Tibetan Studies: News of the Collection


Current News

NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2016 - WYLIE UPGRADE IN CLIO

The Columbia University Libraries catalog is now  updated to reflect the new  Wylie-compatible Tibetan romanization table, which was  officially approved by the Library of Congress last year.

Readers may now search for Tibetan titles in CLIO using Wylie transliteration.  This means that instead of using diacritics, you can search the following letters in Wylie romanization:  ང་ = nga ; ཉ་ = nya ;  ཞ་ = zha ; ཤ་ = sha.

Records in WorldCat were upgraded in June 2015. In both catalogs, the fruits of this revision are seen in directly converted bibliographic records for 1) all Tibetan publications from China and 2) Tibetan publications published 2007- outside of China were converted. For pre-2007 publications from South Asia, etc., an additional title field in Wylie transliteration was applied. (This was necessary since the original titles on most of these publications were romanized on the publication, and must be retained as they appear on the piece, by cataloging conventions.)

If other schools also wish to upgrade the legacy records in their local database and are interested in the specifications and procedures used at Columbia, please contact the Tibetan Studies Librarian, Lauran Hartley (lh2112@columbia.edu).

 

NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2015 - THARCHIN COLLECTION FINDING AID NOW ONLINE

The Tharchin Collection at the C.V. Starr East Asian Library features correspondence, publications and drafts, photographs, daybooks and other financial accounts, and autobiographical materials from the offices of the late and influential Gegen Dorje Tharchin (1890-1976), also known as “Tharchin Babu.” As founder of the Tibet Mirror Press in Kalimpong, India, Gegen Dorje Tharchin was the renowned editor of the Tibet Mirror newspaper and many other Tibetan-language publications which circulated among Tibetan readers on both sides of the Himalayas, and as far as New York, from the early 1920s through the late 1960s. The archive is a rich source of primary sources related to the activities of intellectuals, officials, missionaries, and other historical figures in India, Sikkim, and Tibet during the 20th century. Details for items in the archive can be found in the online finding aid.

The Tharchin Family in Kalimpong, India, generously contributed the bulk of the materials in the collection and shared helpful information about the work and background of their late grandfather.  Several scholars also contributed their time, resources and expertise: Dr. Paul Hackett, Columbia alumni and author of Theos Bernard, The White Lama (Columbia University Press, 2014), offered the very first duffle bag of materials, forming the core of the collection. He also donated several dozen newspaper issues, together with Dr. Tina Harris, author of Geographical Diversions: Tibetan Trade, Global Transactions (UGa Press 2013). Dr. Isrun Engelhardt hand-delivered, at her own expense, several important items in the collection, including the family photo album. Dr. Herbert Fader contributed his own research notes, and some of the original materials he consulted to write the biography of Gegen Tharchin. Finally, Columbia and Barnard graduate assistants, Mary Beth Morrissey, Jampa Choetso, and Tenzin Yewong Dongchung worked with the Tibetan Studies Librarian to process and create metadata for the collection, which is now fully processed and comprises nearly 8 linear feet.  


News Archive

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2015 - In May 2015, the Library of Congress revised its Tibetan romanization chart to accord with the Wylie transliteration system.  You will see the fruits of this revision in WORLDCAT, where records for 1) all Tibetan publications from China and 2) Tibetan publications published 2007- outside of China were converted.  For pre-2007 publications from South Asia, etc., an additional title field in Wylie transliteration was applied.  (This was necessary since the original titles on most of these publications were romanized on the publication, and must be retained as they appear on the piece, by cataloging conventions.)

The next step is for university libraries to convert records in our local catalogs. No university in North America has undertaken this conversion yet.  At Columbia, we hope to convert our local catalog records as described above by 2016.

Thus, legacy records for Tibetan-language materials in CLIO, Columbia's online catalog, continue to employ the ALA-Library of Congress system of transliteration. This schema is very similar to the Wylie romanization used in current western scholarship, with only a few minor differences.  New records are being added in Wylie.

NEW YORK, May 21, 2013 – Dr. Douglas Duckworth, Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University, was one of ten recipients selected for a $2,500 grant to facilitate access to special and unique collections in the Columbia University Libraires.  His research project, entitled "Redactions from India in Modern Tibet," will contribute to a collaborative project examining the reception of Dignāga’s Ālambana-parīkṣā, a sixth-century Buddhist text composed in Sanskrit, and all major extent commentaries on it from India, Tibet, and China.  View press release.

NEW YORK, May 11, 2012 – Dr. Nicole Willock, University of Denver, was one of ten recipients selected for a $2,500 grant to facilitate access to special and unique collections in the Columbia University Libraires.  Her research project is entitled: "How did Tibetan Intellectuals Understand the Categories of Religion, Secularism and Superstition in the Early 20th Century?" For this purpose, she will consult the Tharchin Collection and other related Tibetan collections at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library during the 2012-2013 school year.  View press release.

NEW YORK, April 28, 2011 – In the spring of 2008, Columbia University Libraries placed a digital library of 97 issues of the Tibet Mirror (Tib. Yul phyogs so so'i gsar 'gyur me long) online for scholarly research and study. Since then, Columbia University spearheaded an international cooperative project with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, the Collège de France, and the Musée Guimet to more than double the size of the original collection.  View press release.

NEW YORK, February 5, 2010 – Columbia University Libraries has received a one-year grant of $10,000 from The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in support of processing the Tibet Information Network (TIN) Archive.  View press release.

NEW YORK, February 19, 2009 -- On February 6-7, Columbia University’s C. V. Starr East Asian Library hosted a conference entitled “Tibetan Studies and the Social Sciences: Data, Tools, Maps and Archives.” Over 70 scholars, library professionals and students from North America and Europe attended the two-day event.  View press release.

NEW YORK, May 7, 2009 -- Columbia University Libraries has placed a new digital library of 97 issues of the Tibet Mirror (Tib. Yul phyogs so so'i gsar 'gyur me long) online for scholars to consult and study. The collection is publicly available at...  View press release.

NEW YORK, August 19, 2008 -- On June 16, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library acquired as a generous donation a 501-volume set of the Bön Canon from the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center in New York City.  View press release.

NEW YORK, January 3, 2006 - The C. V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University has received $250,000 to support a full time professional librarian position in Tibetan Studies. The funds, from the bequest of Dr. Robert Yik-Fong Tam, a Hong Kong banking executive and a 1950 graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Business, will provide four years of support for a full-time Tibetan Studies Librarian position at the Starr East Asian Library.   View press release.


New Titles in the Collection

To search all newly cataloged Tibetan or Tibet-related titles, choose the "New Arrivals" tab in CLIO and select "Tibetan" using the language facet in the left side-bar, or search ALL FIELDS for "Tibet*" (include the asterisk to generate records with the word "Tibet" or "Tibetan"). You may then sort by acquisition date, filter by language, etc.  Note the RSS Feed subscription at the top of the page.

If a holding is "In Process", please contact the Tibetan Studies Librarian (lh2112@columbia.edu). The item will be cataloged in 3-5 working days, and a notice for pick-up will be sent by e-mail.

In addition, you may find titles in CLIO that are marked "On Order" or "Received."  For the latter, please also contact the librarian directly.

For Events and Opportunities, click here.