The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives was founded in 1970 by the Dalai Lama with the aim of preserving Tibet’s the culture of Tibet. China’s invasion of Tibet in 1950 and the subsequent destruction of over six thousand monasteries during the Cultural Revolution resulted in widespread destruction of Tibet’s enormous literary heritage.
In the early years of exile, refugees escaping to India carried hundreds of books out of Tibet. On the arduous journey across the Himalayas, these precious texts were often guarded above all else.
The Library of Tibetan Works & Archives preserves a unique collection of primary sources, from all branches of Tibetan culture. It is also an active transmitter of Tibetan knowledge to a new generation born in exile, as well as to visitors from around the world. The library undertakes vital work in digitising Tibetan manuscripts and books; preserving unique artefacts and works of art; referencing all available worldwide literature on Tibet; and supporting study of the Tibetan classical and modern language.
Tibet Relief Fund has supported Library of Tibetan Works & Archives over many years, with grants for computers, printers, audio-visual tools and high-volume storage equipment. We also provide an annual salary grant for a full time Tibetan archivist, to enable urgent digitisation of fragile recordings and films in order to preserve them for future generations.