Berzin Archives e.V.

Berzin Archives e.V., as a free information provider, is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of academic teaching and reference material, in written, audio and video formats, produced by Dr. Alexander Berzin to preserve the cultural and religious traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Mar 3, 2014

Berzin Archives Trimonthly Report: December 2013 through February 2014

From my desk in Berlin
From my desk in Berlin

Work on our Berzin Archives web site has been proceeding at a fast rate. During the last three months, we have added online our eighteenth and nineteenth language sections: Hindi and Tibetan. The addition of these new sections helps us to fulfill two great wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These are to repay the kindness of India to have transmitted the Buddhist teachings to Tibet, and to make available the Buddhist teachings to the widespread Tibetan exile community and help preserve the Tibetan language among them.

The Persian section is in the final stages of web production and within a few weeks should come online. As a growing number of young people in Iran wish to broaden their knowledge and contact with the wider world, we hope that by bringing them the Dalai Lama’s message of religious harmony and peace, it will be of benefit to the larger Iranian society. Work on the Western Punjabi section is also coming along nicely and recently we started work on a Korean section – language number 22! Each year, a growing number of Koreans have been visiting Dharamsala in India to receive special teachings from the Dalai Lama. This section will bring His teachings to an even greater number of interested people in Korea.

An itemized list of the work that we have accomplished during these three months is attached to this report.

During these three months, we also have put online our Arabic glossary and implemented the pop-up window feature to provide definitions in Arabic for the Buddhist terms in the online Arabic articles. This will help clarify the material for those for whom the material of the website is all new. To organize more efficient use of our web glossary tool so that we can provide similar online glossaries and the pop-up window feature for our other web-site languages, we have recently hired a web glossary coordinator.

The preliminary findings from the diagnostics, analytics, and user questionnaire we asked our Facebook followers to fill out have provided good insights for helping us prepare the new 3.0 version of the website. Based on our findings, and in consultation with an information architect, we are now asking users of the most frequented language sections of the web site – English, Spanish, German and Russian – to help us with a survey of how they use the web site, its strong and weak points, and their suggestions for improvements and new features. Based on analysis of the data collected, we will be able to design improved layouts of the website for further user testing.

With your continuing help, we shall make even greater advances in sharing the wisdom of Tibet to the world.

Links:


Attachments:
Dec 3, 2013

Berzin Archives Trimonthly Report: September through November 2013

From my desk in Berlin
From my desk in Berlin

The most exciting new development of the last three months is our hiring of a Project Developer to begin work on the 3.0 version of the Berzin Archives web site, www.berzinarchives.com. This upgrade will transform the web site from primarily a reference source to a modern online educational tool. We hope to be able to provide, in each of our language sections, individualized study programs that will suit the interests and needs of each user. We also hope to make full use of the enormous opportunities that the fast-growing range of social media offers for reaching as wide an audience as possible.

Preparation of the upgrade will be a long and challenging process, but we have taken the first step. We are presently conducting an extensive diagnostic of the current use of the web site and analyzing the data to determine how to optimize access and use of its current functions. I shall keep you informed as this exciting adventure unfolds.

In addition to this new development, we have continued working to expand the content of the Berzin Archives web site in almost all of our language sections, as well as in our audio and video departments. You can read all the details in the attached file. In addition to the current seventeen languages online and three in preparation (Hindi, Tibetan and Persian), we have begun work on our twenty-first language, Western Punjabi. This is the form of Punjabi used in Pakistan and written in the Arabic script. We have added this language at the strong request of our Urdu translator, who pointed out that although Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, studied by almost everyone in the country, it is the mother tongue of only 7% of the population. Punjabi is, in fact, the most widely spoken language there. Worldwide, it is the native language of over 100 million people. Therefore, in keeping with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s encouragement to reach out to the Muslim world, we are happy to add this audience to our goal of “Making the Ageless Wisdom of Tibet Available to All.” Thank you for your continuing support in making this possible.

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Attachments:
Sep 5, 2013

Berzin Archives Trimonthly Report: June through August 2013

From my desk in Berlin
From my desk in Berlin

With your kind ongoing support, we have continued to make great progress with the Berzin Archives project (www.berzinarchives.com). During the last three months we have added online our sixteenth and seventeenth language sections: Mongolian and Japanese. The statistics and details of what we have accomplished during these months are attached to this report. 

We have continued preparation of the next language sections for the web site: Tibetan and Hindi, and have begun preparation of a Persian section. We have been able to secure a Persian team as the direct outcome of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Roshan Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. There he delivered “The Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace” and participated in “A Meeting of Two Oceans: Dialogue on Sufism and Buddhism.” Transcripts of both lectures are now available on our web site:  http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/world_today/anwar_sadat_lecture_for_peace.html and http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/islam/general/meeting_of_two_oceans.html.

Our web developer has constructed these three next language sections and programmed our content management system to handle the fonts for these scripts and display them on all browsers and operating systems. Our technical team is currently developing a program to optimize treatment of all the non-Roman scripts of the site.

Our Arabic team has completed work on an Arabic-English glossary with Arabic translations of the definitions of the terms and this is newly online. As with the English section, pop-up windows with the definitions of these terms appear in the Arabic articles when the reader passes the cursor over the terms.

Work is continuing strongly on the transcription of the audio files of my weekly courses. We have now completed transcribing and proofreading 185 of the 379 audio files currently online. In preparation for also putting these transcripts online, once they have been copyedited, our web developer has integrated these audio files from their previous podcast status into our content management system and reformatted them accordingly.

In addition, our web developer has upgraded our content management system to the latest version and optimized many of its features to increase efficiency. We have also migrated the web site to a larger main server, added a second backup server, and expanded our security measures. With this increased efficiency, we hope to make even more of the “Wisdom of Tibet Available to All.”

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Attachments:

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