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National Library of Bhutan

The National Library of Bhutan was first established in 1967 under the patronage of HM Queen Ashi Phuntso Choden (1911–2003), with a small collection of precious texts. The library was initially housed within the central tower (utse) of Tashichodzong. Later, due to its growing collection, it had to move to a building in the Changgangkha area of Thimphu.

The National Library of Bhutan (NLB) was establish for the purpose of “preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage” of Bhutan.

National Library of Bhutan houses national archives of Bhutan along with Tibetan and Bhutanese texts and manuscripts. There are photo frames of historical incidents hanging on the wall which are also quite fascinating. The place is very quiet and you can find yourself engrossed in reading about Bhutanese history there.

National Library of Bhutan
National Library of Bhutan

Books and Archives of the National Library of Bhutan

  • The library has a number of books which give a detailed description of Bhutan’s ancient history and political life.
  • There are a lot of religious and spiritual books and inscriptions also. Collected Works of Padma Karpo is a major highlight in the religious section.
  • The world’s biggest book can also be found in the library.

Aims & Objectives

The National Library of Bhutan has the goal that all Bhutanese, wherever they are, will have access to both Bhutan’s documentary heritage and to the information resources of the world. To achieve this, the National Library builds up and maintains a national collection of Bhutanese materials with the aim to provide an effective gateway to national and international resources of information in the near future.

Functions

The Library was established in 1967 and merged with the National Commission for Cultural Affairs in 1985. The National Library carries out the following functions:

  • Collection and preservation of ancient Bhutanese Literature on religion, cultural, history & social traditions.
  • Provision of facilities for research and other academic pursuits.
  • Preservation of old and rare books & manuscripts
  • Preservation of traditional xylographic blocks.
  • Research and documentation of literary works and stories inherited through traditional and oral communication methods.
  • Promotion and publishing of literary works on traditional and contemporary themes.

Why you need to visit?

At the National Library, all aspects of Bhutan are preserved, from religious to socio-political. There are books on every topic for the public’s easy accessibility. The inner walls have photo frames from the past which give the library an aesthetic look. NLB has a collection of rare books and photographs and library also preserves xylographic blocks, manuscripts, and microfilms important to Bhutanese heritage.

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