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» North India
» Himachal Pradesh
Location: Macleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Main Attractions: Tibetan Artifacts & Manuscripts
Exhibits: 80,000 Manuscripts, Books & Documents
Significance: One of the Most Important Institution of Tibetan Culture

Conceived and founded by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) is one of the most important institutions in the world dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Tibetan culture.

The foundation stone for the Library's Tibetan style building was laid on 11th June 1970, in the hill station of Dharamsala, north India. Located within the compound of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, the library serves as a repository for Tibetan artifacts 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 artifacts, 6,000 photographs and other materials.

As a centre for the study of Tibetan culture, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is firmly dedicated to a threefold vision of preservation, protection and promotion. The Library looks forward into the next century, confident of its role to preserve, and educate others about, a culture threatened with destruction. More than 25 years after its foundation, the need for such an institution as the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives has continued to grow.

The primary objective of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives is to provide a comprehensive cultural resource centre and to promote an environment fostering research and an exchange of knowledge between scholars and students. This is of the utmost importance in a contemporary world shaped by political and spiritual confusion.

The Library's priorities include: Acquiring and conserving Tibetan books and manuscripts, artifacts and works of art; Providing access to books, manuscripts and reference works in Tibetan and foreign languages, in study areas within the Library.

Compiling bibliographies and documentation of library holdings and related literature available worldwide.

Providing copies and prints of library holdings.

Acting as a reference centre for such source materials (.) Publishing books and manuscripts under the Library imprint.

Supporting research and study of the Tibetan language, classical and modern, and the traditional arts and crafts.

The Tibetan Library has been in operation since 1st November 1971. The Library is home to one of only two Tibetan Oral History projects in the world. Its dynamic 'thangka' painting and woodcarving programmes are indicative of the fact that cultural preservation includes the arts as well as letters.

LTWA works in close collaboration with the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath and the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration. With each year of operation increasing numbers of visitors, researchers and students are drawn to this institution which is able to provide them with an educational and cultural experience available nowhere else in the world.

DEPARTMENTS OF THE LTWA The Libraries has got 70,000 manuscripts and documents in Tibetan 10,000 books in English and foreign languages dealing with Buddhism and Tibet related affairs.

The Archives contain several thousand legal and social documents in Tibetan, some dating back as far as the 10th century. There are also 6,000 photographs, negatives and slides of Tibet.

The Museum comprises of 6,00 statues and thangka paintings several hundred reliquaries and other ritual objects, some dating back to the 12th century three-dimensional carved wood mandala of 'Avalokiteshvara'.

Education, operating the Centre for Tibetan Studies, which administers courses in Philosophy and Tibetan Language.

Research and Translation.


Oral History.


April to September- Monday to Friday between 9 A.M. to 5. 30 P.M.

October to March- Monday to Friday between 9 A.M. to 5 P. M.

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