Library of Tibetan Works and Archives

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Conceived of and founded by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) is one of the most important institutions in the world dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Tibetan culture. The foundation stone for the Library's Tibetan style building was laid on 11th June 1970, in the hill station of Dharamsala, north India. Located within the compound of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, the Library serves as a repository for Tibetan artefacts and manuscripts and a centre for language and cultural education. Its holdings include more than 80,000 manuscripts, books and documents, hundreds of thangkas, statues and other artefacts, 6,000 photographs, and other materials.

As a centre for the study of Tibetan culture, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is firmly dedicated to a threefold vision of preservation, protection and promotion. The Library looks forward into the next century, confident of its role to preserve, and educate others about, a culture threatened with destruction. More than 25 years after its founding, the need for such an institution as the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives has continued to grow.

The primary objective of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is to provide a comprehensive cultural resource centre and to promote an environment fostering research and an exchange of knowledge between scholars and students. This is of the utmost importance in a contemporary world shaped by political and spiritual confusion. In trying to fulfil its objectives the Library's priorities include:

Acquiring and conserving Tibetan books and manuscripts,

    artefacts and works of art; 

Providing access to books, manuscripts and reference works

    (in Tibetan and foreign languages) in study areas within the Library; 

Compiling bibliographies and documen-tation of library holdings and

    related literature available worldwide; 

Providing copies and prints of library holdings, and acting as a

    reference centre for such source materials 

Publishing books and manuscripts under the Library imprint; Supporting research and study of the Tibetan language, classical

    and modern, and the traditional arts and crafts.

The Tibetan Library has been in operation since Ist November 1971. It has opened its doors to numerous scholars from many countries. It has launched educational programmes in language, philosophy, culture and the traditional arts. It has encouraged computer projects, and other initiatives aiming to preserve Tibetan thought and culture. The Library sponsors international seminars. It engages in book exchange programmes with other libraries and distributes its own publications, in Tibetan and English, throughout the world. Library holdings increase every year and class enrollments in the

Centre for Tibetan Studies continue to climb. The Library is home to one of only two Tibetan Oral History projects in the world. Its dynamic thangka painting and woodcarving programmes are indica-tive of the fact that cultural preservation includes the arts as well as letters. LTWA works in close collaboration with the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies (deemed a university) in Sarnath and the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration. With each year of operation increasing numbers of visitors, researchers and students are drawn to this institution which is able to provide them with an educational and cultural experience available nowhere else in the world.

Departments of the LTWA

The Library is organized in eight distinct departments:

1. The Library itself, which consists of the Tibetan Manuscript Collection and

    The Foreign Language Reference Library.

2. The Archives, consisting of the Document and Photographic Archives. 3. The Museum. 4. Education, operating the Centre for Tibetan Studies, which administers

    courses in Philosophy and Tibetan Language.

5. Research and Translation. 6. Publications. 7. Oral History. 8. Administration.

  • More information on the main website.

Main teachers


Active Projects

Unpublished Works (completed)

Internal Links

External Links