Dr Sam van Schaik

British Library silk road
Head of the Endangered Archives Programme
Tibet, Silk Road, Buddhism
Related Offices
Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State project (principal investigator); Treasury of Lives Project, Rubin Foundation (advisory committee); Circle of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, SOAS (board member); Encyclopedia of Manuscript Cultures of Asia and Africa, University of Hamburg (editorial board member)

Sam van Schaik is Head of the Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library, funded by the Arcadia Trust. He has previously worked for the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, and has been a principal investigator on the projects Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State (ERC), Tibetan Zen (British Academy) and Tibetan and Chinese Paleography (Leverhulme Trust). 



  • The Tibetan Chan Manuscripts: A Complete Descriptive Catalogue of Tibetan Chan Texts in the Dunhuang Manuscript CollectionsPapers on Central Eurasia 1(41). Bloomington: Indiana University, 2014.
  • Old Tibetan Texts in the Stein Collection Or.8210 (with Kazushi Iwao and Tsuguhito Takeuchi). Tokyo: The Toyo Bunko, 2012.
  • Tibetan Tantric Manuscripts from Dunhuang: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Stein Collection at the British Library (with Jacob Dalton). Leiden: EJ Brill, 2006.


  • The Spirit of Tibetan Buddhism. London: Yale University Press, 2016.
  • Tibetan Zen: Discovering a Lost Tradition. Boston: Snow Lion, 2015.
  • Tibet: A History. London: Yale University Press, 2011.


  • 'The Uses of Early Tibetan Printing: Evidence from the Turfan Oasis.' In Tibetan Printing: Comparison, Continuities, and Change, ed. Hildegard Diemberger (Leiden: Brill, 2016)
  • 'Tibetan Buddhism in Central Asia: Geopolitics and Group Dynamics.' In (ed.), Transfer of Buddhism Across Central Asian Networks (7th to 13th Centuries), ed. Carmen Meinert (Leiden: Brill, 2015)
  • 'Towards a Tibetan Paleography: A Preliminary Typology of Writing Styles in Early Tibet.' In Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field, ed. Jan-Ulrich Sobisch and Jörg B. Quenzer (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014)
  • 'Witnesses for Tibetan Craftsmanship: Bringing Together Paper Analysis, Palaeography and Codicology in the Examination of the Earliest Tibetan Manuscripts' (with Agnieszka Helman-Wazny). Archaeometry 55.4 (2012): 707–741.

For a full list of publications, see https://bl.academia.edu/samvanschaik


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