The four works included in this collection have enjoyed a rather chequered career. They originally formed the second volume of the doctoral thesis Michael Aris submitted in 1978 to the University of London. They have been included because of their value as crucial source material on the formative era of Bhutanese history, as they cover the entire period leading to the full emergence of the Bhutanese theocracy. Their relative brevity as compared with the other major works relevant to this period further suggested the convenience of including them as a group of inter-related 'minor' texts.
While the first two works in this collection have never before been available to modern scholars, and are indeed hardly known even in Bhutan, the next two (which include a text translated from portuguese) have been partially known from the works of John Claude White (Sikkim and Bhutan-Twenty-one years on the North-East Frontier 1887-1908, London) and C. Wessels (Early Jesuit Travellers in Central Asia, The Hague 1924.