So much happened in the Shambhala Archives in 2015 that it was a fun challenge to decide what to put in this newsletter. Here is a selection of activities that have served to preserve, maintain, and make avail- able our most precious collection of teachings, objects, photographs, and archival records this past year.
Our fundraising efforts in late 2014 for the digitization project were highly successful. People really en- joyed the Archives’ Path of Restoration video and we raised close to $30,000. Thanks to Landon Mallery for the great idea! And thanks to Landon and Carolyn Gimian for their efforts in nding matching funds.
Because the fundraising was so successful, we were able to transfer hundreds of hours of video footage into digital formats. This is crucial to keeping these precious teachings current and available. This work is ongoing and will continue over the next couple of years.
Parallel with the digitization work, some restoration work was also completed. Ethan Neville and Gordon Kidd worked on the video series on dharma art, The Iconography of Buddhist Tantra. With the help of photographer Marvin Moore, the original photographs from that seminar were cleaned up and placed in the video. Steve Saitzyk is currently working on a study guide and it will be available for purchase later this year at Shambhala Media.
The Shambhala Archives supports Shambhala International in ongoing and various ways such as pro- viding support material for Kurukulla abhishekas to Chöpön Andrea Doukas and transcription audio les for Walker Blaine, Master of Liturgies. Also we provided DVD’s for the Ritual Academy to Rupa Acharya Suzann Duquette, audio and video les for program support to Mark Whaley, Deputy Chief of Staff, and prepared audio and video materials for Shambhala Online courses.
Additionally, the Shambhala Archives provided restored photos for the Collected Vajradhatu Seminaries 1973–1985: Vajrayana eBook, which can be purchased at Shambhala Media. It is also possible to purchase the eBooks by year.
Throughout this year (and every year) we help various scholars and authors nd suitable photos for their publications. For example, just recently, Jim Lowrey’s wonderful new book, Taming Untameable Beings needed a quality full resolution photo from the Vidyadhara’s early teaching days for the cover. This is what Jim found in the gallery we provided him. Is that him in the front row?
We also provided photos of Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and early meditation scenes and permissions to CBS editors. Some of these were seen in their video presen- tation entitled Meditation, Mindfulness and Spirituality that aired on June 28, 2015, which featured an in- terview with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in America. This show looks at the spiritual roots of the practice and how it can be used to transform society. Here is a link: Meditation, Mindfulness and Spirituality.
In the spring, we acquired many boxes of archival material from the Shambhala International of ces. In those boxes we have discovered a wealth of records that include correspondence, visiting teachers’ trip itineraries, practice and study materials. They all need to be carefully inventoried and described in our database, so they can be searched by topic and keyword by interested researchers.
On Pairinirvana Day Jeanne Riordan set up our annual display of the Vidyadhara’s personal objects in the Sakyong’s Tenno Room at the Halifax Shambhala Centre. This is a popular display and an excellent way to celebrate the Vidyadhara’s life. While looking for a signed document to put on display with Rinpoche’s pens and calligraphy brushes, an original signed and sealed, unpublished poem by the Vidyadhara was found in the of ce papers we acquired from Shambhala International Of ces. E Ma Ho!
Management and Storage
This year Gordon Kidd concentrated on management and continued storage of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s teachings as well as management of his materials in collection and database.
The Archives received funding from the Canadian government for two student interns. From the Young Canada Works in Heritage Institutions program we received funding for Fiona Westin to continue an ongoing portion of work for our Audio Recovery Program. She has completed two hundred gold CDs X two sets (masters to stay in Halifax and copies for the Great Stupa), and sixteen gold DVDs X two sets.
Fiona sums up her time with us:
“Working as an archival assistant at Shambhala Archives this past summer was a fantastic experience. I received a warm welcome from my colleagues and was made to feel right at home. It is clear that the Archives have had a lot of love and care put into them from archivists Jeanne Riordan and Gordon Kidd. I have come away with a greater apprecia- tion for the importance of archival preservation and a newfound curiosity for Shambhala Buddhism. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. I can’t imagine a better way to have spent my summer.”
Our second intern, Domenic Rosati, was instrumental in organizing boxes of paper records into fonds and series format for data entry. He carefully culled our library of books, pamphlets, and sourcebooks for duplicates and rearranged the library in logical sequence for easier access. He is a masters-degree student in library science from Dalhousie and applied his extensive knowledge effectively.
We have been working on a new website and feel very excited. It is our aim to have a dynamic website rich with content. We expect to be launching it in the next month or so.
Photo credits: Pg1, from left to right: Vancouver, 1979. Photographer Unknown; Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche attending an early encampment with his father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Photo by Andrea Craig Roth; Photo from the Buddhist Iconography DVDs. Taken by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Pg 2: Still from Meditation, Mindfulness and Spirituality. Photographer Unknown. All other images by Shambhala Archives staff.