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LTWA to launch online database soon

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Dharamsala-based the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives (LTWA) will soon launch an online database of its over 60, 000 collections of Tibetan literature.

The cataloguing which uses SLIM (System for Library Information Management) software was launched in June 1994. Till date the cataloguing of about 25% of the whole collection has been completed.

Initially started in DOS and later shifted to Windows in 1999, the database will prove helpful in promotion of catalogue exchange and online search between LTWA and other institution, and research scholars. Once launched, the catalogue would be searchable through author, publisher, year and place of publication, classification number, short title, keywords and series.

In the seventies, at a time when even the typewriter was rare in the Tibetan society, LTWA launched its indigenous Tibetan version typewriter. Then in the eighties, when the importance of using computer in the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was felt, LTWA, with the help of an American volunteer Jim Woolsey, started the computer training to some CTA staff.

In 1994, in a joint project with Pune-based Centre for Development and Advance Computing (CDAC), LTWA launched a new Tibetan font called ISM-Tibetan, which proved very helpful in various offices and in the Tibetan community.

Today LTWA serves as a repository for Tibetan artefacts and manuscripts and a centre for language and cultural education. Its holdings include more than 80,000 manuscripts, books and documents, hundreds of thangkas, statues and other artefacts, 6,000 photographs, and other materials.

LTWA has been in operation since 1st November 1971. It has opened its doors to numerous scholars from many countries. It has launched educational programmes in language, philosophy, culture and the traditional arts. It is home to one of only two Tibetan Oral History projects in the world.

LTWA works in close collaboration with the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies (deemed a university) in Sarnath and the Department of Religion & Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration.

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