Literature In Danger
Natural Disasters, the Ebb of Time, and a Vast Fragmented Collection
While Tibetan culture is very much alive around the world, social and political circumstances can make access to texts challenging. TBRC must remain dynamically engaged with evolving conditions and act decisively to preserve Tibetan collections when and wherever possible.
Natural disasters in the Himalayas and Inner Asia are an ever-present possibility. Fires, earthquakes and other tragic events can suddenly strike major literary collections. If these collections have not been scanned and digitally preserved, the result is irreversible loss.
In some libraries and private collections in remote parts of Asia, books are literally rotting away on the shelves because the paper on which they were printed is made from natural fibers, susceptible to decomposition if not stored properly.
Moreover, the vast Tibetan literary corpus is fragmented and widely dispersed – often in extremely remote places – at risk of being forgotten while time slowly ebbs away.
This endangered literature is precious to Tibetans and Buddhists, but also to the world. It is part of our collective human heritage.