Internet Resources for Tibetan Studies

In addition to the popular links below, please also see the Columbia Online Research Guide for Modern Tibetan Studies, which provides an extensive bibliography of resources for Modern Tibetan Studies, including online resources.  Additional links are also listed on the website of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.


Treasury of Lives
The Treasury of Lives is a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan region.  Founded in 2007 as a project of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, The Treasury of Lives recently established independent non-profit status. The Treasury provides an accessible and well-researched biography of a wide range of figures, from Buddhist masters to artists and political officials, many of which are peer reviewed. Website localization into Tibetan and Chinese languages in is progress in order to meet the growing numbers of users active in those languages.



Columbia Online Research Guide for Modern Tibetan Studies
This guide is derived from the extensive syllabus compiled by Professor Gray Tuttle for his “Sources for Modern Tibetan History” seminar.  Exceptionally strong in its survey of resources for historical research, it also provides general bibliographies for the field of Tibetan Studies and related disciplines, as well as useful tools, dictionaries, blogs, etc.


The Buddhist Canons Bibliographic Database
A project of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Columbia University Center for Buddhist Studies, this vast database provides searchable bibliographic information and links to scanned canonical scriptures, translations, and related secondary studies. (Login required)


Engaging Digital Tibet
Engaging Digital Tibet was created to enhance the teaching and learning of Tibetan material history. The site contains an advanced, searchable repository of Tibetan objects, as well as unique features for creating and sharing descriptive annotations about the objects and their significant parts, allowing for a collaborative decoding and description of Tibetan culture itself.



Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) (UNI required)
800,000 entries on all subjects (especially in the humanities and the social sciences) pertaining to East, Southeast, and South Asia published worldwide from 1971 to present. Especially good for discovering articles in the Tibet Journal or in journals on Asia, China, India, or Buddhist Studies more generally.


Bya-ra Database
Online database of more than 12,000 Tibetan-language research articles published in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  Many English abstracts provided. Also includes contents of Rig gnas lo rgyus series and the English-language journals, Tibet Studies and China Tibetology.


China Academic Journals (UNI required)
Thousands of journals in the humanities and social science since 1994, including periodicals from nationalities universities throughout the PRC, Qinghai Minzu Yanjiu, China Tibetology, etc. Full-text in both CAJ viewer and .pdf.  English abstracts for most articles.  May search in Chinese or English. See also Century Journal Project database, covering articles prior to 1994, as well as full-text databases for dissertations and core newspapers.



Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library

University of Virginia's two platforms for Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. Contains images, maps, and audio and video materials relating to Tibet, Nepal, China, India and Bhutan. Thematic Collections include Art, Environment, Geography, History, Language, Literature, Medicine, Music and Religion. (easy access in English)
An archive of images, writings, recordings and place information about areas on and surrounding the Tibetan Plateau, with a special focus on oral traditions and cultural production in Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu provinces; also links to the journal Asian Highlands Perspectives.


Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC)
Buddhist Digital Resource Center (BDRC) Core Text Collection
(UNI required)
Provides online access to thousands of Tibetan texts in all Core Text Collections published to date, and a virtual library of bibliographic and biographical information.


Asian Classics Input Project
ACIP offers searchable texts regarding Tibetan philosophy, history, etc. Includes bka’ ʼgyur and bstan ʼgyur collections and gsung ʼbum of many famous early scholars. (Login required.)


Peking Tripitaka online search (Kyoto)
Database of the Kanjur and Tanjur that can be searched by typing in a term in transliterated Tibetan (Wylie) or Sanskrit (KH Sanskrit transcription system). Project of Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute, and published by Ōtani Daigaku (Kyoto).


Digitized Tibetan Archives Material at Bonn University
A rich resource offering top-quality scans of over 4,000 documents from the TAR Archives, private collections, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and others.


Old Tibetan Documents Online (OTDO)
A corpus of selected Old Tibetan texts (7th - 12th centuries): Dunhuang manuscripts, inscriptions, and related materials. OTDO provides critically edited texts together with search and KeyWord In Context (KWIC) facilities.

International Dunhuang Programme
International Dunhuang Programme (formerly the International Dunhuang Project) provides access to images, information, and learning resources about manuscripts, printed materials, and other items from sites of the Eastern Sik Roads through its online platform. Based at the British Library and comprised of 35 partner instutitions worldwide, hundreds of thousands of images of manuscripts, paintings, artifacts, and so on, are available freely on the IDP website. 


China Data Online (UNI required)
Project of the University of Michigan. Wide-ranging statistics for most of the PRC down to county-level for China Population Census Data. Also includes database for China statistical yearbooks.


ChinaLawInfo / Beida fa bao 北大法寳 (UNI required)
Project of Beijing University. China laws, regulations, treaties, law literature, etc. from 1949.


Electronic Resources for Chinese Studies
Comprehensive resource guide compiled and maintained by Chinese Studies Librarian, C.V. Starr East Asian Library



Project Himalayan Art
Interdisciplinary resource for learning about Himalayan, Tibetan, and Inner Asian art and cultures. The online platform incldes 108 object-focused essays. 

Himalayan Art Resources
Online educational resource with tens of thousands of images of Tibetan paintings and scultpure from collections worldwide, searchable by image, data, and lineage, as well as links to other Tibetan art sites.


Educational Interactive Library (Rubin Museum of Art)
Educational Interactive Library to explore thangka and other artistic images by theme, time, and place.

The Tibet Album: British Photography in Central Tibet 1920-1950
Searchable by photographers, dates, people, places. Includes a “Who Was Who” project for early 20th c. Tibet, also day-to-day diary of Gould Mission in Tibet (1936-37) primarily photos by Charles Bell (1870-1945), Frederick Spencer Chapman (1907-1971), Arthur Hopkinson (1894-1953), Rabden Lepcha, Evan Nepean (1909-2002), Hugh Richardson (1905-2000), and Harry Staunton (1908-1945). Project of the Pitt Rivers Museum, British Museum.


Digital Himalaya
Ethnographic materials from Himalaya Mountain communities, including slides, videos, audio tapes, etc. Includes materials from the Williamson Collection (1930-1935, Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet), the Fürer-Haimendorf Film Collection (1930s, North Eastern India and Nepal), the Naga videodisk created in the 1980s, the Thak Village of central Nepal collected since 1969, and the Thangmi Archive of northeastern Nepal. Features sample images and video clips (.qt) from the collections.


The Tibet Map Institute
This website offers detailed topographical maps of Central Tibet and more.



Tibetan and Himalayan Library Reference
Provides an online dictionary for Tibetan, Nepali, Chinese, Pali and Sanskrit, a reference roster to contemporary scholars, a gazetteer of Tibetan and Himalayan places, and a guide to Himalayan-related internet resources.

THL Tibetan to English Translation Tool
Online translation tool managed by the Tibetan and Himalayan Library

Dharma Dictionary: Tibetan-English Dictionary, Dharma Glossaries and Resources
Provides an online Tibetan dictionary in collaboration with Rangjung Yeshe Publications where one can type in a Tibetan word using the Wylie transliteration system and get a thorough range of definitions. 



Journal of the International Association for Tibetan Studies


China's Tibetology Research Center (official website)
Research institute of Tibetan studies sponsored by Chinese government. Introduces the institute, organization, academic staff, research projects and publications. Includes news related to area development, photos research resources, scholars and their works, bibliographies, and important topics. Introduces Tibetan religion and culture, and its social and economic development. Includes lists of research institutions and links to other sites of Tibetan studies.


Digital South Asia Library
Archives related to the East India Company, China Inland Mission and Curzon, India and Empire. Also, easy-to-browse list of subject headings for strong PL480 collection.  Good source for works on Tibet originating from India, and trade statistics for the 19th and early 20th centuries.


The Nepal-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project
Initiated in 1970 by the German Oriental Society to catalogue and create microfilm images of ancient Nepali and Tibetan religious and historical texts. The site gives a history of the project, as well as a few paragraphs on the "Cultural heritage of Nepal" and the process of microfilming. Copies of the texts microfilmed by the project can be ordered. Includes numerous historical documents from Samling Gompa (Mustang area), including Tibetan and Chinese documents from early 19th century relaying orders of the Manchu emperor.


Tibetan Studies WWW Virtual Library  (no longer updated)
Part of the World-Wide Web Virtual Library project, this site includes databases, online forums, general information, software, maps and images, and electronic newsletters and news. There are links to sites about Tibetan art, theater, music, the flag, human rights, the language, literature, politics, religion, and travel and tourism. Maintained by Dr. Matthew T. Ciolek from January 1995 through July 2010.



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Tibetan Studies Librarian
Kristina Dy-Liacco
304M Kent Hall
(212) 854-9875