Digitizing the National Library of Mongolia

(11 September 2018) With support from Khyentse Foundation, the Asian Classics Input Project and the Buddhist Digital Resource Center have partnered to digitize, catalog, and make accessible all Tibetan manuscripts and xylographs held at the National Library of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar. This project is one of the largest in the history of both organizations, with more than 31,000 uncataloged and undigitized volumes of Tibetan texts in need of preservation.

The project has been a long time in the making, with a history dating back to 2006 when ACIP set up a small cataloging and scanning operation to digitize the Library’s Tibetan collection. ACIP wound down that operation in 2012, having digitized and cataloged nearly 11,000 volumes.

Six years later, ACIP, now joined by BDRC’s archival experts, is returning to finish digitizing the National Library’s extraordinary collection. After traveling to Ulaanbaatar and surveying the collection in May 2018, ACIP and BDRC staff are busily engaged in the first phase of digitization—setting up and testing equipment, hiring and training digitization staff, and establishing cataloging procedures. The project is expected to last at least five years and double the size of BDRC’s archive, which currently contains over 15 million pages of Buddhist texts.

The Buddhist Digital Resource Center has the news and photographs.