The library’s main collection comprises primarily recent publications on Tibetan culture, society, history, and literature from around the world and in four major languages: Tibetan, Chinese, English, and Dzongkha. Our collection focuses on contemporary materials, but the library also has classical literature, histories, and pioneering works of Tibetan studies by earlier scholars. In the general collection you will find:
- Catalogs, bibliographies, and indexes;
- Social science materials including statistics, reports, and surveys;
- Language texts and learning aids for Tibetan language;
- Tibetan medicine resources and almanacs;
- Resources on art, photography, and decorative arts;
- Classical and contemporary literature and literary theory;
- School textbooks in Tibetan and Dzongkha;
- Histories and biographies;
- Juvenile literature and learning tools for children in Tibetan and Dzongkha;
- Atlases, maps, gazetteers, local histories, annuals, and travel books;
- Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and glossaries;
- Government documents and publications.
The library's periodicals collection comprises a wide and unique variety of publications. Our holdings of over 200 different titles from around the world feature:
- Research, literary, folk art, and cultural journals;
- Zines and journals produced by monasteries, student groups, and private individuals;
- The complete run of Red Flag (དར་དམར།), the only Tibetan-language periodical published during the Cultural Revolution;
- Rare issues of Nationalities Pictorial (མི་དམངས་བརྙན་པར།) and People's Pictorial (མི་རིགས་བརྙན་པར།) from the 1950s and '60s;
- Newspapers and other political journals;
- Tibet Daily and Qinghai Daily on microfiche.
Trace Foundation's Latse Library has the largest collection of Tibetan audio-visual materials in the world. The library has several thousand items of audio-visual materials from Tibet, India, Ladakh, Bhutan, and beyond. We have comprehensive holdings in both traditional and contemporary music, film, television, dance, cultural events, and more. Visitors can browse and access materials in our audio-visual room.
Pecha & Religious Studies
The library has a special collection of pecha, traditionally formatted Tibetan books, along with Western-format religious texts and recent scholarly works on the subject of religion. Notable holdings include:
- Pecha of woodblock prints, including rare texts from monasteries in Amdo;
- Religious histories, monastic histories, and biographies;
- Sungbum (གསུང་འབུམ།) / collected works;
- The Derge edition of the Kangyur and Tengyur and the Comparative Edition of the Kangyur and Tengyur.
Rare Books & Resources
Latse Library has a notable collection of rare, out-of-print books, as well as unpublished manuscripts and writings. Special items include:
- Early dictionaries including the Geshe Chödrak Dictionary (དགེ་བཤེས་ཆོས་གྲགས་པའི་བརྡ་དག་མིང་ཚིག་གསལ་བ།), the first Tibetan woodblock print book in a Western format, and glossaries from the 1950s;
- Early Chinese Communist Party and PRC government publications in the Tibetan language on government policy, ideology, and political systems;
- Over one hundred master’s-degree theses in Tibetan from academic institutions in the PRC;
- Thousands of photos, slides, and digital images documenting culture and society from the early twentieth century to the present;
- Calligraphy samples, contemporary paintings and prints, posters, pamphlets, and postcards.
Please visit our Special Collections page to learn more about our rarer materials.