The impressive range of collected works are ecumenical in scope, drawing from the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, include the collected works of Marpa, Milarepa, Rechungpa, and Rangjung Dorje, who are seminal figures in the Karma Kagyu tradition; Shākya Chokden and Gorampa among the great Sakya masters; Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Geluk tradition; the Jonang masters Dolpopa and Tāranātha; Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, who is important to the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions; and the ecumenical nineteenth-century polymath Jamgön Kongtrul.
This collection also includes significant historical and biographical materials, selected works on epistemology and other philosophical domains, including an 18 volume collection of Sakya exegeses, and a 25 volume collection of treatises by masters from the region of Kham. We are fortunate for the diversity of these materials and the depth in certain areas, such as early Kagyu masters, Sakya exegetical materials, writings by key Jonang figures, and masters from the region of Kham.
Among the gems in the donated texts by the Tsadra Foundation are woodblock carvings of The Treasury of Knowledge, an important artifact in the study of the production of Tibetan texts. We used this resource for a multi-media display at Norlin Library celebrating key transformations in the production of Tibetan texts—from woodblock prints to digital display—inaugurated in October 2014 on the third floor of Norlin across from Special Collections. The library installation, titled "Opening the Tibetan Treasury of Knowledge: Textual Transmission and Cultural Preservation," was masterfully designed by the library's graphic design artist, Andrew Violet.
The library installation opened alongside a lecture by Andrew Quintman of Yale University on "The Making of Milarepa: Reading and Writing the Life of Tibet's Great Saint" on Wednesday, October 1st, following the tour and a reception at the CU Art Museum lobby at 3:30pm. The reception included a viewing of a special exhibit of the Lhasa artist Gade on the theme of "pecha" or traditional Tibetan texts, organized by Ariana Maki, Associate Curator of Asian Art at the CU Art Museum. These events and exhibits were planned in conjuction with Tsadra Foundation's conference on "Translation and Transmission" that took place in Keystone, CO on October 2-5, 2014. This conference drew more than 200 scholars and translators in Tibetan Studies to the region. The Center for Asian Studies acted as a Partner in the conference, and CU faculty member Holly Gayley served on its Steering Committee.
Since 2008, through the efforts of Paul Moeller and Megan Welsh, the CU Libraries has been building a collection in Tibetan texts, including historical and biographical works, religious treatises and canonical collections, and contemporary journals—all Tibetan language materials. For example, with funds from Religious Studies, we purchased a complete collection of the recent critical edition of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, published in Beijing by the China Tibetology Publishing House. This includes two major collections: the Kangyur (Buddhist scriptures translated from Sanskrit) in 106 hardbound volumes and Tengyur (Buddhist commentaries translated from Sanskrit) in 112 hardbound volumes, which together take up two full shelves (top to bottom) in Norlin. We also hold important extra-canonical collections, such as The Collected Nyingma Tantras (Snga 'gyur rgyud 'bum phyogs bsgrigs) in 57 volumes and The Collected Commentaries on the Kālacakra Tantra (Dus 'khor 'grel mchan phyogs bsgrigs) in 7 volumes. In addition, we hold several collections of contemporary Tibetan literary and research journals, including Light Rain (Sbrang char), Popular Arts (Mang tshogs sgyu rtsal), and China Tibetology (Krung go'i bod kyi shes rig).
The donation by the Tsadra Foundation significantly expands both the breadth and depth of these holdings. For a flourishing Tibetan and Himalayan Studies program at CU Boulder, it is essential for the CU Libraries to continue to expand and develop its Tibetan language materials. Substantial gifts like this by the Tsadra Foundation provide crucial resources for advanced language study and research for faculty and graduate students at the university and along Colorado's Front Range.