Making the insights of Buddhist Wisdom available to ALL.
In 1985 The Dalai Lama asked as a matter of urgency that The Meridian Trust preserve Tibetan culture at a time when its very existence was threatened. Since then we have created an archive of over 2,500 hours of footage: these recordings collectively make one of the largest and most authentic resources of Tibetan Buddhist film in the world.
With developments in digital technology there is now the potential to make our work of the last 29 years instantly accessible for the benefit of all, thereby helping Buddhist thought develop in cultures and countries well beyond those of its origin. After many years of recording, preserving and careful curating we are finally in a position to 'Open the Vaults'.
Our goal is to build a NEW website through which this rare film archive can be shared over the Internet, for free, for the benefit of all. Here authentic Buddhist teachings and culture can be accessed at the click of a button.
By Opening the Vaults Together we can fulfill our promise to The Dalai Lama, giving Tibetan’s access to their cultural heritage; giving back to those who have lost so much. We hope to develop a website that will benefit people from all walks of life, who wish to enrich their lives through a deeper knowledge of Buddhist wisdom.
The goal of the project is to facilitate access, for present and future generations; to make authentic sources of learning on Buddhist philosophy, culture, art and related practice, and provide opportunities for the culture to evolve anew.
Examples of footage in our archive that we want to share:
40 years of Filming the Dalai Lama
Develop a New Website: Meridian Trust will work with web designers and developers, Piction Media and Designed2Perform who (using Open Source technologies) will develop a new website with film-streaming and search capabilities onto which the Trust will upload the Archive and its current Buddhist filming projects.
Navigation: A major aspect of usability of the website is the need for people to be able to find what they want, and find it quickly. Due to the large amount of video content, the Trust will present clear, consistent, well-ordered Navigation and Sub-Navigation including Search facilities. The site will have a search engine to allow users to find videos in the archive by categories such as Teacher, Buddhist teachings, Art, Rituals, Initiations, Political, Documentaries, Conference, Interviews, Public Talks, Tibetan Culture and Western Buddhism.
Security: The website’s privacy options will make it easy to make the videos public, private or password protected. The Trust will have full control of who can see them, for some content is restricted and only viewable by people who have had certain teachings or initiations. Content will be editable and publishable by Meridian staff and security will be in place for all elements of the site.
Device Support/ Mobile Playback: The website will be supported by all desktop computers, mobile devices such as iPad and Android tablets and smartphones.
Social Media Integration: The website will be integrated with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help the Trust reach its target audience and develop awareness and interest.
Risks and challenges
The development of any technical project always carries some risk, but we believe the delivery of this project has minimal risk as we are working with respected experts in their field, Piction Media and Cinedigital, who have an excellent track record in web development and delivery.
Acting on advice from film archive consultants we have backed up the entire digital archive onto professional RAID hard drives and Data Tape, in triplicate, minimising the risk of loss of material due to technical failure.
We are aware that, once up and running, the website will require ongoing maintenance and administration. We aim to address this challenge by building into the website architecture the capacity to receive small donations, both single and ongoing (committed) from people who feel they have benefited from the archive and who want to keep it online for the benefit of others.
News of our project has already attracted interest from other organisations with similar archives. With the NEW website, we will become a hub, with the capacity to help digitise and disseminate the archives of others. This, in turn, will help to generate further interest and should lead to the donations needed to cover the maintenance and administration costs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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