Research Section


The Royal Government of Bhutan stresses the importance of research activities on topics of national relevance, and in keeping with this policy the Research & Media Division of the NLAB conducts research, documentation and translation on a wide range of topics relating to the Bhutanese historical, cultural & religious fields. Publications of the division may be purchased from the NLAB Bookshop, situated at the NLAB complex in Kawajangsa, Thimphu. Some of our publications are distributed free of charge. Please note that, generally speaking, our publications are only available at the NLAB Bookshop.

Publications to date

                      More detail for books: Click Here

མེ་སག་ལམ་སྲོལ་གྱི་རྩ་བ་ནྱའི་གྲོ་དྷའི་ས་བོན། / From Yak-herding to Enlightenment: The Legend of Thöpa Gali – A Heritage Narrative of the Merak-Sakteng Community, in Choekey, Dzongkha & English by Gengop Karchung. (2013)

Conserving our Heritage: Evolution of the National Library of Bhutan, by Felicity Shaw. (2013)

འབྲུག་ཆོས་སྲིད་ཀྱི་རབས། (Druk gyi Gyalrab) Religious and Political History of Bhutan, in Dzongkha, by Dasho Phuntso Wangdu 2nd ed. (2013)

རིག་འཛིན་པདྨ་གླིང་པའི་ཐུགས་སྲས་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀུན་དགའ་དབང་པོའི་བཀའ་འབུམ། Rigdzin Pema Lingpa’i thukse Khedrub Kunga Wangpoi kabum) The collected teachings of Pema Lingpa’s lineage son, Khedrub Kunga Wangpo, in Choekey, edited and with an extensive introduction by Dasho Sangye Dorji. (2012)

སྒྲོལ་མའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་མཐོང་ཐོས་ཡིད་འཕྲོག། (Drolmai logyue thong-thoe yid-throg) The Entrancing Legend of Dolma, the Deity of Tara, by Taranatha, translated from Choekey to Dzongkha by Ugyen Tenzin. (2011)

བསྟན་འཛིན་ལེགས་པའི་དོན་གྲུབ་ཀྱི་རྣམ་ཐར་ངོ་མཚར་ནོར་བུའི་ཆོས་སྡོང་། (Gangteng Trulku Legpai Dondrub kyi namthar) The Marvellous Gem of Veneration: Biography of Tenzin Legpai Dondrub (1645-1727) by Gelong Tenzin Chogyal. Republished with the addition of a comprehensive summary of the Choekey text in both Dzongkha and English by Gengop Karchung. (2011)

རང་ལུགས་རྫ་བཟོ་རིག་པའི་རྣམ་བཤད། (Ranglug dzazoi rigpai namshad) The Traditional Art of Pottery in Bhutan, in Dzongkha, by Kunzang Dorje. (2011)

དྲན་གཏམ་ཟླ་བའི་བདུད་རྩི། མཁས་གྲུབ་ཆེན་པོ་བླ་མ་སྨོན་ལམ་རབ་བཟང་གི་མཛད་རྣམ། (Den Tam Drawai Dutsi)The Biography of Lama Monlam Rabzang, in Dzongkha, by Dorji Gyeltshen. (2010)

Life of King Sindha (Chakhar Gyalpo) & The Clear Mirror of Predictions, compiled and edited by Yonten Dargye. (2009)

འདས་པའི་དུས་རབས་ཀྱི་མེ་ལོང་དང་མ་འོངས་བའི་འབྲེལ་ཟམ། Written Treasures of Bhutan: Mirror of the Past and Bridge to the Future, edited by John Ardussi and Sonam Tobgay. Proceedings of an international conference mounted in Thimphu in 2005. In 2 volumes (vol. I Choekey, vol. II English). (2008)

Play of the Omniscient: Life and Works of Jamgon Ngawang Gyaltshen (17th to 18th Century) by Yonten Dargye & P. K. Sørensen with Gyonpo Tshering. (2008)

The Biography of Pha jo Drugom Zhigpo called The Current of Compassion, by Yonten Dargye & P.K. Sorensen. (2001)

History of the Drukpa Kagyud School in Bhutan (12th to 17th Century), by Yonten Dargye. (2001)

འབྲུག་གི་གླུ་མཛོད། A Treasure of Songs of the Kingdom of Bhutan, in Dzongkha, by Gyonpo Tshering. (1999)

སྒྲིག་ལམ་རྣམ་གཞག་གི་དེབ་ཐེར་ནོར་བུའི་འཕྲེང་བ། (sgrigs lam rnam gzhag gi deb ther nor bu'i 'phreng ba) A book on Bhutanese formal etiquette, in Dzongkha, by Dorji Gyaltshen. (1999)

gzungs 'bul mthong bas shes pa (Handbook for Zung Practitioners), a book on installing dharani (gzung)and relics in sacred objects for consecration, in Dzongkha, by Khenpo Phuntsho Tashi. (1998)

Prayer of Preliminary Practice: the Guide Towards Enlightenment, by the 9th Je Khenpo, Shakya Rinchen, translated by Yonten Dargye & Karma Wangchuck. (1997) (This is the first text to be translated into English by the library’s research unit.)

Ongoing & Future Activities

National Literary Documentation Survey

In order to discover Bhutan's rich literary treasures and preserve important and rare documents for the nation, the Research & Media Division along with the Library & Archives Divisions is carrying out a survey of rare texts and documents throughout the country. The survey includes digitisation and registration of rare texts, and recording of details of their location and condition for future reference. In particular the Research Division is responsible for identifying these rare texts and hence, when a particular rare or important manuscript or xylograph text is discovered, its contents are catalogued and many such texts are either digitised at the location by members of our survey team or else brought to the National Library for microfilming.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Survey

In 2011, Research and Media Division had acquired funds from the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHCAP) in South Korea to conduct a 30-month survey of Bhutan’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.Under this programme, researchers from NLAB are visiting communities of the various dzongkhags to make a brief documentary record of ICH practices in Bhutan. At the conclusion of the project, NLAB will bring out publications in Dzongkha & English on ICH in Bhutan.

Publication of Rare and Important Texts

Research and Media Division’s main mandate is to carry out research on important historical, cultural, and religious themes, and publish the results of this research. The object of publication is not so much to generate revenue but rather to disseminate our findings and thus enhance public awareness of our cultural heritage and history. But the most important motive for research and publication of these rare texts is to publicly promote the importance of preserving, conserving and safeguarding of our local and national heritages. Ultimately, our division is tasked with promotion of knowledge of our culture and traditions not just locally, but also within the global arena.

This is a particularly opportune time to disseminate such information to our younger generations, now comprising more than 50% of Bhutan’s population, who are very much caught up in the IT revolution and in danger of losing touch with their cultural roots. The interest of these younger generations in Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage is a prerequisite for securing our cultural sustainability.