The Treasury of Lives is a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan region. Founded in 2007 as a project of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, The Treasury of Lives established non-profit status in 2016, operating independently from the Foundation since 2017. The Treasury provides an accessible and well-researched biography of a wide range of figures, from Buddhist masters to artists and political officials, many of which are peer reviewed. Website localization into Tibetan and Chinese languages in is progress in order to meet the growing numbers of users active in those languages.
In 2015, The Treasury relaunched the site, marking the addition of in-depth maps, timelines, clan data, religious incarnation lines, and embeddable content. These new features are complemented by an improved design and user interface. We work closely with our partners at Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, Himalayan Art Resources, and the Rubin Museum of Art to improve data and share information.
The team at the Treasury wishes to acknowledge everyone who has collaborated to help create the site, which was originally known as The Tibetan Lineages Project. Chief among them are Moke Mokotoff, Matthieu Ricard and Vivian Kurz, who originally created the site with design work by Charles Forcey, and engaged the scholars who wrote the first essays. Asa Hardcastle and Weston Happ architected and coded the new site which was designed by Nathan Eames. They incorporated many ideas and technology developed for the site's first iteration by Jeff Wallman, Trevor Conn, Sean O’Dwyer, and Theresa Reed. Special thanks to the late Gene Smith for his early encouragement and feedback.
There is much more to be done. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Your support makes this important work possible. As a collaborative project, we are especially grateful for support from our readers. Every dollar helps!
Alexander Gardner is Director and Chief Editor of the Treasury of Lives. Alex completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan in 2007. He can be reached at Alex at treasuryoflives.org.
Tenzin Dickyi is an Editor at the Treasury of Lives. She is also English Editor of Tibet Web Digest, a project of Columbia University's Modern Tibetan Studies program. She has an MFA from Columbia University where she was a Hertog fellow and a BA from Harvard University. She can be reached at Tenzin at treasuryoflives.org.
Catherine Tsuji is an Editor at the Treasury of Lives. She received an MA in Religious Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara. She can be reached at Catherine at treasuryoflives.org.
Editorial Committee Members
The Editorial committee supervises the Treasury's peer review process. Editorial members are also part of the advisory team.
Benjamin Bogin (Skidmore)
Jacob Dalton (UC Berkeley)
Paul Hackett (Columbia University Institute for Buddhist Studies)
Ariana Maki (University of Colorado)
Karma Phuntsho (Cultural Documentation and Research, Bhutan)
Annabella Pitkin (Lehigh University)
Andrew Quintman (Yale University)
Michael Sheehy (Harvard University)
Gray Tuttle (Columbia University)
Vesna A. Wallace (UC Santa Barbara)
Nicole Willock (Old Dominion University)
Advisory Committee Members
The Advisory Committee helps guide the Treasury's development and recommends improvements. They serve as ambassadors to the site, helping to promote its use and encourage participation among colleagues and students.
José Cabezón (UC Santa Barbara)
Brandon Dotson (Georgetown University)
Janet Gyatso (Harvard University)
Lauran Hartley (Columbia University Library)
Roger Jackson (Carleton College)
Sarah Jacoby (Northwestern)
Thupten Jinpa (Institute of Tibetan Classics)
Samten Karmay (CNRS, Paris)
Klaus Dieter Mathes (University of Hamburg)
Elena Pakhutova (Rubin Museum of Art)
Jann Ronis (UC Berkeley)
Sam van Schaik (British Library)
Tsering Wangyal Shawa (Princeton University Library)
The Treasury of Lives is a collaborative project. While all biographies are edited by the team, they are written by scholars from around the world. If you would like to submit a biography, please contact us.
Jean Luc Achard
is a researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris and editor of the Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines.
is associate professor at Kyōto University (GSAIS, Shishu-Kan), Japan, where he teaches Buddhist studies and cross-cultural philosophy. He received his PhD from the University of Paris in 2011. https://www.gsais.kyoto-u.ac.jp/staff/deroche
is director of Trans Himalaya, with offices in the United Kingdom, Chengdu, and Kham. He earned a Ph.D. in Tibetan Literature at the School for Oriental and Asian Studies in 1987 and a Masters degree in Sanskrit & Oriental Studies at Edinburgh in 1971.
left school in England in the 1960s to travel overland to India and lived in the Himalayan regions for a decade, before returning to London to establish a successful travel business. From 1985 he travelled all over Tibet and in the UK he co-founded a number of Tibet-related organizations. An autodidact, he has written and published various articles on Tibet, its people and its history, including in Wikipedia.
is the Director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, and also Numata Visiting Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and the History of Religions in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
is visiting scholar at Harvard-Yengching Institute and was previously a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Research Abroad and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. His research interests include the history of Kham and the diplomatic activity of the Tibetan Government in the early 20th century.
(Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2007) is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He is author of Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience by Oxford University Press, Visions of Unity: The Golden Pandita Shakya Chokden's New Interpretation of Yogācāra and Madhyamaka by State University of New York Press and Three Texts on Madhyamaka by Shakya Chokden by Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.
is Associate Director of the Tibet Center and Bhutan Initiative at the University of Virginia and holds a Ph.D. in Art History with a specialization in Himalayan Art. http://virginia.academia.edu/ArianaMaki
is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War, and is currently writing a book about the Pangdatsang family.
is a cultural anthropologist, Director of Research at the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, France) and Associate Professor at the College of Language and Culture (CLCS), Royal University of Bhutan. http://www.crcao.fr/spip.php?article176
is Professor of Asian Studies in the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. He is the author of fourteen books and more than sixty articles. These include Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism.
is the main coordinator at Karuna-Shechen. A Buddhist monk, he has lived and studied in the Himalayan region for over thirty-five years, and was the full-time attendant of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche for thirteen years.
is an independent scholar with PhD from the Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS) at Sarnath, Varanasi, India. He has a Master’s degree in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College, Boston, MA. After serving as the In-charge of Publication Department of CUTS for 26 years, he immigrated to the United States in 2009 and is currently an adjunct Assistant Professor at the City University of New York, and Language Associate in Columbia University.
is an ordained monk and lama of the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu traditions of German origin. An interpreter and translator for 30 years, he worked closely for the late Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche of Benchen monastery and now spends most of his time in solitary retreat in Yolmo.
is a candidate for the Geshe degree at Sera Monastery in India. He was one of the founders and the first director of Sera Je IMI house, a complex especially built for the Western monks studying at the monastery.
is an academic researcher at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Born in Amdo and educated at Labrang and in India, he has published several translations, including An Undercover Journey Through Tibet, by Ajam (from Tibetan to English) and Bertrand Russel's On Education: Especially in Early Childhood (from English to Tibetan).
is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. He has published several translations of Mongolian and Tibetan literature, including several volumes of Mongolian poety. He has also released many recordings of experimental music.
(Ph.D. Indiana University Bloomington, Tibetan Studies and Religious Studies, 2011) is an assistant professor of Asian Religions at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she teaches World Religions, Buddhism, and Religions of China and Tibet.
is Assistant Professor of History in Mount Holyoke College. She received her Ph.D. in the History-East Asian Program at Columbia University in 2016. Her research interests include imperial formation in the early modern era and history of Buddhism in East Asia. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/people/lan-wu