In 1987, the idea for the ACIP preservation project was born at the offices of the Department of Classics at Princeton University. The founding team of the project consisted of Director, Michael Roach, Princeton University graduate and liaison; Assistant Director, Robert Taylor, Ph.D., of the U.S. Department of Transportation; John Malpas, developer of Tibetan input software; and Steve Bruzgulis, inventor of the first Tibetan word processor. Robert Chilton provided invaluable technical expertise, especially as Unicode was developed as a universal standard for computer fonts. ACIP was born, and funding from the Hewlett Packard Foundation financed our first data entry center in South India.
The Birth of Asian Legacy Library
Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, ACIP continued our search for the original Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts that might have survived over centuries and still exist. Our search helped establish three new centers: one located in Nepal; one in Varanasi, India; and one in the state of Kerala, in Southeast India. Our discoveries of several private collections, monastic libraries, and institutional archives have expanded our collections of Indic traditional subjects that include Ayurvedic medical palm leaf collections, astrology, traditional Sanskrit Buddhism, and Vedic and Upanishadic collections. Over two million pages have been digitally scanned and cataloged to date.
The creation of Asian Legacy Library was inspired by the need to preserve over three decades of ACIP’s data in a modern digital preservation framework. We have essentially given the ACIP data a home and democratized the input to ensure the data are secure and can be accessed universally by scholars, translators, and students of the great wisdom traditions of Asia. The Library is designed to handle the enormous output of many preservation projects around the world. The Asian Legacy Library is truly manifesting the snow on the mountain concept and so many of us have been the beneficiaries of this beautiful and life changing content.
ALL is an organization with a more expansive vision, which incorporates and builds upon all of ACIP’s past and ongoing input. The Asian Legacy Library is exactly what its name states: a digital library. At the same time, it is a vital expression of the outstanding vision and passion of supporters like you. Thank you for all you do.
John Brady explains the transition from ACIP to ALL: https://vimeo.com/698434368