Monday, December 14, 2020

Free Younghusband Secrets


In celebration of this season of holidays Tibeto-logic is passing on a gift, or spilling the beans, one or the other. We just want to tell you that if the Younghusband Expedition of 1904 is as interesting to you as it is to most Tibetanists, you are in luck. For a limited time only, for as long as the Kew offices are closed to the public in honor of the pandemic, you can get all of the already-digitized objects of the United Kingdom's Foreign Office archives in downloadable PDF format with a billing amount of £0.00.

All you have to do is register an email and password with their site, add the items you would like to your “basket,” and they will send the links to your email address so you can then save them one at a time on your own computer. If that sounds doable to you, go to this link to get started:

or better

The 12 most interesting files are all called “Affairs of Tibet,” so I’d recommend that as the first item to type into their search box.

But if you are going to do it, do it now. I understand from what I see on their site that they will end this free service when the reading rooms reopen, which could be any time soon. Then their usual fees will go back into effect.

Many human cultures celebrate festivals of light in around this time of year. Light is a metaphor for knowledge, whatever dissipates the shadows of ignorance and confusion. Here's wishing for more transparency and truth in government and media in the coming year 2021. No doubt it will be better than 2020, so let’s invite it in with heart-felt elbow bumps and socially distanced air kisses all around.

Reference, in case you were looking for some other kinds of secrets:

Dorji Wangchuk, “Secrecy in Buddhism,” contained in: Orna Almogi, ed., Birds as Ornithologists: Scholarship Between Faith and Reason, Intra- and Inter-disciplinary Perspectives, Indian and Tibetan Studies series no. 8, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Universität Hamburg (Hamburg 2020), pp. 7-177. 

PS: Oh my goodness, with the new strain of the virus popping up in England and now all over the place, I guess those reading rooms won't be opening anytime soon, so this gains us some time. They allow you a month to download the items you ordered, so if you get your order in and get your inoculations you should be okay.

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