Songtsen Library - Collections

The Library has a comprehensive collection of important books as well as rare manuscripts on Tibet and the Himalayas. Of particular interest is the collection of books on the Dunhuang documents. The wealth of texts in various languages dating from the 4th to the 11th century discovered in Dunhuang include manuscripts in several languages, Chinese, Khotanese, Kharoshti, Uighur, and Tibetan.

The subjects range from bilingual glossaries to military affairs, political and economic history of the Tibetan empire, the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, ancient legends and rituals, geography and neighboring peoples, medicine and Buddhism. The Dunhuang library materials provide the researcher with a vast array of material on the earliest period when Tibet became a united realm under a dynasty of emperors that lasted for over two hundred years.

Another important part of the Library Collections are publications in various languages of the Buddhist Kangyur and the commentaries of great scholars. The Bon Kangyur and Tengyur are also in this collection.

In addition the institution also houses the private library of the famous German Buddhist philosopher, monk and artist Anagarika Govinda (1898–1985), who lived in Almora, Uttarankhand for two decades. It is a treasure-trove with many of his personal books and works bearing his handwritten notes.

The Library has the latest computer technology for the reproduction, storage and retrieval of rare and fragile manuscripts, films and photos. Internet facilities are available and the Library also has an audiovisual section with audio material and documentary films on Tibet and the Himalayas.