Tibet Mirror

tibet_mirror

In 2009, Columbia University Libraries 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 digitized newspapers date from 1933 to 1961, and offer a total of 844 scanned pages drawn from the rich collections of the C. V. Starr East Asian Library. This Tibetan-language newspaper was published from 1925 to 1963 in Kalimpong, India, and chronicles the most dramatic social and political transformation to have occurred in Tibet during a time when vernacular writing was relatively scarce, and a Tibetan media otherwise non-existent. Columbia's holdings represent about 30% of the paper’s full run.

The digitized newspaper is a cornerstone of the Starr Library’s "Tharchin Collection," which features the papers of Gegen Dorje Tharchin (1889-1976), a Tibetan Christian convert and the renowned editor of the Tibet Mirror. The Tharchin Collection, which is being readied for public access this year, was acquired with support from the Columbia University Libraries’ Primary Resources Acquisitions Program. In addition to final and draft publications (in both modern and traditional formats), the Collection also includes correspondence; accounts from 1918-1924, and later years; receipts and financial statements; an imprint of a seal designed for the "Future Democratic Tibet Government;" Tibetan hymnals and bibles; scattered photographic prints; advertising solicitations; a list of cotton licenses; and a "Certificate for Traders, Muleteers and Porters."

The digitized library was created as joint project of the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, the Preservation and Digital Conversion Division, and the Libraries Digital Program Division.