Berzin Archives Year End Report 2008

Dr. Alexander Berzin
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As the holiday season approaches and 2008 draws to an end, I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who has helped contribute to the continuing growth and success of the Berzin Archives project. Through your hard work and support, we have continued to be the largest provider of authentic free-of-charge information about Tibetan Buddhism and culture on the Internet. In the present grave situation of the Tibetans in the Peoples’ Republic of China, our joint efforts take on an additional significance in helping to preserve the unique Tibetan contribution to world knowledge and wisdom. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is aware of our work and greatly appreciates what we are doing.

Let me share with you what we have accomplished this past year. In 2008, we have expanded the website so that now it is available in five languages – English, German, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese – and the vast part of it is accessible to the blind. In the course of the year, we have had nearly 0.5 million individual persons visiting the site, and they have accessed over 1.5 million written or audio items. This represents a 35% increase in visitors since the end of last year. We now have 57 active team members.

We now have online 1285 articles, spanning our five language sections. In addition, we have 403 audio files. We are currently in the process of preparing seven more language sections – Polish, Chinese in traditional characters, Chinese in simplified characters, French, Mongolian. Italian and Vietnamese. Work has just begun on a Tamil section and today the first translated article arrived. We hope that this is an auspicious beginning for making the website available to a larger Indian audience.

In January, we plan to start formatting and uploading the Polish section. We are also starting to proofread the numerous transcripts that have been made of our audio files. The plan is to add them online so that much of the audio material will not only be accessible to the deaf, but also available to those with English as a second language, for reading along as they listen to the files. We are also experimenting with posting some shorter audio files on You Tube, so that we may reach yet another potential audience.

There are many more exciting plans that we have in mind and, of course, still only about 25% of the English material in my archives has been worked on. But, with your continuing help and support and the hard work of our dedicated team, I am confident that we will succeed in fulfilling the hopes of so many.

Thank you once more and I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season and new year.