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Technology to the rescue
9/26/2002 10:58:00 AM

12,000 volumes to be scanned

Thanks to technology, thousands of historical Tibetan scriptures can be preserved for the future.

The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center in New York, a non-profit organization, has taken on the tedious task of scanning hundreds of millions of pages in some 12,000 volumes and storing them in a computer.

While there were no printing presses in Tibet, the scriptures were either hand written or printed on wooden blocks. Many of them came from refugees who carried them over the Himalayas when they fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s.

This collection, including works of Buddhist philosophy, mathematics, alchemy and ancient exotica, will be made available on CD-Rom and, eventually, on the internet as well.

E. Gene Smith, founder and director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, explains that "they represent a history and a wisdom literature that we are just beginning to understand."

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