A Thousand Books of Wisdom from the Asian Classics Input Project

The following article is from the Spring, 1999 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

The Asian Classics Input Project is pleased to announce the release of A Thousand Books of Wisdom., an unprecedented collection of over 50,000 pages of sacred woodblock art and manuscripts, including hundreds of never-before-released images from the Buddhist hermitages of Mongolia and Siberia.

These images include special seals that were carved in stone and wood over the last 300 years, and stamped onto woodblock manuscripts that found their way into the personal collections of the Russian tsars. After the Russian Revolution, these manuscripts were hidden away in storerooms in St. Petersburg, and left essentially untouched during the entire history of the Soviet Union.

Members of the Input Project, a collaboration of dedicated Tibetan refugee monks and young Americans from the Greenwich Village area of New York City, have spent the last 5 years combing more than 60,000 books in the woodblock collection of the Russian tsars to assemble this new CD-ROM. The CD works in any IBM-compatible home computer and includes special software for viewing and searching the images and books.

For the scholar, the CD-ROM includes the complete text of over 1,000 source books from the ancient Buddhist canon and later commentaries; extensive research tools and catalogs; and Tibetan and Sanskrit language aids for studying the original texts. The books are accessed from the screen and through a highly innovative menu system that breaks down the entire sacred literature of Tibet into standard subject categories.

The work of typing these thousands of pages into the computer has been accomplished by hundreds of dedicated Tibetan monks and nuns, and at special training centers for rural Tibetan refugee women, in refugee camps all over India, with support from a group of American corporations and foundations.

The new CD-ROM can be ordered in three different ways. The deluxe package includes an 800-page user manual and catalog together with the CD-ROM, and a $32 donation plus shipping is requested to help defray costs. The standard package contains a CD-ROM with the user manual and catalog included on the CD itself; a donation of $6 is requested for this package.

These packages can be supplied without charge, upon request, to needy parties such as Tibetan refugees. All the materials are also being made available without charge by direct download through the ACIP website at @www.asianclassics.org. For more information, please contact Dr. Robert J. Taylor, Assistant Director, ACIP Washington DC Area Office, 11911 Marmary Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland USA 20878-1839; fax (301) 349-2623; or email at: [email protected]. ä_æ