International Archives Day Highlights The Importance Of Conserving Rare Bhutanese Artefacts

Email

There are about 30 documents at the library’s exhibition that include gold written scripts, which date back to the 13th century.

Zorig Chusum. (Source: Polkacafe)

           

By Rinchen Zangmo l Kuensel

To shine the spotlight on the importance of archiving and to conserve Bhutanese cultural heritage, the International Archives Day was observed in Thimphu on 14 June.

Although the International Archives Day is observed worldwide on 9 June, officials from the National Library and Archives of Bhutan (NLAB) said that the observation day had to be postponed.

Significance of archiving both tangible and intangible heritage in Bhutan

The Chief archivist at NLAB, Kunzang Delek said that archiving conserves religious and cultural heritage.

“Archives involve a lot of elements, such as the tangible property like lhakhang, arts, crafts, zorig chusum (13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan) and intangible cultural property such as songs and dances.”

He said that it is also to support good governance as some of the archives include valuable records and information.

The International Archives Day was also celebrated to commemorate the national library’s 50th anniversary.

The Home Minister Dawa Gyaltshen launched an integrated library management system called Koha on 14 June.

The Deputy Chief librarian, Sonam Yuden said that Koha was already operational from February this year.

“Prior to using the Koha system, we used the Aleph system that was not compatible with Dzongkha fonts. The system was also not free like Koha.”

Examples of rare and priceless artefacts in the Bhutanese archives

It was learnt that there are about 30 documents at the library’s exhibition that include gold written scripts, which date back to the 13th century.

 

Source: Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel By Book Bhutan Tour

 

Although archiving started in the year 2007, one of the oldest documents present in the archive is the decree of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel which dates back to the year 1645. Other valuable archives also include manuscripts, texts, microfilms, photographs and digital texts.

Kunzang Delek said that the national library is in the process of conducting a nationwide survey. As the archiving concept is fairly new in the country, he mentioned that there is no widespread understanding of the record system in Bhutan.

“People usually do not tend to realise the significance of documentation.”

Moreover, there are some challenges which the archival team at the national library currently face, such as the lack of budget and the availability of professional archivists.

                                                                                     

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Traditional Medicine Marks 50 Years Of Services In Bhutan

Bhutan's traditional medicine system was formally established on May 28, 1968.

Jun 08, 2018 15:08

Traditional Art Of Making Wooden Bowls (Dhapas) Thrives In...

There is a strong demand for Trashiyangtse's dhapas and dzas both locally and internationally.

May 30, 2018 18:13

Conserving Traditional Bhutanese Architecture

“The old buildings are important as a testimony of the past. It is not only important to preserve these houses, but also...

Mar 15, 2018 11:47

Revival of Traditional Bhutanese Dining

The Trashiyangtse dzongrab, Lam Dorji, said that since the handicrafts were locally produced, it was found to be...

Mar 08, 2018 05:52

Conserving the Traditional Art of Weaving

The mission of the Royal Textile Academy is to preserve and promote the traditional form of weaving.

Nov 18, 2017 10:36

Loss of the Brokpa Dress Culture in Bhutan

The impact of declining sheep rearing practice would lead to the loss of the brokpa dress culture, which is unique in...

Mar 28, 2018 17:57

Latest

News

Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was sufficient to support...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other rights of women and girls

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable positions, burdening them...

May 12, 2020 16:46

Features

One of the Inspiring Bhutanese Artists to Watch This Summer- Pema Gyeltshen

Pema is a rising artists producing paintings with diverse theme including region, tradition, culture, everday life, abstracts and self...

May 29, 2020 17:20

Haa- Home of Ap Chundu, the omnipresent local guardian deity

Haa is one of the smallest districts in the country and is highlighted by the Wang chu Lo Dzong which is the administrative centre of the...

May 20, 2020 18:24

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Celebrating Bhutan’s Entrepreneurs: Namkhar Gyaltshen Of Transcend Artisan

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 06, 2020 11:48

Centre Of Excellence For Software Engineering Launched By Bhutan’s Thimphu Techpark

The purpose of establishing this centre is to fulfil His Majesty the King’s vision of using technology to solve problems.

Feb 24, 2020 23:58

Travel

Wangdue Phodrang - The gateway to the far-flung corners of Bhutan

Known as Sha or east to the Bhutanese, Wangduephodrang district is an important gateway to the far-flung corners of Bhutan. The region, the...

May 27, 2020 08:47

Reasons Why Dagala Trek is Every Trekkers Dream

May 13, 2020 11:30

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!