Saturday, February 15, 2014

Private Tibetan Texts Find Home in China


The largest private collection of Tibetan texts, recently donated to a Chinese University in Chengdu, are a "treasure trove" for Buddhist scholars. One text even includes details about Kublai Khan's wife.

The collection includes 12,000 texts and, according to the New York Times, was amassed by E. Gene Smith, a private collector in New York.  Smith died in 2010 but wanted his collection in Asia where it came from.

The texts ended up in China rather than Tibet because government policies make it difficult for scholars to travel there.

Smith was born a Mormon, but converted to Buddhism and  moved to India where, according to the Times, he "began a 25-year quest to find Tibetan books, many of them smuggled out by refugees who had trekked over the Himalayas."

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