Saving the Sumtrhang Monastery Manuscripts

  • Investment
  • Year
  • Project coordinator
    Samten Yeshi, Nyo Foundation of Bhutan
  • Collaborators
    Whiting Foundation


This project, implemented by the Nyo Foundation of Bhutan, focussed on the protection and digitalization of a collection of 195 handwritten manuscripts at the 13th century Sumatrhang Monastic Centre. The relatively unknown content of this collection presents the collective memory of the Vajrakila tradition of Buddhism and has the potential to bring new insights into its current understandings. This collection had already been compromised by water damage, rodent infestations and biological infestations, and was recently affected by rainwater that came in through a leak in the roof. Though this project, equipment was acquired to digitize the 195 manuscripts, members of the community were trained in the cataloguing processes, the Palden Zangpo authored manuscripts were transcribed and made accessible, and a metallic shelve was installed to store the manuscripts.