Common Searches

Title Searches

The search bar appears prominently on the homepage. Search on BUDA is fast and precise because it returns results on one segment of the data at a time. The search box includes a brief menu of filters that are used to specify the type of record one is searching for, such as person, place, and topic. You can then select more specific facets to narrow your search on the results page.


The most direct way to access a text is by searching for its title, either the complete title or a snippet. Practically speaking the "version" filter – which is the default search filter on the search bar – is the most direct way on BUDA to search for texts by their titles. When you search for a text through the version filter the search results will include a thumbnail of the title page or cover of each text as well as the full title, author, and publication info (if known). This makes it very easy to find the desired or appropriate version of a particular text for your needs.

New users who are searching for a text title will notice that they must choose between the "Works" and "Versions" search settings. This distinction is explained at length in our guide to searching by Work versus searching by Version. The default search setting is a version search. Like the search you are used to on, the version search will retrieve publication and author information.

Search by Resource ID (RID)

Many users find it useful to search by Resource ID (RID). RIDs are alphanumeric strings that take the form of a capital letter followed by several numbers, such as W22124, P273, G98, and so on. These ID numbers appear in all records on the old site under the heading "TBRC Resource ID" and also in the upper right corner of the interface. We have preserved this functionality on the new website. The ID numbers (for text, person, place, etc.) that you are familiar with in the old system remain. If you have bookmarks for specific BDRC records on the old site, you can find the same records on the new site by searching for the RIDs of the bookmarked records. In other words the new site will continue to use the same RIDs as and all links to records on will continue to function. Once the domain is retired, BDRC will continue to maintain a full redirection so that the many references to records on will continue to lead to the same resources. To locate an item based on RIDs, input the RID into the search bar and select the first option in the dropdown menu.

Person Search

The search filters allow you to search specifically for people. By opening the dropdown menu on the main search bar, you can select "Persons." This will let you search through all the "Person" records in our collection. As mentioned above, if you know the RID of the person you are searching for, such as P1428, you can type the RID in the search bar to call up the pertinent record.

Because our database contains more than ten thousand person records there are many records with identical names. When a name search returns multiple records, the new system will help users find the most likely match through sort ordering, a new feature on The default sort order is "Popularity," which ranks the search results by the number of associated records in the BDRC database. Therefore if you are searching for a great master who happens to share his name with many other persons in the database, the record you are looking for will likely appear in the top three places in the ranking. A search for the forefather of the Kagyu school Gampopa Sonam Rinchen (1079-1153) demonstrates the convenience of this new feature. There are seven person records whose names/titles include Gampopa (sgam po pa) and thirty persons named Sonam Rinchen. Nevertheless because Gampopa (P1844) has the highest score on the popularity index, his name appears first on searches for either his title, i.e., Gampopa, or his personal name Sonam Rinchen. The "sort by" functionality also allows sorting by year of birth, closest matches (in terms of textual distance between the searched name and the matched name), and other helpful facets. 

A person record contains information about a given person including events in their life, people and places they are associated with, and, most importantly, their written works. 

At the bottom of a person page you will see a gray box labeled Related Works. This contains all the works associated with this person. These associated items are divided into two groups, "About" and "Created by." About lists the works that reference the person. Created By lists the works written by the person.

If you are looking for appearances of a particular person's name in the body of texts, you can also select the "in Etexts" option from the main search bar. This will search through the Etext collection and match the name as a phrase. Please note that this search feature has no way of distinguishing between two or more persons with the same name.  

Searching in Etexts

The "in Etexts" search setting was mentioned above in the context of searching for personal names across all of BDRC's e-text content. This type of search is not limited to proper names, certainly, and one can search on any string of Tibetan text through this setting. Under each entry in the search results there is a "Best Match" section. From here there are two links to the e-text, "Expand Context or Open Etext." Expand Context offers a three page preview of the e-text on the page and the Open Etext launches the full Etext Reader. The Etext Reader will take you to the section of the e-text that appeared in the search result, but you will also be able to navigate backwards and forwards through the text from there. BDRC's corpus of e-texts is made up of "born digital" e-texts that were typed into the computer as well as e-texts that were generated by OCR (optical character recognition).

Topic Browsing

Topics are a useful way of searching the collection. You can search topics from the main search bar by selecting "Topics" from the drop down menu and typing in the name of the topic you wish to search.


Topics can also be used to refine a larger search. From the "Topics" filter on the search results page, you will be able to focus on the specific range of topics relevant to your search.