What now constitutes the library collection of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art was conceived as an on-site library by the founder of the museum, Jacques Marchais. She intended it to be a ‘research and reference’ library for scholars. The original collection assembled in the early decades of the 20th century comprised of over 2000 books.
The collection has recently been cataloged in an online searchable database, library thing, and at present the number of books in the collection stands at 1742. Apart from the original collection of Jacques Marchais, the catalog, which is constantly updated, also includes recent acquisitions by the museum on contemporary Tibetan art and culture. Some of the highlights of the collection are books from the early 20th century authored by Candler, Hedin, Rijnhart, Bernard, Evans-Wentz and Talbot Mundy. The occasional reader may even come across Jacques Marchais’s notes in the margins of these volumes!
The collection covers a wide range of subjects including books on Tibetan Art and Architecture, Buddhism, Culture, Ritual, Occultism, Folklore and Asian Philosophy. A strength of the collection is early accounts of travels to Tibet and rare editions of journals, no longer printed. The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art has had the privilege of visits by the Dalai Lama and other esteemed spokesmen of Tibetan Buddhism, records of which are also preserved in the library collection. The database is easily accessible and the search tools enable the user to explore the collection at length, and provide bibliographic details of the books wherever available.