Audio-visual Archive is dedicated to factual recordings of the contemporary Tibetan culture as witnessed or recalled by important figures, scholars, professionals and refugees. The Archive primarily houses collections of audio and visual resources significantly related to Tibetan culture including rare resources of both religious and secular life. It is by nature a long-term endeavour that necessitates documentation of the vanishing aspects of Tibetan culture as much as possible before it becomes too late besides recording the evolving traits of the contemporary culture. These valuable resources gathered by the Archive not only help preserve the culture but also play an important role in educating the younger generations of the rich cultural heritage of Tibet.
Since its inception in 1976 the Audiovisual Archive has been able to collect more than 31,500 hours of recorded materials which include interviews of senior Tibetans, lamas and other religious figures, former government officials, craftspeople, doctors, astrologers, traditional story-tellers, traders, pilgrims, etc. on various subjects of Tibetan culture. The recordings have predominantly been done in Tibetan, mostly of the teachings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and other eminent masters and scholars. Besides, it also records and live telecast daily Buddhist philosophy classes held at LTWA. The teachings can also be freely downloaded from the institute’s website at www.ltwa.net Moreover, audio/video CDs and DVDs of the teachings and addresses of H. H. the Dalai Lama, recordings of classes on Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan language and culture and many other teachings and lectures given by eminent personalities of Tibet and renowned scholars are produced for public listening and references.
Recorded materials are found in various formats – audio cassettes, reel tape, video-cassette, 16 mm films, digital audio-tape, compact discs and digital video discs. Though the majority of the collections are in analogue audio format but these are being digitized and archived. These archival materials are being computerized in a metadata catalogue that can be conveniently accessed both in Tibetan and English mediums. In an effort to preserve the collections the resources are kept in a climate-controlled chamber where humidity is also automatically checked and controlled for better safeguarding the resources from the effects of humidity and other external elements detrimental to their safety and security. Since 2013 they have been stored in an enhanced storage system that has a capacity of 120 terabytes and the same editions of the resources have been backed-up and retained in a high-performance data-storage system, if in case.
Since 2013 the Department stepped ahead to do video recording that not only gives better edge to the collections but also provides additional information through visual representations. It now has a dedicated audio-video library where any researchers and visitors can listen to or watch any of its collections. This new facility has since then been attracting growing number of users from different parts of the world. The Department looks forward to providing better services and further development.
Digitisation of films (16mm)
Name: Tshering Dolkar