Gene Smith

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Sat Mar 20 23:22:14 UTC 2004

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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