I am sorry to hear that Dr. Gene Smith has passed away. When I first came to the USA in 1998 after I escaped from Tibet, I was walking in NYC one day and happened upon the TBRC. I was amazed to find so many Tibetan texts there. Then I met Dr. Smith and one of the Tibetans at the library translated our conversation since I did not speak English at that time. I learned about all of the works of Tibetan literature he had published that included all of the Buddhist schools and every type of literature. When he found out that I needed a special prayer book that I had not been able to bring with me from Tibet, he graciously put a copy of it on a CD that I could take home with me.
In later years, I met him from time to time. Once when I was in NYC again, he gave me the Derge Kanjur CDs. Then he presented me with a CD set of the complete Kanjur which I have placed on my altar as a sacred object. One time he asked me if I had any works from previous Arjia Rinpoches. I was able to find works of 4 of my predecessors, and he scanned them. I believe they are still in his collection.
Dr. Gene Smith was truly a great person. He preserved many, many great religious and literary works of the Tibetan people. We are certainly indebted to his efforts. I always remember hearing one of his workers say: “He is a real scholar. He remembers everything.”
Finally, I want to say that I appreciate his wonderful contribution and pray for his happy rebirth.
Arjia Rinpoche, Director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center