Gene Smith

Frits Staal JFStaal at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Apr 2 03:49:51 EST 2004


I am grateful for Matthew Kapstein correction and truly sorry that I was
wrong, that the US collections are so poorly maintained and that they have
been studied so little.

  At 03:22 PM 3/20/2004, you wrote:
>While I hate to take exception to the remarks of the
>learned Prof. Staal, it is simply not true that
>much of the Tibetan material so admirably published in
>South Asia under the guidance Gene Smith has already been "studied,
>translated and made accessible" by scholars of Tibet.
>Of the roughly 5000 volumes of Tibetan materials
>published under the PL480 program, only a small fraction,
>probably fewer than 10%, have been made the object
>of serious study of any kind, much less translated.
>Because much of the printing was done using relatively
>poor quality paper, and because many of the US collections
>have not been carefully maintained, a large share of
>the texts now available pose conservation problems,
>even before anyone will ever study them. Hence the
>great value of Gene Smith's present efforts to
>scan and distribute e-versions of these materials.
>
>Matthew Kapstein



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