would be very happy," said Jeff.
Rinpoche was in Tashiding, Sikkim, when he received the sad news of Gene's passing. They had recently seen each other in Nepal, where Gene was advising on the nascent 84000 project. Rinpoche recorded a short remembrance of Gene that night.
visits the E. Gene Smith Archives at Southwestern University of
Nationalities in Chengdu, China, Sept 22, 2015. Photo by Kris Yao.
great determination, sound management, and the support of many scholars
and donors, TBRC has achieved Gene's original goal. An enormous corpus
of the most important textual sources of Tibetan Buddhism has been
scanned, cataloged, and made available in a globally accessible digital
library. In the process, excellent systems have been created for
continued text preservation. Now it's time to look at other Buddhist
traditions at risk. Social and political strife and environmental
instability are creating precarious situations in many countries. In
particular, the textual sources of Chinese, Pali, and Sanskrit, and a
great many other languages and scripts from Central, Southeast, and
East Asia, are at serious risk of being lost, and very limited time
remains to save them.
is exploring the possibility of expanding the scope of its preservation
activities to ensure that Buddhist texts from all traditions are
digitally secure, searchable, and easily accessible. Khyentse
Foundation fully supports this ambitious and challenging endeavor,
which is vital to the continuity of the precious traditions of Buddhism
for generations to come. The move to become a resource center for all
Buddhist traditions is a giant step forward, which will require the
collaboration of the global Buddhist community as well as visionary
patrons who understand the monumental impact of this effort on the
longevity of the Buddhadharma.
How to Use TBRC: A Practical Guide
TBRC's Tibetan eText Repository is for everyone who is reading this.
a pioneer in its aspiration to digitally preserve the entire Tibetan
literary heritage, TBRC will benefit many generations of people around
the globe by making the texts freely accessible online and offline.
TBRC's Tibetan eText Repository is for everyone who is reading this.
It's for practitioners, scholars, monks, nuns, researchers—anyone who
is interested in Tibetan Buddhist literature. The digital library
contains more than 18,000 volumes, all of which are fully discoverable.
One can search a place name, a person's name, a topic, a title, a term,
across many collections, through multiple traditions, at any point in
time. Global search and browsing entry points are the two primary methods employed to discover the TBRC digital library.
TBRC Goes to Mongolia
Smith and David Lunsford, TBRC board member and president of Bodhi
Foundation, visited Mongolia in 2007 to meet with many representatives
of monasteries, universities, and related organizations to formalize
relationships and to explore areas of collaboration. They distributed
the TBRC search appliances and helped to set up several libraries with
TBRC's collection of scanned texts.
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