The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

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Home Newsletters So-Wide Space Oct 2010 - Union Catalogue of Buddhist Texts

So-Wide Space Oct 2010 - Union Catalogue of Buddhist Texts

Article Index
So-Wide Space Oct 2010
Visit of Arjia RInpoche
OCBS Restrcuturing
Union Catalogue of Buddhist Texts
A new phase for So-Wide
All Pages


Union Catalogue of Buddhist Texts

The literature of early Buddhism is considerable - the Pali canon, for instance, covers a fair-sized well.  Then the Mahayan generated many texts, some extensive (the Avatamsaka Sutra covers 1600 pages in English).  And then came the Vajrayana.

When the tradition reached new territories like China and Tibet, large volumes of Indian material were first translated, then new canons of authoritative Buddhist literature were composed in national languages. The total production is immense.

It is also under-studied. Teasing out the connections between phases and aspects of the teaching will reveal the underlying unity of the tradition — the spirit that shines through its many forms and illumines our situation today. The OCBS exists to contribute to this work.

Digitisation is important here. Once digitised, a text can be searched and analysed in ways not possible before.

Most of the key material has been digitised. But it is stored in many separate locations and forms.

We need to bring these diverse resources together. A student of the tradition should at a single stroke be able to search for uses of key terms across the entire body of Buddhist literature, from the earliest to the latest, in every language. The Union Catalogue of Buddhist Texts (UCBT) will open up that prospect.

The UCBT is a project of the International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU). The OCBS is committed to the IABU project. The Venerable Dr Khammai Dhammasami continues to play a key role; Geoff Bamford is also closely involved.

Pravin Bhalesain represents the OCBS on the UCBT team. He is convener of the Pali group. Venerable Dhammasami is co-convenor of the UCBT Organizing Committee.

The UCBT team has completed its planning and is now moving to implement the project. A $200,000 budget is in place for Phase One.




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