Over the weekend, the New York Times published an item concerning a crowning achievement in the work of the late E. Gene Smith to preserve the vast body of Tibetan Buddhist literature under threat after the political upheavals of the 20th century: the opening of the document preservation department within the new library in Chengdu, China, that houses Smith’s archive of more than 12,000 volumes. The institution itself, created to resemble a traditional Tibetan monastic library, opened in 2011 at the Southwestern University for the Nationalities and, remarkably for the location, was named after Smith. Read More
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Sunday was the second anniversary of the death of E. Gene Smith, who founded the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center. In Chengdu, the Southwest University for Nationalities marked the date with a ceremony in which they presented khatas to Smith’s statue and shared stories and remembrances of Smith. Read More »
The makers of Digital Dharma, the documentary about the late, legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith — learn all about it, and him, in our previous coverage, including film clips and more — report: “We already have thousands of dollars backed on our Kickstarter campaign to help cover the costs of completing the score, sound mix and color correction for the feature-length film, but we will also need funds to edit the 52-minute broadcast version that will be distributed globally.
But unless we raise another $11,332 in the next 65 hours, we may have nothing to distribute.” Click here to pitch in.
Watch an exclusive clip from E. Gene Smith documentary “Digital Dharma” — and enter to win a private screening
On December 15, 2011, noting the first anniversary of the passing of legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation will celebrate his life and host a private screening of the documentary about Smith, Digital Dharma — an epic story of cultural rescue, and how one man’s mission became the catalyst for an international movement to provide free access to the story of a people.
Thanks to the people behind the film, we’re able to share exclusive video clips — and offer you the chance to have a Digital Dharma screening* of your own. Click through for details and to watch an exclusive Digital Dharma clip — “Gene Smith and his legendary collection of books” — the first of several to be hosted here on Buddhadharma News. Read More »
Earlier this month, the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, Netherlands, hosted a conference celebrating E. Gene Smith’s life and contributions to Tibetan Studies. There the late Tibetologist was granted a posthumous Doctorate in Philosophy.
Additionally, the Association for Asian Studies has created the new, annual E. Gene Smith Inner Asia Book Prize, honoring “outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a book on Inner Asia published during the preceding year.” Read More »
On June 01, 2011, the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, China, held the opening of the E. Gene Smith Library. The library opening coincided with the university’s 60th anniversary celebration. Southwest University for Nationalities is located in the Sichuan province and has a strong Tibetology research program, as well as a focus on minority education. [More, with links to our extensive coverage of Smith's life, work, and passing, after the jump.] Read More »
One merely has to know of the late Tibetologist E. Gene Smith to have a sense of his singularity. As recounted by Jeff Wallman in his interview with Melvin McLeod (posted here earlier today), Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche even said that he “wouldn’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Gene Smith did more for the Tibetan Buddhist religion and Tibetan Buddhist culture than anyone in this century.”
Those who knew Smith also speak of a generous and joyful human being, a true bodhisattva. At Saturday’s heavily attended memorial at New York’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, that’s just what they did. In the following we share praise and memories offered at the memorial by colleagues and Buddhist teachers including Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, Shelley Rubin, Janet Gyatso, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, Tulku Tenzin Gyatso Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, and others. Read More »
Continuing our coverage from Saturday’s New York memorial for the legendary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, we present now an interview with Jeff Wallman, a dear friend and colleague of Smith’s. Wallman is Executive Director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, whose mission is to digitalize and share precious Tibetan texts. Smith founded the TBRC, dedicating his latter years to it.
At the reception after Smith’s memorial, Wallman spoke to Editor in Chief Melvin McLeod about the manifestation of the TBRC mission, and discussed the giant of a man whose generosity and brilliance has made its realization possible. Click through to listen. Read More »
Yesterday at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, several hundred people, including Tibetan Buddhist teachers and scholars, gathered to remember E. Gene Smith, the famed Tibetologist who died late last year. In this video filmed during the post-memorial reception, Melvin McLeod speaks with Leonard van der Kuijp – professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies and chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian studies at Harvard University – about the meaning and impact of Smith’s life and legacy, and his work to digitalize and share Tibetan literature through the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.
More from the Smith memorial will be found here in the days ahead.
Previously on Buddhadharma’s Buddhist News: Our original announcement of E. Gene Smith’s death | A remembrance of Smith by His Holiness the Karmapa | TBRC board member and Wisdom Publications president Tim McNeill remembers Smith | Memorial announcement including the entirety of Janet Gyatso’s tribute to Smith, from the Spring 2011 Buddhadharma magazine
A memorial for E. Gene Smith, the legendary modern Tibetologist and founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, will be taking place at 2 pm this Saturday at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St., New York City; click here for the location via Google Maps.) Saturday’s memorial will include special tributes offered by long-time colleagues, family, and friends, as well as brief musical interludes offered by Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Yungchen Lhamo, and Ning Tien. Please visit egenesmith.org or call 646-839-5915 ext. 7 for more information.
Smith dedicated his life to preserving Tibet’s literary heritage and played a key role in its survival. His life and passing was noted here earlier by His Holiness the Karmapa and also by Tim McNeill, president of Wisdom Publications and a member of the TBRC board of directors.
To read our original announcement of Gene’s passing, click here. A feature profile of Gene, by his colleague Janet Gyatso, is in the new issue of Buddhadharma. You can be one of the first to read it here: Read More »
Message from His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
From the time the Buddhadharma arrived in Tibet, the translation and production of texts formed a key area of activity, mobilizing and shaping Tibetan culture. During the mass exodus into exile in the mid-20th century, Tibetans could easily carry the meaning of the texts written in their hearts but had to carry the books on their own backs. In this process, and in the subsequent years of exile and during the Cultural Revolution within Tibet, texts and wood blocks were scattered, and painfully many were lost. In such an era, to dedicate one’s life to seeking out, preserving, publishing and digitizing Tibet’s vast textual heritage, as Gene Smith did, is a kindness that cannot be expressed in words. I do not believe it unfair to say that his life’s accomplishments follow in the example of the great Dharma kings of Tibet. Read More »
As reported here this past Friday, the Tibetan Buddhist world and the Buddhist world at large are mourning the December 16 passing of E. Gene Smith, who dedicated his life to preserving and sharing vital Tibetan Buddhist texts.
A full obituary by Smith’s colleague Janet Gyatso will appear in the next issue of Buddhadharma. Here, another close contemporary — Timothy J. McNeill, board member for Smith’s Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and publisher at Wisdom Publications, where Gene spent time as an acquisitions editor and trusted adviser — remembers the man who lived his life among Tibetan texts: Read More »
E. Gene Smith, who through his life and work — and particularly his creation of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) — strove to make the literature of the Tibetan people available to all, has died.
After a thirty-year overseas career in the Library of Congress, Smith became Executive Director of the TBRC, which quickly became the world’s most comprehensive collection of Tibetan literature. (Smith and the TBRC were profiled in the second [Winter 2002] issue of Buddhadharma; click here to read this profile.) He also served as an acquisitions editor and adviser to Boston-based Wisdom Publications.
The TBRC Blog has a posting about Gene’s passing, here.