The Buddhist Digital Resource Center is delighted to present our newly released BDRC Mobile App. The app allows users to view and search the entire BDRC library on their mobile phone, giving you access to 28 million pages of Buddhist literature via the slim iPhone or Android in your hands.
The Buddhist Digital Resource Center is the largest online archive of Tibetan and Buddhist texts in the world, and provides open access to this incredible body of literature via an online library, a hard drive distribution program, and a mobile app.
Released to the public in November, BDRC's updated Mobile App is a crucial part of the international effort to share our archive with readers and users all over the globe. In the Asian hinterlands and on the Tibetan plateau, computer usage and internet connectivity is still not widespread. However while the great majority of people don't have computers, most people do have smartphones.
For the monks, nuns, and practitioners in the nomadic and rural areas of Tibet, our Mobile App provides a critical lifeline to our online repository of Tibetan Buddhist texts. With a free BDRC account, they can enter and access our entire archive of classical Buddhist literature. It is as if we were giving them a key not just to their own monastery library, but to all the monastery libraries across the Tibetan plateau. Everyone, from a high school student in Lhasa to a Khenmo in Larung Gar, can instantly open any Tibetan text they wish to read, whether it's a modern publication of a collection of Tibetan opera scripts or a blockprint of Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. We are proud to make Tibetan textual heritage more widely available and accessible to the Tibetan people themselves.
Although the BDRC mobile app has been online for several years now, the newly released version constitutes a significant milestone. The highlights of this release leverage internet connectivity to include: a secure login using a free and private BDRC account; text image preview provided inline with the search results; PDF generation available within the app; and the ability to specify a custom library location.
Help and Settings interfaces have been updated and additional metadata now provides the location and availability of works that are not in the BDRC primary library, helpfully giving you information on a truly global range of texts. The app's search tool works offline but the image viewer requires an internet connection.
With the Mobile App, you can easily do the following:
- Log in securely and freely with a BDRC account
- Search in Tibetan script or in Wylie transliteration
- Browse thumbnails of the search results giving you a preview of the text
- Explore useful metadata about a text, such as publisher name, location and print type
- Search on author names to discover biographical information and find other writings
- View the scans clearly in horizontal mode and zoom in on particular passages
- Generate PDFS and download any of our non-copyrighted texts
Many of our users in the Western hemisphere who regularly use our website may not even be aware of the mobile app. In fact, the mobile app was first created not for the public but for internal use by BDRC staff and contractors. Our preservationists going into the field searching for texts needed an easy way to check which books were already preserved in the archive and which were not. The application was so useful that by popular demand, we made it publicly available so that everyone could use it.
So far, the mobile app has already been downloaded over 68,000 times from the Apple Store.