Tibetologists Gather in Prague from Around the World

The 16th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies is held in Prague, July 3rd-9th. The wonderful IATS yak is designed by Dolpo Tsering Samdrup and the beautiful calligraphy is by Tashi Mannox.

The Buddhist Digital Resource Center is at the 16th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies—the IATS conference currently underway at Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic! Attended by over six hundred scholars and researchers from all over the world, the conference is a joyous reunion, and for many attendees, the first international conference they had attended since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

BDRC's essential role in the field of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies was recognized by the organizers who gave BDRC a plenary session, where we co-presented with the Khyentse Vision Project. Our Executive Director Dr. Jann Ronis gave an overview of BDRC's projects and activities to the scholarly community, and then Head Librarian Karma Gongde joined him in giving a bilingual BUDA demonstration.

The opening session of the International Association for Tibetan Studies (IATS) conference, Prague. Over six hundred scholars and researchers attend the week-long conference.

BDRC scholarship and expertise was on full display at the IATS conference. Our developer Elie Roux presented on the Authors and Translators Identification Initiative on the Studying the Kangyur and Tengyur panel, where our Board Member John Canti and Advisory Member Orna Almogi also presented. Our librarian Chungdak Nangpa presented on the formation and characteristics of Tibetan historical place names on the Tibetan Ethnographies panel. Our communications coordinator Tenzin Dickie presented on translating Pema Bhum's memoir at the Lost and Found in Translation panel, along with Board Member Lama Jabb, Advisory Member Holly Gayley, and former Board Member Janet Gyatso. And our librarian Kelsang Lhamo was the subject of a presentation by Riika J. Virtanen on the Literature and Excurse [sic] to the Archives.

The IATS conference, from July 3rd-9th, is a great opportunity for BDRC staff to meet directly with one of our key user communities, the scholars who rely on our peerless Buddhist archive for their research, training and teaching. Our librarians were available all week at the BDRC Booth for questions, comments, and one-on-one consultations. Many users of BDRC came by to personally thank the librarians for their expertise and for their generous services over the years.

Librarians Chungdak Nangpa, Kelsang Lhamo and Karma Gongde greet friends, old and new, at the busy BDRC Booth at IATS.

One of the scholars from Tibet, Tsering Samdrup, currently a lecturer at Bonn University, told us, "I use the BDRC archive for both my research and for my leisure reading. If I want to read a text from Jonang Taranatha, one of my favorite authors, it would take a few days to get his text through interlibrary loan. Instead, I just open up the BDRC archive and I can get the text instantly. I'll give a small example of the way that BDRC has been helpful to my research. When I need to do a comparative reading of various editions, the BDRC archive is simply the best. BDRC has almost every text that you need. For instance, if I need to check how many editions of Kachem Kakholma there are, I start my search with BDRC."

The majority of the text-based papers presented at the conference were enabled by BDRC's archive. It was wonderful to see all the scholarship made possible and all the knowledge produced because of the dedicated work of the BDRC team over the last two decades.

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