British Association for South Asian Studies

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Flagship Projects

Tibetan Buddhist Literature: the Electronic Kangyur

Directors: Burkhard Quessel, The British Library and Professor David Germano, University of Virginia

The Tibetan scriptural canon, consisting of the Kangyur and Tengyur, are collections of ancient Buddhist scriptures originally composed in Sanskrit and other Asian languages. The Kangyur contains canonical works attributed to various Buddhas and other divine figures, while the Tengyur is a compilation of commentarial texts by historical authors in exegetical explication of the Kangyur. Together, they constitute one of the largest and most important collections of ancient Buddhist literature.

The aim of this project is to offer the entire Kangyur via the World Wide Web. To date one volume with explanatory framework has been prepared. Other volumes will be published as they are finished.

The on-line Kangyur uses a powerful XML-based system enabling sophisticated searching, flexible displays and downloads. In addition, the work will be conjoined with an associated effort led by Professor Phillip Stanley ( Naropa University ) to create a cross-referenced catalogue of the Kangyur and Tengyur, so that users can also access the electronic edition of the Kangyur through a front-end catalogue published within the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library.