Tibetan and Himalayan Library

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The Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL), formerly the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library (THDL), is a multimedia guide and digital library hosted by the University of Virginia focused on the languages, history and geography of Tibet and the Himalayas. The THL has also designed a scholarly transcription for Standard Tibetan known as the THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription.

A digital library, digital repository, or digital collection, is an online database of digital objects that can include text, still images, audio, video, or other digital media formats. Objects can consist of digitized content like print or photographs, as well as originally produced digital content like word processor files or social media posts. In addition to storing content, digital libraries provide means for organizing, searching, and retrieving the content contained in the collection.

University of Virginia University in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson. It is the flagship university of Virginia and home to Jefferson's Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UVA is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies.

Tibet Plateau region in Asia

Tibet is a region in Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 5,000 m (16,000 ft). The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.



THDL was established in 2000 in association with the University of Virginia Library and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, using the innovative Fedora Commons (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture) system. Content includes publications, research resources, language learning materials, and a gazetteer.

The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) is a research unit of the University of Virginia, USA. Its goal is to explore and develop information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research. To that end, IATH provide Fellows with consulting, technical support, applications development, and networked publishing facilities. It cultivates partnerships and participate in humanities computing initiatives with libraries, publishers, information technology companies, scholarly organizations, and other groups residing at the intersection of computers and cultural heritage.

Fedora Commons software for digital asset management

Fedora is a digital asset management (DAM) architecture upon which institutional repositories, digital archives, and digital library systems might be built. Fedora is the underlying architecture for a digital repository, and is not a complete management, indexing, discovery, and delivery application. It is a modular architecture built on the principle that interoperability and extensibility are best achieved by the integration of data, interfaces, and mechanisms as clearly defined modules.

THDL provides "an integrated environment for the digital publication of many diverse academic projects connected with Tibet and the Himalayan region". The structure of THDL consists of five overarching domains: Collections, Reference, Community, Tools, and Education.

Content of THDL is in English, Tibetan, Nepali, Dzongkha and Chinese languages. Most content in the digital library is published under the THDL Public License For Digital Texts. [1]

Standard Tibetan is a widely spoken form of the Tibetic languages that has many commonalities with the speech of Lhasa, an Ü-Tsang dialect. For this reason, Standard Tibetan is often called Lhasa Tibetan. Tibetan is an official language of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. The written language is based on Classical Tibetan and is highly conservative.

Nepali language Official language of Nepal; one of the scheduled languages of India

Nepali, also known as Nepalese, is an Indo-Aryan language of the sub-branch of Eastern Pahari. It is the official language of Nepal and one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. Also known by the endonym Khas kura, the language is also called Gorkhali or Parbatiya in some contexts. It is spoken mainly in Nepal and by about a quarter of the population in Bhutan. In India, Nepali has official status in the state of Sikkim, and significant number of speakers in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttarakhand and West Bengal's Darjeeling district and Kalimpong. It is also spoken in Burma and by the Nepali diaspora worldwide. Nepali developed in proximity to a number of Indo-Aryan languages, most notably the other Pahari languages and Maithili, and shows Sanskrit influence. However, owing to Nepal's location, it has also been influenced by Tibeto-Burman languages. Nepali is mainly differentiated from Central Pahari, both in grammar and vocabulary, by Tibeto-Burman idioms owing to close contact with this language group.

Dzongkha national language of Bhutan

Dzongkha, or Bhutanese, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by over half a million people in Bhutan; it is the sole official and national language of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The Tibetan alphabet is used to write Dzongkha.

The project is run by an international team of scholars from universities and private organizations around the world.

THDL hosts the Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (JIATS), a freely available online, peer-reviewed English language academic journal focusing on Tibetan studies.

<i>Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies</i> journal

The Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (JIATS) ISSN 1550-6363 is a freely available online, peer-reviewed English language academic journal focusing on Tibetan studies. JIATS is an official publication of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS), the association that organizes the world’s major academic conference for Tibetan Studies, the results of which are published in the Proceedings of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (PIATS) series.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Academic journal peer-reviewed periodical relating to a particular academic discipline

An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transparent forums for the presentation, scrutiny, and discussion of research. They are usually peer-reviewed or refereed. Content typically takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, and book reviews. The purpose of an academic journal, according to Henry Oldenburg, is to give researchers a venue to "impart their knowledge to one another, and contribute what they can to the Grand design of improving natural knowledge, and perfecting all Philosophical Arts, and Sciences."

Tibetan Machine Uni

Tibetan Machine Uni
Category Non-latin
Date released2000

Tibetan Machine Uni is an open source OpenType font for the Tibetan script based on a design by Tony Duff which was updated and adapted for rendering Unicode Tibetan text by the Tibetan and Himalayan Library project at the University of Virginia and released under the GNU General Public License. The font supports a particularly extensive set of conjunct ligatures for Tibetan.

OpenType is a format for scalable computer fonts. It was built on its predecessor TrueType, retaining TrueType's basic structure and adding many intricate data structures for prescribing typographic behavior. OpenType is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Tibetan script abugida used to write the Tibetic languages and others

The Tibetan script is an abugida of Indic origin used to write the Tibetic languages such as Tibetan, as well as Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Ladakhi, and sometimes Balti. The printed form is called uchen script while the hand-written cursive form used in everyday writing is called umê script.

Unicode Character encoding standard

Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. The standard is maintained by the Unicode Consortium, and as of May 2019 the most recent version, Unicode 12.1, contains a repertoire of 137,994 characters covering 150 modern and historic scripts, as well as multiple symbol sets and emoji. The character repertoire of the Unicode Standard is synchronized with ISO/IEC 10646, and both are code-for-code identical.

Related Research Articles

The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University, which is located in Medford and Somerville, near Boston, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The project assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the department of Classics. The project is mirrored by the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany, as well as by the University of Chicago.

Wylie transliteration Method for transliterating Tibetan script

The Wylie transliteration system is a method for transliterating Tibetan script using only the letters available on a typical English language typewriter. It bears the name of American tibetologist Turrell V. Wylie, who described the scheme in an article, A Standard System of Tibetan Transcription, published in 1959. It has subsequently become a standard transliteration scheme in Tibetan studies, especially in the United States.

Tise is a Tibetan input method utility for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 created by Grigory Mokhin. The name of the program refers to the native name of Mount Kailash in Tibet.

The SASM/GNC/SRC romanization of Tibetan, commonly known as Tibetan pinyin or ZWPY, is the official transcription system for the Tibetan language in the People's Republic of China for personal names and place names. It is based on the Lhasa dialect of Standard Tibetan and reflects the pronunciation except that it does not mark tone. It is used within China as an alternative to the Wylie transliteration for writing Tibetan in the Latin script within academic circles; Wylie transliteration is more commonly used.

The THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription of Standard Tibetan is a system for the phonetic rendering of the Tibetan language.

Tibetology refers to the study of things related to Tibet, including its history, religion, language, culture, politics and the collection of Tibetan articles of historical, cultural and religious significance. The last may mean a collection of Tibetan statues, shrines, Buddhist icons and holy scripts, Thangka embroideries, paintings and tapestries, jewellery, masks and other objects of fine Tibetan art and craftsmanship.

Andreas Gruschke was a German author, photographer and Tibet researcher. His scientific background was that of a geographer, Sinologist and ethnologist. He received a 1990 M.A. at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, and a Ph.D. in 2009 at Leipzig University.

Katok Monastery One of the six principal monasteries of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism

Katok Monastery, also transliterated as Kathok or Kathog Monastery, is one of the six principal ("mother") monasteries of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located in Baiyu County, Garze Prefecture, Sichuan, China.

THL may refer to:

Tibetan literature generally refers to literature written in the Tibetan language or arising out of Tibetan culture. Historically, Tibetan has served as a trans-regional literary language that has been used, at different times, from Tibet to Mongolia, Russia, and present-day Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Pakistan. Today, the term Tibetan literature can also be applied to any work by an ethnic Tibetan person or arising out of Tibetan folk culture; contemporary Tibetan writers sometimes use Chinese, English, or other languages to compose their work.

Nyingma Gyubum is the Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga Tantras of the Nyingma lineage.

The Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access (TICFIA) grant program is a United States Department of Education Title VI grant program that provides grants to develop innovative techniques or programs that address national teaching and research needs in international education and foreign languages by using technology to access, collect, organize, preserve, and widely disseminate information on world regions and countries other than the United States.

Sam van Schaik British tibetologist

Sam Julius van Schaik is an English Tibetologist. He obtained a PhD in Tibetan Buddhist literature at the University of Manchester in 2000, with a dissertation on the translations of Dzogchen texts by Jigme Lingpa. Since 1999 he has worked at the British Library in London, and is currently a project manager for the International Dunhuang Project, specialising in the study of Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts from Dunhuang. He has also taught occasional courses at SOAS, University of London.

Kurtis R. Schaeffer is Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia and Chair of the Religious Studies department. His primary topics of research are the history of the regions of Nepal, India, Tibet, and China, with a focus on the forms of Buddhism present in these areas, most especially Tibetan Buddhism. Some specific issues he has been concentrated on include Indo-Tibetan poetry, the development of classical learning and printed literature in Tibetan cultural regions, and the history of women, saints, and Dalai Lamas in Tibet. For his work, Schaeffer has received Fulbright, Ryskamp, and Whiting fellowships.

Jomolhari (typeface)

Jomolhari is a Tibetan script Uchen font created by Christopher Fynn, freely available under the Open Font License. It supports text encoded using the Unicode Standard and the Chinese national standard for encoding characters of the Tibetan script. The design of the font is based on Bhutanese manuscript examples and it is suitable for text in Tibetan, Dzongkha and other languages written in the Tibetan script.

The Treasury of Lives is an online, open access, peer reviewed, biographical encyclopedia of historical figures from Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan Region.

David Germano American Tibetologist

David Francis Germano is an American Tibetologist and Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia (UVa), the largest Tibetan Studies program in the Americas, where he has taught and researched since 1992. With dual appointments in the School of Nursing and the Department of Religious Studies, Germano currently oversees the work of over twenty graduate students. He is on the board of the International Association of Tibetan Studies and is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (JIATS), a leading journal of Tibetology. In 2000, he founded the Tibetan and Himalayan Library, a digital initiative for collaborative building of knowledge on the region, which he continues to lead as Director. Since 2008 he has also been the co-director of the UVa Tibet Center. More recently, Germano acted as the founding director of SHANTI at the UVa. Since 2011, Germano has also played a leading role in organizing the University of Virginia's Contemplative Sciences Center, which he currently directs.


  1. "THDL Public License for Digital Texts". THDL. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-06-28.


International Standard Serial Number unique eight-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication

An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is especially helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, cataloging, interlibrary loans, and other practices in connection with serial literature.