Dalai Lama library and museum will be built in Ithaca

Ithaca’s south hill will be the site of “His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Library and Museum,” according to an announcement made at the Namgyal Monastery last week. The announcement came at a celebration of H.H. the Dalai Lama’s 81st birthday.

A celebration of the Dalai Lama's 81st birthday last week. Photo courtesy of Tom Hanna.

A celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 81st birthday last week. Photo courtesy of Tom Hanna.

According to a statement from the Namgyal Monastery, the plan is to “build an educational institution that will serve as a repository of materials related to all of the 14 Dalai Lamas who have served to protect Tibetan Buddhist teachings across the centuries.”

Representatives of the Dalai Lama revealed the news on Wednesday morning at Dü Khor Choe Ling, the Namgyal Monastery’s south hill facility, built over several years to serve as housing and retreat space for Namgyal’s Institute of Buddhist Studies, which has called Ithaca its home for about 25 years.

Ithaca (and the Namgyal Monastery) has been the North American Seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1991. The Monastery is based downtown, and the south hill facility is about two and a half miles south of the Commons, off Route 96B.

The Dalai Lama Library and Museum “will serve to protect the legacy of the Dalai Lama and all he represents to many millions throughout the world,” say Monastery leaders. It “will house the collected works of all the Dalai Lamas, as well as recordings, images, awards, and related works.”

According to a Facebook post from Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick, “dozens of cities from around the world applied” to house the Dalai Lama’s new library, which he said would be “similar to Presidential libraries, but for Buddhists worldwide.” The mayor declined to share further thoughts for this article.

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