The National Library and Archives of Bhutan (NLAB) was established in 1967 under the patronage of Her Majesty Ashi Phuntso Choden (1911-2003), with the aim of safeguarding, preserving and promoting the literary heritage of Bhutan. Today it is a major repository of Bhutan’s literary heritage, especially that of Vajrayana Buddhist texts and archival documents. The NLAB continues to build its comprehensive collections through Legal Deposit Act 1999, donations and purchase with the aim to provide an effective gateway to national and international resources of information, to provide services as a public reference library, and to promote libraries in Bhutan. The NLAB also aspires to strengthen, promote and preserve Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Bhutan.
Dr. Yonten Dargye is the Director of the NLAB and he joined the NLAB in 1997. He holds an M.A., M.Phil. and Doctorate Degree in Buddhist Studies and History from the University of Delhi, India. Dr. Yonten’s research interests focus on Bhutanese religion, history, and culture; and have translated and authored several books and publications on these subjects. Besides he executed and implemented many international and national projects at the working level through the coordination and supervision of the team’s efforts. He also served as a committee member for various international and national forums and provided professional services for setting questions and evaluation of written examination papers (History) for the Bhutan Civil Service Examinations since 1998, the validation of History and Himalayan Studies Programme in colleges; and contributed chapters for the Bhutan History curriculum of the Royal Education Council (REC).
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Sonam Yangden joined the NLAB in July 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Sherubtse College and received her Master’s of Science degree from the United Kingdom in 2006. Currently, Ms. Sonam assists in the administration and the management of the NLAB, including the classification, cataloging, collection development, digital library and its contents, basic library management training programs, and the formulation of policies and procedures manual for the NLAB. She is also involved in the research and documentation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) elements, the preparation and drafting of the National Inventory of ICH Elements of Bhutan and ICH Database management. Currently, she serves as an ICH Focal for the Department of Culture.
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Singye Samdrup (Acharya) is a Principal Librarian for the National Library & Archives of Bhutan, Department of Culture since 1 January 2020. He is also a member of the Specialist Advisor Team (SAT) and National film Review of the Department of Culture. He joined the civil servant in 1992 in the teaching category till January 2009 and held various positions in the Ministry of Education. In February 2009, he has joined the National Museum of Bhutan, Paro as a Curator for 11 years. He published “Local deity of Lobneykhaand Paga” Chapcha Gewog in the colloquium proceeding by the National Museum of Bhutan. He was involved in the editing of Keunphen Lamtoen (Ney-yig) and various publications and research works. He has a Master’s Degree in Dzongkha & Choekey from the College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse, Trongsa. He was the overall topper and received a certificate received from His Majesty the Fifth King. He is also a recipient of the Royal Civil Service Silver medal for 20 years of his service as a civil servant.
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Sonam Tobgay, Senior Archivist has been working with the NLAB since 2006. He has a Master’s Degree in Buddhist Philosophy from Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Currently, he looks after the management of the Archives Division and carries out the Nationwide Archival Survey and Digitization program. Besides his regular duties, he is a researcher and has co-edited few publications. He also served as a Project Manager for Korea-Bhutan joint project on Intangible Cultural Heritage “Development of National Inventory System of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bhutan”, and organized few series of UNESCO Training Workshops on implementing the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bhutan from 2012-2014. He represented the DoC as an expert committee member of the ‘Preserving and Leveraging of Bhutan’s Unique Cultural Diversity Project’. An EU/Helvetas Project and Training Need Analysis (TNA) committee for craft sector, Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, Bhutan.
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Sonam Tenzin, a Deputy Chief Archivist for the NLAB has served in varying capacities under the Royal Government of Bhutan for 16 years. He was the cultural officer, archeology technical in the archaeology section, Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites, and program officer at the Department of Culture. He is currently the focal of the UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW) and the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) of the Department. He is the recipient of Royal Civil Service Bronze medal from His Majesty the King of the Bhutan for 10 years of service as a civil servant. He was also a coordinator of the cultural program from the Dzongkhag during the Coronation and cuisine coordinator from the Dzongkhag during Royal wedding of His Majesty the King.
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Yeshi Lhendup, Sr. Librarian at the NLAB. He graduated from Simtokha Rigney School and Institute of Language of Cultural Studies, Simtokha, and joined NLAB in 2007. Within 14 years of service and having undergone various training in the field of library and research; his expertise includes library management, intangible cultural heritage research, translation and editing of research papers, digitization and management of archival materials, and management of research projects. He has authored several publications on the subject of religo-cultural history. He is the representative and member of both national and international committees for the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS), USA, Tibetan Resource Working Group (TRWS), the USA, Draft Policy Planning, Committee member, Department of Youth and Sports, Thimphu, and National Film Review Board member and Jury of National Film, Award, Bhutan Film Commission, Ministry of Information and Communication.
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Daza is a Junior Librarian at the NLAB. He has served the civil service for the last 33 years. His expertise is in the field of classification, cataloguing, and digitization of library materials. During the crisis of 1990, he has volunteered to undergo a militia training at the Royal Body Guard headquarter in Dechenchholing, Thimphu for 2 months. He is also a recipient of Royal Civil Service Award (Gold and Silver Medals from His Majesty the king) for his dedicated service to the Tsa-wa-sum.
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Ugyen Choden is a Junior Librarian at the NLAB. She has served as a civil servant for the last 19 years. She is responsible for cataloguing, classification and processing of library resources and provides readers services to the users. She has keen interest in undertaking research and documentation in various subjects related to cultural heritage of Bhutan. She is a recipient of Royal Civil Service Award (Bronze medal from His Majesty the King).
Email id: Ugschos08@gmail.com
Bumpa Dorji works as a Conservation Assistant for the Archives Division at the NLAB for last 17 years. He is expert in conserving various paper artefacts (archival documents) and imparts his expertise during the Basic Paper Preservation or Conservation workshops. He has worked as a Conservation Assistant for Wangditse Lhakhang’s Wall Painting Conservation and Restoration Project in 2011. Apart from his area of expertise he assists in managing Archival records and conducting archival documentation survey. He is a recipient of Danida Fellowship as well as received fellowship from the Asian Cooperation Programme for Conservation Science (ACPCS) in the field of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties.
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Karma is an Administrative Assistant at the NLAB since 2012. Before joining the current post, she served as a Museum Assistant at the Folk Heritage Museum. She looks after the administration, procurement and budgeting works. She is a recipient of Bronze medal from His Majesty the King for her dedicated service of 10 years.
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Pema Dema joined the NLAB in 2016, and serves as a Technician. Her main field of expertise is in maintenance of electricity. Prior to her current post she has worked at the Bhutan National Legal Institute in Thimphu since her joining of civil service in 2012. Her additional responsibility are operation and maintenance of the Air Plant Machine, inventorying, digitalizing and classification of Archival materials.
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Phub Thinley joined the NLAB in 2020 as an Assistant Artisan. He undertakes engraving Buddhist texts and Arts on woodblocks. xylograph printing; treating and restoring woodblocks and maintaining inventory of woodblock collection is expertise. He is also skilled in carpentry and electrical works. He holds a Certificate in Wood Designing.
Email id: Pkthinley9395@gmail.com
Man Dhoj Das has been serving at the NLAB as a Messenger since 1999. He is a recipient of Royal Civil Service Award of Bronze and Silver medal from His Majesty the King of the Bhutan for 20 years of service as a civil servant. Currently he is attached with Archive Division as Assistant Fumigator.
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Sanga Dorji joined the NLAB as a driver in 2009. He holds an Apprenticeship Certificate from Ministry of Labour and Human Resources (MoLHR), and undertook a mechanical course in repairing vehicles from Samthang, Wangdue Phodrang. Apart from his duty he also assists the Archives Division in digitalizing archival materials. His has a keen interest in photography and film making. He is the recipient of Royal Civil Service Commission’s Bronze medal from His Majesty the King for 10 years of his service.
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Pema Choden serves as a janitor at the NLAB. She also undertakes beautification of the NLAB premises.
Phurba Singh Tamang serves as a Security guard at the Kuenga Rabten Palace Branch Library in Trongsa. He also undertakes beautification of the palace building and its premises.