Back to listJan 27, 2012

IOP-UK Hosts Specialist Librarians Conference on Buddhism

At the SGI-Panama Culture CenterSanskrit Lotus Sutra Manuscript from the British Library (Or. 2204), Facsimile Edition [©The British Library]

"Buddhism: Texts and Tales" was the theme of the Annual Conference of the South Asia Archive and Library Group (SAALG) held on January 27 at SGI-UK's Taplow Court culture center outside London.

The conference was hosted by the UK branch of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) founded in Japan by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. IOP-UK is a research and study center focusing on Buddhism with a library of almost 13,000 volumes of Buddhist manuscripts in over 20 languages.

SAALG aims to bring together librarians who manage libraries specializing in collecting materials on South Asia, which are often in non-European languages and written in different scripts. Cataloguing these materials effectively is of the utmost importance to ensure the books are available to researchers.

Among the 14 participant libraries and organizations were the British Library's India Office Records and its Thai, Lao & Cambodian Collections; the National Library of Scotland; Cambridge University Library; the University of London's library of the School of Oriental and African Studies; Oxford University's Bodleian Library; the Royal Asiatic Society Library; and the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.

At the conference, two papers on ongoing research into Buddhist manuscripts housed in Cambridge University Library and in Oxford University's Bodleian Library were presented. A third paper focused on meditation manuals, held in the Hugh Nevill Collection of the British Library and in Thailand and Sri Lanka.

[Adapted from an article in the February 2, 2012, issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin]