In the course of the introduction of Buddhism to the Tibetan plateau between the 8th and 14th centuries CE, large numbers of Sanskrit manuscripts were brought there. Through an agreement signed in January 2004, the IKGA has gained access to photocopies of such manuscripts held at the China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC), Beijing. These manuscripts provide direct access to numerous Buddhist philosophical and religious texts that until now have only been known to scholars in their Chinese or Tibetan translations, or not at all. One of the urgent medium- and long-term tasks at the IKGA is to make the most important Sanskrit texts preserved in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) accessible for the first time in the form of critical editions, to classify them historically, and to carry out and stimulate further research. Edition projects being carried out at the Institute concentrate on the literature of the logico-epistemological tradition and Madhyamaka. For editions of other literary genres, the Institute co-operates with international specialists.

The results of this work are being published in the publication series STTAR. An online catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts in the TAR is being prepared.


  • Ernst Steinkellner, A Tale of Leaves: On Sanskrit Manuscripts in Tibet, their Past and their Future. (2003 Gonda Lecture). Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2004.
  • Ernst Steinkellner, Duan Qing, Helmut Krasser (eds.), Sanskrit manuscripts in China. Proceedings of a panel at the 2008 Beijing Seminar on Tibetan Studies, October 13 to 17. Beijing: China Tibetology Publishing House, 2009.
  • Horst Lasic, Xuezhu Li (eds.), Sanskrit manuscripts in China II. Proceedings of a panel at the 2012 Beijing Seminar on Tibetan Studies, August 1 to 5. Beijing: China Tibetology Publishing House, 2016 [2017]. (download [open access])
  • Birgit Kellner, Xuezhu Li, Jowita Kramer (eds.), Sanskrit manuscripts in China III. Proceedings of a panel at the 2016 Beijing International Seminar on Tibetan Studies, August 1 to 4. Beijing: China Tibetology Publishing House, 2020.



A cooperation agreement was signed with the Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, for the production of KWIC (Key Word In Context) indices by Japanese colleagues Motoi Ono and Jun Takashima (see "KWIC of Dharmakirti and Jinendrabuddhi" on Jun Takashima's homepage). The indices are also available on the IKGA website: