BUDA: Buddhist Digital Archives

A New Platform for Preservation
and Research

What Is BUDA?

BDRC developed the Buddhist Digital Archives (BUDA) as a collaborative platform for Buddhist texts in order to benefit the Buddhist community and BDRC’s many users in academia. With new features and an innovative design, BUDA greatly improves access to a vast collection of Tibetan Buddhist works, as well as to collections of Sanskrit, Chinese, Pali, Burmese, and Khmer materials. It is open source and as open access as possible. Resources are made available by both BDRC and its partner collections. BUDA was made possible by a generous grant from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

You can read more about BDRC's

access policies

Explore our library

powered by BUDA

BUDA’s Tools

BUDA offers a variety of tools that facilitate research and promote deep engagement with Buddhist texts. Long-time BDRC users will notice significant improvements to our image and e-text viewers especially.

Image Viewer

BUDA’s image viewer offers continuous scrolling in addition to the page-by-page view. The new image viewer also provides simple image manipulation tools, allowing the adjustment of settings such as contrast, saturation, and brightness. It can even perform color inversion for easier reading.

Illustrated manuscript from the Bon Tradition (BDRC ID W8LS32686)

BUDA’s Tools

BUDA offers a variety of tools that facilitate research and promote deep engagement with Buddhist texts. Long-time BDRC users will notice significant improvements to our image and e-text viewers especially.

Buddhist Universal Digital Archive image e-text viewer

Image viewer

BUDA’s image viewer offers continuous scrolling in addition to the page-by-page view. The new image viewer also provides simple image manipulation tools, allowing the adjustment of settings such as contrast, saturation, and brightness. It can even perform color inversion for easier reading.

From BDRC’s Archive

E-text Viewer

BUDA also offers an e-text viewer. You can scroll through Unicode texts in BDRC’s database and simultaneously view corresponding scans when images are available.

 

From the e-text viewer you can also download text files of e-texts.

An e-text in BDRC’s archive as seen on BUDA’s new reader with the corresponding scanned page above.

Multi-language Search

BUDA also provides deep access with advanced, multi-language search and a query interface that allows users to run custom queries and download custom datasets directly from BDRC’s archive.

BUDA's interface options

BUDA’s Technology

BUDA is an open source platform using open standards, and has been developed to be freely used. Documentation and installation instructions are available on our GitHub page.

 

The two major technologies underlying the BUDA platform are the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) and Linked Open Data.

 

IIIF is a set of technical standards for displaying and sharing online images. IIIF is being implemented by major libraries, museums, and research institutions around the world because, as articulated on the IIIF Consortium’s website, it is designed to offer “an unprecedented level of uniform and rich access to image-based resources.” BUDA uses the IIIF standards to serve and display its images and provide users with a feature-rich interface.

With BUDA’s IIIF interface, users can download, share, embed, and annotate images in ways that were not possible with BDRC’s legacy image viewer.

Tīkā-kyō nissya text from the Fragile Palm Leaves

collection in Thailand, as displayed in BUDA’s new image viewer (Page View).

“By creating a hub of information, and offering universal, direct access, BUDA will enliven and engage a global scholarly network for Buddhist Studies.”

In addition to using IIIF, BUDA relies on an innovative Linked Open Data architecture developed by BDRC specifically for Buddhist cultural heritage materials. Linked Open Data is a method of structuring information on the web in a way that makes the data machine-readable. That means computers can understand, process, and use the information with less help from a human. This approach yields datasets that are easy to extract, query, link, and update. A dataset using Linked Open Data practices can also be exported as a single, self-contained file, providing for easy long-term preservation. An increasing number of digital humanities projects and libraries are adopting Linked Open Data because it allows linking between separate databases, creating a rich web of interconnected resources.

BUDA’s Linked Open Data schema is designed to describe central aspects of Buddhist cultural heritage—the who, what, when, and where—and includes a rich scholarly model for identifying texts across many languages.

 

Rather than the usual way of linking web pages, Linked Open Data gives archives the ability to connect resources at the level of the data itself.

 

By creating a hub of information, and offering universal, direct access, BUDA will enliven and engage a global scholarly network for Buddhist Studies.

BDRC’s Access Policies

The core access guidelines for Buddhist Digital Resource Center were developed by E. Gene Smith. The Board of Directors made clarifications in 2012, and further clarifications were made in 2014 and 2019 after review by Harvard University Copyright Advisor, Kyle Courtney.

 

BDRC’s access policy serves two distinct purposes:

 

1. It maximizes access to cultural works to sustain the living traditions.
2. It protects the legal and cultural rights of authors and publishers.

Highlights from the archive