The Potala Palace in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Chogo)
China's Tibet to speed up digitization of ancient books
Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is training dozens of professionals to further accelerate the digital construction of ancient books in the region, local authorities said.
As the region is about to complete the survey of old documents, the training of 35 staff from 17 organizations in Tibet, including libraries at all levels, scientific research institutes and the Potala Palace, will be of great significance to the digitization of ancient books, said Penpa Tsering, deputy head of the regional ancient book protection center.
"Next, we're going to define the standards for digitalizing ancient books and launch the construction of a Tibetan ancient books database which will be accessible to the public," he said.
A conservator of the Potala Palace registers ancient documents in Lhasa, March 4, 2019. (Xinhua/Purbu Zhaxi)
For many years, Tibet has faced difficulties in conserving and utilizing its ancient books, with most scattered throughout more than 1,300 temples.
In 2009, Tibet started to comprehensively protect its ancient books, surveying and registering more than 13,700 old documents from over 1,160 collection units across the region, which laid a solid foundation for the database construction.
In contrast with previous move to digitize ancient books, which were stored and read as electronic documents, in the future, Tibet will realize the sustainable protection and utilization of the precious books, which can be retrieved in full-text form as well as shared and co-built by the public, according to the local authorities.
China has more than 1 million ancient Tibetan books, two-thirds of which are in Tibet. More than 150 Tibetan classics are included on the state list of precious ancient books.