National Library and Archives

The National Library and Archives of Bhutan, located in Thimphu, serves as a repository of the country’s rich cultural heritage and historical records. Here are some details and facts about the National Library and Archives:

  1. Establishment: The National Library and Archives of Bhutan was established in 1967 under the patronage of the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Its primary mission is to preserve, promote, and disseminate Bhutan’s written heritage and archival materials.
  2. Location: The National Library and Archives is located in the heart of Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city. It is situated in a traditional Bhutanese-style building near the city center, making it easily accessible to researchers, scholars, and visitors.
  3. Collections: The library houses an extensive collection of ancient manuscripts, rare books, historical documents, religious texts, and other printed materials related to Bhutanese culture, history, religion, and literature. The archives contain official records, government documents, maps, photographs, and audiovisual materials dating back to the pre-modern era.
  4. Manuscripts: One of the highlights of the National Library’s collection is its vast collection of palm-leaf manuscripts, known as “pecha,” which are meticulously handwritten and bound in traditional Bhutanese style. These manuscripts contain religious texts, literary works, medical treatises, and other important writings in classical Tibetan script.
  5. Archival Materials: The Archives section of the institution preserves a wide range of historical records and official documents, including royal decrees, administrative records, census reports, land surveys, and correspondence dating back to the early days of Bhutan’s monarchy. These materials provide valuable insights into Bhutan’s political, social, and cultural history.
  6. Digitization: In recent years, the National Library and Archives has embarked on digitization projects to digitize and preserve its valuable collections for future generations. Digital copies of rare manuscripts, historical documents, and audiovisual materials are made available online to researchers, scholars, and the general public.
  7. Research and Scholarship: The National Library and Archives serves as a hub for research and scholarship on Bhutanese history, culture, and society. It provides access to its collections for researchers, scholars, students, and members of the public interested in studying Bhutan’s heritage and historical development.
  8. Cultural Preservation: By preserving and promoting Bhutan’s written heritage and archival materials, the National Library and Archives play a vital role in safeguarding the country’s cultural identity and national heritage. It serves as a custodian of Bhutan’s collective memory and a guardian of its intellectual legacy.

Overall, the National Library and Archives of Bhutan are invaluable institutions that contribute to the preservation, dissemination, and appreciation of Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage and historical legacy. They represent a treasure trove of knowledge and a testament to Bhutan’s enduring commitment to its cultural and intellectual traditions.