Wednesday, July 31, 2013

IDP Quarterly Report April – July 2013

Download this Report PDF 149KB

Please note that owing to essential maintenance works on the storage areas, the Stein and other Central Asian manuscripts at the British Library will be inaccessible from 23 August to 17 November 2013. Please email or check our home page for further updates.


  • IDP is delighted to welcome James C. Y. Watt as a new IDP patron. James Watt retired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2011, but continues there as curator emeritus.


  • Interviews have been held for new imaging assistants. The two successful applicants will begin working at the British Library in mid-August.


  • May: UCL MA interns Wang Kexin and May Ho were with IDP for five weeks learning about IDP and helping to catalogue the collections.
  • 11–18 July: IDP hosted a week long visit to London for the five recipients of the Afghan Women’s Scholarship Internship at Durham University.

Conferences and Lectures

  • 15–17 April: Sam van Schaik (SvS) attended the conference ‘Empires of Faith in South Asia’ at KHK Ruhr Universität, Bochum and gave a talk on Sanskrit manuscripts from Central Asia.
  • 25 April: Emma Goodliffe (EG) and SvS attended the ‘Day of Tangut Studies’ symposium held at SOAS.
  • 9–10 May: Susan Whitfield (SW) attended the conference ‘Trade and Civilization in the Pre-Modern World’ at Gothenburg University and gave a talk on ‘Buddhism and Trade in Central Asia’.
  • 15–17 May: SvS attended a conference on Tibetan manuscripts and xylographs at Hamburg University and gave a talk on the social functions of manuscripts.
  • 27 June: SW gave a talk on IDP and interfaces at the Strand Symposium on Digital Scholarship and ePublishing, held at King’s College London.
  • 22–26 June: EG attended a conference on Dunhuang studies at Lanzhou University organised by Korea University and gave a talk on IDP. She then accompanied the group on to Dunhuang.

Visitors and Meetings

  • 25 April: SW, SvS and EG met with Imre Galambos to discuss Tangut cataloguing.
  • 3 May: Imre Galambos visited to view manuscripts in the IDP Studio.
  • 15 May: IDP Patrons Abraham Lue and Matthew Farrer were interviewed for the IDP website.
  • 21 May: China Central Television (CCTV) met with SW and Josef Konczak (JK) to film and interview for a short feature on IDP.
  • 26 June: The IDP team provided a studio tour to visitors from the Strand Symposium.
  • 27 June: SW and VS met with Iida Takehiko from the Shōsō-in, Nara.
  • 27 June: JK and EG attended the Sino-British Fellowship Trust annual reception and presentation of awards to visiting scholars.
  • 4 July: IDP visited the Qatar Project and gave a presentation on IDP.
  • 8 July: Rebecca Fu is visiting from the University of Pennsylvania for research in the Asian and African Studies reading room and to help IDP with Chinese-language data entry.
  • 12 July: Pamela Youde and her granddaughters Kathy and Jane met with SW, JK and EG to record an interview for the IDP website.
  • 17 July: Wang Jiqing is visiting from Lanzhou University to work on the Stein archives and to discuss possible collaboration.

Collaborations and Projects

  • 29 April: SW attended a Project Board meeting of the Taliban Sources Project at Oxford University.
  • 22 May: Vic Swift (VS), SW and SvS met with Stewart Brookes at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College to discuss their text recognition tool and possibilities for collaboration.
  • 14 June: SW attended the final meeting of the AHRC Research Network, ‘Routes, Networks and Communities in the Medieval Indian Ocean’, at De Montfort University, Leicester as a member of the Advisory Committee.
  • 10 July: SW, EG and VS met with Director Choe, RIKS. This meeting resulted in RIKS signing a new MoU with IDP.
  • 18 July: SW, VS and SvS met with Kaspar Hanus and Emilia Smagur from Jagiellonian University, Poland to discuss collaboration on the Miran site, specifically GIS and aerial remote sensing.
  • 21–31 July: EG held talks with IDP China partners at the Dunhuang Academy and the National Library of China, and also met with Peking University Library to discuss potential collaboration on their Dunhuang manuscript collection.
  • 23 July: SW and SvS met with Zhao Feng, Director of the China National Silk Museum (NSM), and Julia Zhou, Head of the NSM Conservation Science Department, to discuss collaboration under the MoU. NSM will start to add details of the Central Asian textiles to the IDP database.


  • SvS: ‘Dating Early Tibetan Manuscripts: A Paleographical Method.’ in Dotson, Iwao and Takeuchi (eds), Scribes, Texts and Rituals in Early Tibet and Dunhuang. Weisbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2013. 119-135.
  • SvS: ‘Ruler of the East, or Eastern Capital: What lies behind the name Tong kun?’ in Galambos (ed.), Studies in Chinese Manuscripts: From the Warring States to the Twentieth Century. Budapest: Eötvös Loránd University, 2013. 223–235.


  • EG, VS and SW have attended access and reuse training with a view to making IDP UK material available using Public Domain and Creative Commons licenses.
  • 25–27 June Sarah Mullan (SM) undertook first aid training.
  • During June JK attended a number of video and digital scholarship training sessions.


  • 15 May: IDP held an event entitled ‘Documenting the Silk Road’ for IDP patrons and supporters. This event showcased the work IDP have been doing on field trips to Xinjiang and included a show-and-tell and presentation. Part of this event was filmed for the CCTV feature.

Forthcoming Events — IDP20

  • 1 November: To launch the celebrations of IDP’s 20th Anniversary Year, a lecture given by Tim Williams (UCL) ‘Mapping the Silk Road’ will take place at the British Library Conference Centre (6:30pm). All welcome. Free entrance.
  • As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, IDP will be arranging other events, subject to funding, including an exhibition of photographs, a conservation show and tell, an afternoon of lectures and a reception, a selection of twenty favourite items from IDP’s patrons, partners and supporters, and special editions of the newsletter. Further details will be emailed shortly and will also be publicised on the IDP home page.

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