Media Releases

University of Toronto and Columbia University libraries launch Tibetan Studies partnership

January 22, 2013

TORONTO, ON – An inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and Colum­bia University’s research libraries will har­ness exist­ing exper­tise in Tibetan col­lec­tion ser­vices at both uni­ver­si­ties to increase the avail­abil­i­ty of Tibetan resources to a wider com­mu­ni­ty of schol­ars in both Cana­da and the Unit­ed States.

The fac­ul­ties and stu­dents of both insti­tu­tions will ben­e­fit from the inno­v­a­tive ser­vice mod­el cre­at­ed by the part­ner­ship, which pro­vides for joint­ly spon­sored acqui­si­tions trips to enhance the Tibetan col­lec­tions at both uni­ver­si­ties, and a shared point of ser­vice for research con­sul­ta­tions. Work­ing in coop­er­a­tion with the Head of Col­lec­tion Devel­op­ment for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries, Caitlin Till­man, and the Act­ing Head of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, Hana Kim, Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty’s Tibetan Stud­ies Librar­i­an, Dr. Lau­ran Hart­ley, will lead the work of coor­di­nat­ing Tibetan-lan­guage acqui­si­tions at Colum­bia and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to in this new pilot project. She will also pro­vide research-sup­port ser­vices to Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to fac­ul­ty and stu­dents via e‑mail, phone and video con­fer­enc­ing and will vis­it the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to annu­al­ly.

“The agree­ment with Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty to fur­ther devel­op our research and teach­ing in this impor­tant region of the world posi­tions the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries as Canada’s prin­ci­pal resource for knowl­edge about the Tibetan and wider Himalayan area,” Dr. Frances Gar­rett, Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Tibetan and Bud­dhist Stud­ies and Asso­ciate Chair of the Depart­ment for the Study of Reli­gion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, empha­sized. “More­over, with Toron­to being home to one of the largest Tibetan com­mu­ni­ties out­side Asia, the Uni­ver­si­ty’s strength in Tibetan Stud­ies is impor­tant to local pop­u­la­tions as well as to aca­d­e­m­ic com­mu­ni­ties through­out the coun­try.”

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is home to a grow­ing cohort of fac­ul­ty, grad­u­ate stu­dent and under­grad­u­ate researchers in Asian Stud­ies. Its Tibetan Stud­ies schol­ars have col­lec­tive­ly been award­ed over one mil­lion dol­lars in com­pet­i­tive research fund­ing since 2003. “We are delight­ed to be giv­en this oppor­tu­ni­ty to strength­en our Tibetan Stud­ies col­lec­tion in order to sup­port our rapid­ly grow­ing Tibetan Stud­ies com­mu­ni­ty at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and also serve schol­ars across Cana­da and through­out North Amer­i­ca,” said Hana Kim, Act­ing Direc­tor of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries sys­tem is the largest aca­d­e­m­ic library in Cana­da and is ranked third among peer insti­tu­tions in North Amer­i­ca, behind Har­vard and Yale. The sys­tem con­sists of 44 libraries locat­ed on three uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus­es. This array of col­lege libraries, spe­cial col­lec­tions, and spe­cial­ized libraries and infor­ma­tion cen­tres sup­ports the teach­ing and research require­ments of 215 grad­u­ate pro­grams, 63 pro­fes­sion­al pro­grams, and 709 under­grad­u­ate degree pro­grams. In addi­tion to more than 12 mil­lion print vol­umes in 128 lan­guages, the library sys­tem cur­rent­ly pro­vides access to more than 238,000 ser­i­al titles, 1,500,000 elec­tron­ic resources in var­i­ous forms and over 28,000 lin­ear metres of archival mate­r­i­al. More than 100,000 new print vol­umes are acquired each year. The Libraries’ web­site is the gate­way to its ser­vices and resources:


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Mar­garet Wall
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Librar­i­an
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries
Tel: (416) 978‑1757