Danida Library Twinning Project


The Library Twinning Project is a joint research project between The National Library of Bhutan and The Royal Library, Copenhagen supported by Danida, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Denmark. The project was launched in 1996 at The National Library of Bhutan and entered its fourth and final phase on November 1st 2007.


The main goal of the project has been to catalogue, survey and ensure the preservation of Bhutanese and Tibetan books at The National Library in particular and in temples and monasteries in Bhutan in general. Throughout this process, an institutional strengthening of the National Library has taken place in the form of modernization of methods and equipment, as well as enhancement of staff capacity.

First Phase

Gregor Verhufen & Dr. P. K. Sørensen

During the first phase, 1996-1999, technical equipment was procured and installed, followed by workshops and training in classification, methodology and computer science. A database was developed and library staff were trained in the data input procedure of books and scripts, using the classification and cataloguing system developed by the project. Catalogue input of the entire holdings of The National Library began.

Second Phase

During the second phase, 1999-2001, catalogue input of the holdings of the National Library continued, specific research projects were started and a mobile literary survey of the texts preserved in temples and monasteries throughout the country was launched. This part of the project consists of recording all and scanning, microfilming or digitally photographing certain of the texts preserved in each temple surveyed.

Third Phase

Written Treasures of Bhutan Conference

During the third phase, 2002-2007, input of the holdings of the National Library continued, reaching a total 120.000 titles and subtitles by 2005. The mobile survey of texts continued, resulting in the publication of a catalogue of more than 3,000 texts preserved in the first seven districts surveyed. Conservation workshops were conducted, scholarly exchange took place between Denmark and Bhutan and an International Conference, hosted by The National Library and funded by the project was held in Thimphu in 2005, entitled Written Treasures of Bhutan: A Mirror of the Past and A Bridge to the Future.

Fourth Phase

The fourth phase, 2008- 2010, focuses on user oriented access to the databases, while structural revision and consolidation of the catalogue and text data is taking place. Catalogue and other data will be converted to ISO 10646 / Unicode encoding and moved to an Aleph library management system hosted by the Royal Library of Denmark. Our classification system will be refined and improved. The mobile survey and specific research projects will continue. The Proceedings from the 2005 conference will be published. Internal networks and internet access at the National Library are being modernized. Finally, plans to extend the institutional strengthening of the National Library to involve branch libraries will be implemented.