The database "Digital Tibetan Archives Bonn" (DTAB), developed by Prof. Dr. Schwieger and previously maintained by the Computer Center of the University of Bonn, contains 4,268 digitised Tibetan legal documents, such as deeds and administrative texts, from various archives from, among others, the Tibet Autonomous Region and Dharamsala, as well as from some private collections. The provided documents are described in detail and are available with scan. A part of the documents is transcribed, as well.

Access DTAB

Usage information

On the start page "Home" you will find information on the digitised collections available in the database, as well as a list of abbreviations used in the indexing data, which are useful for understanding the document descriptions.

In the database itself, a "Converter" is available to generate original Tibetan script.

Under "Search" different search masks can be opened for different topics (Documents, Seals, Places, Persons). Searching in Tibetan original script is possible in the following search fields: "Sender", "Recipient" and "in text search".

Calling up the digital copy as well as the transcription:

  • In the search result: click on the "Archive signatory" of a document, a page with information about the object will open.
  • In the navigation bar of the database now appears the sub item "Document".There, under "Scan(s) of Document", the digital copy can be called up.
  • For some of the objects, the "Transcription of Document" field can be found in the "Document" sub item.
  • A transcription can be viewed there. If a seal is available for the object, this can be displayed via another sub item "Seal".

The Berlin Collection in the DTAB

For most objects from the collection of Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin you can find alternative digital reproductions in the Digitised Collections. The shelfmark of the objects from the Berlin collection that is necessary in order to search for the documents can be created from the "Signatory in Archives" specified in the database. 0001_SBB6624 serves as an example. The shelfmark is composed of "Hs. or." and the last four numbers. Thus one receives the shelfmark "Hs. or. 6624".

Detailed information abou the objects in the Berlin collection can be found in two catalogues of the Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland (VOHD 11,16 and VOHD 11,17), described by Hanna Schneider.