The Archives are the most important asset and responsibility of the Shang Shung Institute. The Archives’ aim is to collect, preserve and make available documents relating to Tibetan culture in all its aspects. It has four sections: Library, Photo, Audio and Video. It contains over twenty five thousand documents.

digital archive The Library contains over nine thousand texts and journals in oriental and western languages. The collection was put together by Prof. Namkhai Norbu, who, in over thirty years of research, collected ancient manuscripts and prints in the Tibetan language, many of which are the only copies extant. Of particular importance is the rare collection of Dzogchen texts which is one of the most complete in the world.

The Photo archive contains over 10,000 images which give an extremely rich panorama of the iconography of art, the ceremonies, and the customs of Tibetan life over the last century.

The Audio Archive contains over four thousand recordings, made during the last thirty years of lectures and seminars held by representatives of various aspects of Tibetan culture, primarily all the teachings transmitted by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu since 1976.

The Video Archive is one of the most significat in its field and contains over 4,000 hours of recordings of interviews, public talks, courses and seminars. Since the early nineties the video archive has been sensibly enriched with videos of the teachings that Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has been giving all over the world.

The project of digitizing, cataloguing and indexing all the teachings started in 1999 and is still in progress as materials continue to be added. The Manuscripts conservation project is in progress as well and it concerns some of the rarest texts to be transferred to digital format.

The Shang Shung Institute, drawing from the wealth of contents of its Archives, has produced a significant number of CDs and DVDs meant to be useful supports for the Dzogchen study and practice. New titles are constantly added to the wide selection of items on sale which can be ordered on line. Please visit our “products” section to see the updated list.

The archive transcription program

The International Shang Shung Institute is now ready to start a new campaign called THE ARCHIVE TRANSCRIPTION PROGRAM. Most of the recorded Teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu have not yet been transcribed. This work must be done in order to make these precious Teachings available in their written form. Everyone is welcome to participate in this new initiative, and thus contribute to the preservation of the Teachings.

We are  looking for people who want to collaborate
We are looking for collaborators who:
- have been active members of the Dzogchen Community for at least 2 years and
- have followed or attended at least 3 retreats of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.

Work to be done
The retreats should be transcribed word-by-word, exactly as Rinpoche speaks.

How to apply
If you know how to work with a computer, you fulfill the requirements mentioned above, and if you think you have enough time and capacity to do this work, please send your CV to the Shang Shung Institute. After checking your qualifications we will send you precise guidelines on how to transcribe correctly, and a contract to be signed between the transcriber and the Shang Shung Institute. When the Institute has received your signed contract the audio file of one retreat will be sent to you.  If we receive your completed transcription within the proposed timeframe, you will receive a certificate that can be used for Karma Yoga.

Please send your replies to Dina Priymak (, the coordinator of the Archive Transcription Program

Best wishes,
Luigi Ottaviani and Oliver Leick

Copyright © Shang Shung Institute 2011