Documentation of Mongolian Monasteries

A group of international researchers working in Mongolia in the field of Buddhist and cultural preservation collaborated with the Arts Council of Mongolia (ACM) to conduct this project, ‘The Documentation of Mongolian Monasteries’, between 2005 and 2007. For ACM the project fitted their cultural heritage programme whose noble goal is protecting and conserving Mongolia’s cultural heritage for new generations. The fieldwork was done in Ulaanbaatar and all 21 aimags. The goal was to create a database of the location and condition of Buddhist temple and monastery sites in Mongolia at the beginning of 20th century that could be found in the main survey period of summer of 2007. It was important to do the project then as elderly people who were disciples in the temples and monasteries up to 1938 were the people who could guide the surveyors to the sites. The opportunity was also taken to conduct oral history interviews with old people drawing on their reminiscences of the monasteries and their life at that time, and to survey the temples that were active in the country at the time of the survey.

The result of the project is this website. It draws on a database comprising the information collected and the photographs taken of the sites, and other related oral and historical data on temples that are located in territory of Mongolia.