ALL has been awarded a prestigious three-year grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation for the project “Consolidating, Documenting, and Restoring the National Library of Mongolia.”
The National Library of Mongolia (NLM) is an extraordinary cultural treasure which holds traditional Mongolian knowledge from across generations. Consolidating, documenting, and restoring the library’s collections is of critical importance for both the Mongolian public and the global community. Rituals, epic stories, treatises on government, land use, architecture, music, and indeed all cultural forms are documented in the literature of Mongolia. From the thirteenth century on, this body of work was safeguarded in private libraries, homes, and small institutions, forming a stable cultural foundation throughout the country.
The goal of the project is to ensure the preservation of tangible Mongolian cultural heritage collections at the National Library of Mongolia and to build cultural preservation capacity in Mongolia. A specific objective of this project is to train the staff at NLM with expanded cultural preservation skills, systems, and knowledge which will allow them to consolidate, document, and restore their historic collections. Intended broader objectives of this project are to increase community engagement and to solidify and expand Mongolia-U.S. relations via capacity building, cultural exchange, and strategic outreach programming in Mongolian and U.S. communities.
The AFCP Grants Program supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression. Promising projects are submitted to the Cultural Heritage Center in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State by embassies around the world. Each year, the Center selects twenty to thirty projects for AFCP funding. Since 2000, AFCP has given 1.3 million USD to the implementation of twenty projects in Mongolia, including the restoration of Yadam Temple of the Choijin Lama Temple Museum in Ulaanbaatar, Barcoding Inventory Project within the National Museum of Mongolia, and Preservation of Deer Stones in Khanui Valley.
NLM is eager to engage with ALL to complete this critical effort to preserve its Tibetan language collection, and in doing so, contribute to preserving the literary heritage of Mongolia itself. The preservation of collections at the National Library of Mongolia will enable the Mongolian public, as well as scholars, students, and researchers across the globe, to access digital catalogs of these vital, understudied collections for the first time in history, in perpetuity. Through ALL’s digital platform at https://asianlegacylibrary.org/library/portal/ and the Buddhist Digital Resource Center’s digital library at bdrc.io, material preserved through the project will be distributed freely online. For the first time, Mongolian and global communities can engage with material held at NLM, leading to deeper understanding of and appreciation for the richness of Mongolian cultural heritage.
ALL is honored by the support of AFCP for this important work, and we are thrilled to carry out this project in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia and the National Library of Mongolia.
ALL applied for and won a grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for the NLM project, which will provide $300,000 over three years in support of the project at NLM. The grant will contribute to the salaries of ten NLM staff members as well as to equipment, supplies, and other costs associated with the project. The grant was submitted to AFCP with the support of and in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia. The project was selected for AFCP funding by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State by embassies around the world. Each year, the Center selects twenty to thirty projects from around the world for AFCP funding. The funding period will begin in September of 2022.