Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

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The THL Place Dictionary provides information about all varieties of places in Tibet and the Himalayas, in past and present times – nations, provinces, counties, monasteries, villages, mountains, natural regions, and more. It currently includes contemporary administrative units in China that have Tibetan populations, administrative units in Nepal, and administrative units in Bhutan. There are a number of lengthy descriptions of individual places including large projects such as pre-Buddhist archaeological sites of western Tibet, English-language studies of Bönpo Monasteries on the Tibetan plateau, and Tibetan-language surveys of monasteries in central and western Tibet by Chönpel.  We are also continuing to import extensive materials into the Place Dictionary. Technically, we have integrated the Place Dictionary into THL’s multimedia holdings, so that it shows images associated with a place.

To get an idea of the possibilities, here are links to  featured places:


We are working at importing thousands of place descriptions and essays which we have collected over the past decades. Many are reprints,  but others are original work that can't be found elsewhere. These include:

  • Tibetan-language modern essays on over 500 monasteries in Eastern Tibet (Kham)
  • Historical descriptions of Tibetan Monasteries from the Yellow Beryl (Baidurya Serpo)

Read Our Documentation & Participate

End-users wanting to learn more about the Place Dictionary should read the HELP files.

We are looking for people from all walks of life to participate, ranging over a historical study of a place,  a tourism description of site, photographs, videos, hand drawn maps, and much more. If you are interested, please email us using the "contact us" link at the bottom of this page. You can also take a look at the Editor's Manual.