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Publications in Bhutan since the Establishment of the ISBN Agency

Author(s): Sonam Kinga

Journal: Journal of Bhutan Studies
ISSN 1608-411X

Volume: Volume 5 Winter 2001;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 78;
Date: 2001;
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Keywords: ISBN in Bhutan | Publication

There has been a direct co-relationship between the printing industry and volume of publication in the country. Printing is not a new art. Traditional xylographic printing has been in existence for hundred of years in dzong and lhakhang. There, indigenous printing presses were established. Some of them still exist today. The National Library has a mini xylographic printing press and has about 10,000 wooden blocks covering about 20 religious texts. The construction of dzong in the 17th century and introduction of monastic syllabus across the country promoted the writings and publications of religious texts.The publishing industry in Bhutan has been gradually expanding and increasing their output over the last few years. The number of printers has shot up from just one in 1983 to about 65 as of June 2000 although 64% of them are concentrated in Thimphu. The approximate total output in the last ten years has been just over 600 publications (excluding school text books). However, the rate of output has increased every year. Many printing and publishing housesare being established. But there has been no agency in Bhutan to co-ordinate and standardize use of identifying numbers for various publications. The need to streamline system of identification for publications along international standard has been long felt.

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