Special Collections at Trace Foundation’s Latse Library include manuscripts, correspondence, material culture, photographs, slides, pamphlets, films, stamps, and other archival material. Many of these resources were acquired by donation from generous individuals and families. Two major donations of this kind include the Taktser Rinpoche Collection and the Geshe Nornang Collection. Another unique collection consists of adminsitrative documents and correspondence from the Pala Estate in Lhasa dating from the mid-20th century. Latse Library also has a number of calligraphic works and writing tools.
The Geshe Nornang Collection
In 2010, Geshe Nornang of Seattle, Washington, donated a large portion of his personal collection of texts and resources to Latse Library. Geshe Nornang’s donation reflects a lifetime of teaching and research, as well as strong ties to the Tibetan and Tibetan studies communities. In addition to books, journals, offprints, and pamphlets in Tibetan, English, and Chinese, there is a fascinating variety of other materials, including book manuscripts and drafts, film reels, and newspaper clippings about Tibet from western newspapers from the 1950s on, and decades-worth of highly detailed class notes. The collection also includes dozens of phonograph records of recorded Tibetan conversation that formed the basis of his Modern Spoken Tibetan. An avid advocate of traditional Tibetan music, the collection also includes numerous songbooks and sheets of musical notation.
The Taktser Rinpoche Collection
In 2009, Trace Foundation’s Latse Library received the personal library and papers of Taktser Rinpoche Thubten Jigme Norbu as a donation by his widow Kunchok Yangkyi. Among the mainly Tibetan and English books are some rare, out-of-print volumes and unpublished manuscripts. The collection also includes photos, slides, film reels, and negatives, which provide valuable insight into Taktser Rinpoche’s public, personal, and family lives. The materials also serve as important documentation to the experiences of the Tibetan government and Tibetan society in recent modern history. There are also quite a number of manuscripts and correspondence.
The library has a growing collection of photographs, slides, and digital images donated or acquired from individuals that reflect and document life and culture on the Tibetan plateau. We are particularly interested in images that document culture and society from the early 1980s on. Hundreds of images from the Taktser Rinpoche Collection make up a significant percentage of our current holdings, and smaller sets include photographs or slides from Ramon Prats, Phuntsok Dhumkhang, and Peter Shotwell. The library plans to make these images available online.