Friday, December 19, 2008

Tibschol Downloadable

This is just a brief message to announce Tibschol (Tibetan Scholarship Bibliography) has today been made available to the public for the first time ever. This is a bibliography of works (primarily journal articles, but also books, etc.) about Tibet primarily in English (and Western European languages). What that means is that it will probably be of use to a larger number of persons than the more specialized Tibskrit, which I circulated once again not so very long ago.

 (I should add that the 2009 version is available HERE and HERE).  [Sorry, these links have expired as of Sept. 2014; try doing an internet search for "Tibskrit" and it should be findable)

Some people might think that the power of internet searches has done away with the usefulness of bibliographies such as this. I don't agree. If you think it's true, I recommend that you download Tibschol and make use of it along with your internet searches and let me know the outcome of your experiment.

I will first wish you all happy holidays, safe travel, tolerable weather, good health, and happy times with people you like to be with and who feel great having you around!

Here is a long quote from the introduction followed by the download links (which should be active for the forseeable future).

This bibliography covers primarily Tibetan studies, and only secondarily Nepalese/Himalayan and general Buddhist studies. To anticipate your next question, No, this isn't a proper bibliography in the sense that I have personally inspected every single item listed here. In fact, one of the motivations, in the beginning at least, was to keep references to articles and books that I would have liked very much, but hadn't so far been able, to see. Still, the overwhelming majority of entries do indeed result from my direct perception of the publications in question.

A few, but not many, general anthropological articles, or otherwise not especially relevant items, are included. I hope this won't irritate anyone.

Articles in non-Tibetan languages are the main emphasis, although I have included Tibetan language articles that have appeared in the proceedings of the IATS (International Association of Tibetan Studies).

I include as well Euro-American books that would very likely not be readily available in local libraries, which means in particular older and less-known travel literature, books by members of the Younghusband Expedition and the like.

There is some, but not very much, missionary, mountaineering and specialized geological literature (these have never been at the center of my personal research interests). If these are your main interests you will proably find better bibliographies elsewhere.

The word 'scholarship' in the title is used loosely, with the intention that the emphasis should be on articles in specialized periodicals and collective publications of some degree of scholarly repute; the secondary emphasis is on works that, regardless of (or because of) the metaphysical/materialist assumptions or the methodologies employed, ought to be interesting to serious researchers and academics. (Inclusion here does not mean I approve of or otherwise endorse the content. Sometimes the very badness of a publication is enough to make it interesting or remarkable.)

As far as general Buddhist studies are concerned, the emphasis is on published texts and translations of individual Kanjur and Tanjur works (although a separate bibliography, with diacritic marks, which supplies greater coverage for these has been made, entitled "Tibskrit Philology." It has already been available for free download on the internet, the link given above).

There is less emphasis on East and Southeast Asian and Sri Lankan Buddhism, and on general Indological works (a bit stronger on Central Asian and Indian Buddhism).

References to literature in Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Russian languages are all given at second hand. Be warned.

American master's theses and doctoral dissertations are usually, but not always, accompanied with their UMI (University Microfilms International) purchasing numbers.

I estimate that there are at present at least 17,000 entries. Hence it would seem to be larger than Halvard K. Kuløy & Yoshiro Imaeda, Bibliography of Tibetan Studies, Naritasan Shinshoji (Narita 1986), which contains 11,822 entries. (There is, however, much in the Kuløy/Imaeda bibliography that is not included here, and vice versa; I have only on occasion made use of the Kuløy bibliography while making my own, so one ought to consult both bibliographies.)

Unfortunately, the bibliographical database "Karma dgon Tibetan Bibliography: by Erwan Temple has according to my latest information been "deactivated." It was once available at this website: Although it was only possible to search through keywords or author names (and impossible to see the entire bibliography all at once), it was (and probably is) a quite extensive listing (one source estimated it had about 40,000 records!). If it were still available, or if it eventually becomes available again, I would certainly suggest using it as an alternative place to turn in order to find things that are not to be found here, or as a way of verifying or filling out bibliographic details.

I am aware of a few other major bibliographic resources, but since these are only supplied in return for payment, I will not advertise them here. I have neither purchased nor made use of any of them.

If you are fortunate to have a good research library nearby, it is likely it will have the otherwise quite expensive book by Julie G. Marshall, Britain and Tibet, 1765-1947: A Select Annotated Bibliography of British Relations with Tibet and the Himalayan States including Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan, Routledge/Curzon (New York 2004). As may be known from the subtitle, this is a specialized bibliography. I sometimes wish I owned a copy.

For more bibliographical resources for Tibetan studies, see this link.

Diacritics: Please note that certain diacritical marks in common use for Sanskrit transcriptions have simply been omitted (for typographical reasons going back to the time the bibliography was first started, but also because these may not translate into different software environments unless they are equipped for Unicode fonts). Hence, both ´s ('s' with slash mark above, in case it doesn't display properly) and .s ('s' with dot below) are represented by simple 's' (except where the original title in fact uses the 'sh' spelling). Dots above or below 'h,' 'n' or 'm' are omitted. For an example: Astamangalakamâla, in which the 2nd & 3rd letters ought to have dots beneath, and the 7th letter a dot above. Length-marks are represented by "ˆ" above the lower-case vowel, but omitted above capitalized vowels (example: Acârya, in which the initial letter ought to have a length-mark, but does not).

In order to make word searches more effective, Tibetan-language proper names & book titles have been repeated in my own preferred way of transcribing them (employing Wylie system with dashes), and "keywords" (which may include proper names) have often been added (especially when the title is in a language other than English).

So if you are ready for it, go to Tibschol by pressing HERE and following he links you will find there.  In any case, have fun with it. It is free and will continue to be free forever.

TIBSCHOL is unfortunately unavailable at the moment (September 2010), but I will try to have a working link up again soon.   


  1. Dan-lags,

    Words cannot do justice to your on-going generosity. So I just say: Thank You!

    However, this far I have been unable to bypass the hordes of unrecognizable webmonsters and what-nots that keep on attacking (guarding??) the site where you have concealed the treasures.
    Besides, if I'd risk my life and limb, my computer simply refuses to download anything from there.

    So this far I have had to content myself with the older version of Tibskrit I luckily discovered in the other (quite tranquil) place.

    What to do?

    Yours sincerely,

  2. Dear Tan,

    I have just heard from the only other person who tried to download it, and they succeeded with at least one of the two files. That means it's possible.

    If clicking on the big yellow (or big orange) "Download" button doesn't do the trick quickly, I'd recommend trying a different internet browser (like Safari instead of Netscape for example). If that doesn't help, use a friend's machine.

    I picked the free hosting service of "SaveFile" just because of it's minimal advertising and relative simplicity compared to other such. At least you don't have the irritating one-minute delay some of them add in as an obstacle.

    I just tried it for myself, and downloading the 6 megabyte file took me 2 minutes. I used Safari on my Mac OSX machine, which is already 3 years out of date.

    I see I get some kind of ridiculous google advertisement for "Bling My Search" (whatever good that is supposed to do me) but the download ought to be happening in hiding behind that big brightly colored ad. Sorry about that.

    I hope I haven't created any frustrations!


  3. Thanks!

    Safari seems really calm and clear. No disturbances. However, due to my mainly trial and error approach to the computer world I couldn't get the new Tibskrit straight (the old one came out immediately in a readable form). That must have something to do with the Unicode system, one way or another. Or with Safari system on a Windows computer. By and by I'll probably find out.

    In any case there is hope!

    I also hope to write a few words about a mysterious Whitehead and a Bell one of these days, when I get less busy. No news, maybe - however.

    Till that day,
    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen...

    Yours, Tan

  4. I was able to download both .doc and .pdf files. A search was possible in the .pdf, but it appears to have picked up items not found in the Word document. In the doc. file a bibliographic reference was found that was not found in the .pdf document.

    My recommendation? Download both and be prepared to run your search engine at least twice.

  5. Dear Person,

    I don't think running the search engine "at least twice" will be necessary. I'm very surprised that you could find any difference between the two files, since they were made at most 24 hours apart from each other. How much could I have added in the mean time?


  6. Hello ! Erwan Temple will apparently reactivate his bibliography in january.

  7. Let me know if the links stop working, so I can do a new upload and then update the links.

  8. The Erwan Temple bibliography:

    appears to be up and working again. However, it seems that logins are now required.

  9. Dear rTen,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I will forward this to my friends so more people can benefit from your incredible work.

  10. Hi, the TibSchol Dropbox link is no longer working, is this document still available?

  11. Are you sure about that, Unknown? There does seem to be a working link there near the end. Or try


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