The survey will cover the massive collections of ancient books at the Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sakya Monastery, the Tibet Museum and Tibet Archives, said officials. The Drepung Monastery alone has over 10,000 ancient books on history, religion, and medicine.

The survey will better classify and protect the classics, as currently there is no clear idea of the contents of the collections or their condition. "Tibet is trying its best to find and preserve ancient classics," said Tsering Gyalpo, director of religious studies at the Tibetan academy of social sciences.

The survey will help protect Tibetan Buddhism and culture, he added. More than 150 Tibetan classics have been included on a state list of precious ancient books.

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