Revolving Sheep Bank Project
The Rural Change Project
(Under Construction)
Tibetan Street Songs
(Under Construction)

The Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) was founded in 1987. Our goal is to conceptualize and conduct research on Tibetan history, society, language, ecology/physiology and culture so as to understand traditional Tibet and the manner in which it has changed.

The Center is housed in Mather Memorial Building at Case Western Reserve University, and is administratively under the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Drs. Melvyn C. Goldstein (the John Reynolds Harkness Professor of Anthropology) and Cynthia M. Beall (the Sarah Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology) are its co-Directors.

From the beginning, the Center has maintained a collaborative relationship with the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences (TASS) in Lhasa, and has undertaken a wide range of research projects on different aspects of present and past Tibet with the cooperation of TASS. Since 1988, the Center has hosted eight scholars from TASS for periods ranging from 6 months to one year. Two young Tibetan researchers from TASS have received Masters of Arts degrees in Anthropology (1988 and 2003), while another Tibetan student earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2001.

Professor Goldstein and TASS signing the first collaborative agreement in 1986.

At present, the Center has expanded its "research" goal by adding a commitment to preserve and organize its unique corpus of primary data in a way that will make it readily available to students, scholars and Tibetans globally. With support from The Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are in the process of creating a major online archive that will include, initially, 700-1,000 hours of taped interviews and their English translations. These will all be indexed and searchable through keywords. Almost all of the interviewees are Tibetans, a small but important sub-set are Chinese military and civil officials who worked in Tibet. This unique corpus of interviews covers three major areas: modern Tibetan history, the traditional social and economic life in Drepung (Tibet's largest monastery in the traditional period), and the oral history of the lives of common rural and urban Tibetans. The period for the oral history interviews spans from the pre-Chinese period to the end of the Cultural Revolution.

Donations to help support the Tibet Oral History Archive are most welcome, and should be sent to Case Western Reserve University, College of Arts and Sciences, The Center for Research on Tibet (Oral History Archive), Cleveland, Ohio 44106. All donations are tax deductible. For more details on the Oral History Project see that section of this website.