Audio / Visual

Audio visual archive is primarily a collection of all the rare materials related with the Tibetans recording both religious and secular life. It was dedicated to factual recording of contemporary and as witnessed or recalled by important figures, scholars, professionals and refugees. It is by nature a long-term project that entails to record as much as possible, the vanishing and evolving aspects of the Tibetan culture. The gathering of valuable materials by the Audio Visual Archive will then be able to continue as an integral part of the cultural preservation program and resources have ultimately been benefiting the users interested in studies related to Tibet.

Since its inception in 1976, the audiovisual archive has more than 31,500 hours of recorded materials which includes interviews with senior Tibetans, Lamas and other religious figures, craftspeople, doctors and astrologers, story-tellers, descriptions of traditional dress, costumes and ornaments, traders, pilgrims and ex- government officials have been recorded (mostly in Tibetan) The most recordings are endorsed with the teachings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and other great masters and scholars.

The details of the archival materials are computerized in metadata catalog accessible both in Tibetan and English. Recorded materials are found in various formats, for instance, in Audio tape, Reel to reel tape, Video cassette (VHS), 16mm Films, Digital Audio Tape (DAT), Video DVD, and Video and Audio CD. The Department is digitizing all the recorded materials that are on analogue format.

Collections are preserved in air conditioned room, e.i strictly climate controlled, humid free. At present, the digital recording is done on Edirol R-44 recorder which is a reliable recording, for a variety of professional audio needs and very conveniently sized package. The department also initiates on capturing important events on digital video recorder which enhances the vast information that has been archived.

Since 2001 the digitized materials are stored in the server storage i.e. in RAID System which is designed primarily to enable the rapid storage. From 2009 the digitized materials are stored on new NAS Box i.e. Western Digital Share space, a high speed network storage system. Finally, all the digitized materials are backed up in the IBM System Storage LTO4 Tape Drive, which is a high-performance, high-capacity data-storage. The department provides access to the collections in the archive to those interested in Tibetan studies in accordance with the rules and regulations of LTWA.

The department has produced some audio/video CDs and DVDs of the Teachings and addresses of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Buddhist Philosophy classes, Modern Tibetan Language, Colloquial Conversation, Political History of Tibet, Mirror of Poetry, Tibetan literature, an overview video of LTWA and many other teachings and lectures by renowned scholars and great masters of Tibet. Buddhist philosophy classes held at library is made available to listen LIVE and to download from LTWA website.

Recently the storage facilities of Audio Visual resources of the Archive have been replaced by more reliable and secure storage system. Years old wooden shelves and almirahs that have high degree of vulnerability to demage were removed and subsituted with a new set of Godrej-made steel optimizer for better reliability in safeguarding the resources from dust, humidity and other external element detrimental to the security of the archival collections.
 Ven. Karma Khedup
Archivist (Head)

Sample Audio File


Digitisation of films (16mm)
At present we have over 50 films of 16mm in our archive shot in 70s & 80s, capturing the Tibetan life in exile during that period. These films have some of the rare footage of the early life in exile and digitalizing them will make the valuable footages available to a wider audience and will enrich the collection of that period. Due to lack of financial resources, we have not been able to digitize them so far and with this grant, we would be able to digitize the much necessary rare footages captured in these old films