After centuries of near isolation, rapid change has come to the Tibetan Plateau. The past fifty years have witnessed dramatic changes in Tibetan ways of life. Latse's Oral History Archive is documenting the legacy of Tibetan culture for future generations.
900 HOURS, 300 STORIES
Including interviews and documentary footage from different regions of Tibet, as well as the global Tibetan diaspora, the archive embraces Tibetans from all walks of life, from ex–government ministers to shoe cobblers.
RETURNING KNOWLEDGE TO ITS COMMUNITIES
Latse’s Oral History Archive provides an invaluable resource not only for academics and researchers but also to individuals and communities on the Tibetan Plateau.
The Oral History Archive was initiated by Latse Library in 2006. The first phase of the Oral History Archive focused on the older generation of Tibetans living in exile in India and the Himalayan region. Consultants Lhamdruk Gya and Rebkong Tashi traveled to Tibetan settlements and communities in India—including Sikkim and Ladakh—and Nepal, conducting interviews from individuals from all walks of life. With stories from ex-Tibetan cabinet ministers to musicians, this portion of the archive represents both the pre- and post-1959 history of Tibet, local and personal stories, specific events, folk literature and traditions, as well as life in refugee settlements.
We then worked with Dr. Tenzing Chhodak to create records for the several hundred hours of interviews, with summaries and keywords, to make the collection more accessible to users.
The second phase of the Oral History Archive involved the acquisition of 150 hours of video from Amdo documenting cultural events, festivals, and everyday life and customs. Staff also conducted interviews in-house with visitors to the library, and with elder Tibetans living in the United States.