The Famous Notebooks

747fb-notebooks1During a recent visit to the offices of TBRC, I was fortunate enough to glimpse Gene Smith‘s famous ‘notebooks’, the painstakingly typewritten transcripts of texts and interviews, with their own particular system of colour coding, capitalisation, underlining and marginalia. Many pages feature handwritten corrections and further notes added at a later date. Most of the books are leather-bound in green with titles on the spine. There appeared to be at least fifty in the office, but there might be others elsewhere. Jeff Wallman estimated that they represent about twenty years of work.

Following Zenkar Rinpoche’s call for them to be published, echoed by others, at the recent seminar at Columbia University, work will soon begin on scanning the books and using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology in order to preserve their contents and share them with other scholars. Let’s hope they can secure the necessary funding.