National Library

National Library information

Thimphu , Bhutan
Street Pedzoe Lam
+975 2 333301
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Opening hours
9am-5pm Mon-Fri summer, to 4pm winter
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Lonely Planet review

The National Library was established in 1967 to preserve ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. For tourists it's of interest mainly as a fine example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, but it's also a good resource for books about Bhutan.

Traditional books and historic manuscripts are kept on the top floor and include texts from the famous Tibetan printing presses of Derge and Narthang. Scriptures from all religious schools are represented, including the Bön tradition. Most of the books are Tibetan-style, printed or written on long strips of handmade paper stacked between pieces of wood and wrapped in silken cloth. Other displays include some great historic photos, a copy of a letter sent from the Druk desi (secular ruler) to British army officer and surveyor Samuel Turner in 1783, and carved wooden blocks used for printing books and prayer flags.