Friday, December 16, 2011

New Publication: Manuscripts and Travellers

This new book by IDP's Sam van Schaik and Imre Galambos is based on a Dunhuang manuscript which was carried by a Chinese monk through the monasteries of the Hexi corridor, as part of his pilgrimage from Wutaishan to India. The manuscript is a composite object from three separate documents, with Chinese and Tibetan texts on them. The most important part is a series of Tibetan letters of introduction addressed to the heads of monasteries along the route, functioning as a kind of passport for the pilgrim. The manuscript dates to the late 960s, coinciding with the large pilgrimage movement during the reign of Emperor Taizu of the Northern Song. Therefore, it is very likely that this is a unique contemporary testimony of the movement. Complementing extant historical sources, the manuscript provides evidence for the high degree of ethnic, cultural and linguistic interaction between Chinese and Tibetan Buddhists in the tenth century. Available from the publisher's website.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

IDP Field Trip 2011

Members of the IDP UK team recently travelled to Xinjiang to visit the ancient sites of Niya and Karadong. In collaboration with the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology and local guides IDP spent time documenting the sites. We are working to make this material available on the IDP database as soon as possible but general photography of the trip can already be seen on our Flickr group page and several Audioboos can be heard here.

The photograph above was taken at the house of Kaysar Mahmut, guardian of Niya site, in Kapak Askan village. It shows him (third from left) with members of his family, the IDP UK team and the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New manuscripts from the Royal Library of Copenhagen on IDP

16 Dunhuang manuscripts in 14 rolls are now available on IDP. Donated by Arthur Bollerup Sørensen (1880–1932) in 1915, the collection contains a Daoist manuscript and a text believed to be unique. MSS 12 and 16 have colophons.

View the catalogue online or search for 'Holding Institute = Det Kongelige Bibliotek' on our Advanced Search page.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

IDP UK Offline

The IDP UK Server will be offline for approximately one hour today for essential maintenance. Our international servers are available as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Niya: 'The Pompeii of the East'

When Aurel Stein first uncovered the vestiges of a once thriving kingdom along the Niya River deep in the Taklamakan, he described it as 'The Pompeii of the East.' But although the ancient Romans and the people of Cadota - the name of the Niya kingdom - shared a love of the grape, the sites are very different. Life in Pompeii was arrested by the lava. The sands of the Taklamakan, while no less invidious, invaded over time. There are cemeteries at Niya but the living community had already left before the sands seeped in.

Working in collaboration with the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology, the IDP team has just returned from Niya and the documentary photographs and videos showing many of the sites of Niya - and the caravanserai of Karadong - will be soon start becoming available online on IDP and here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early Tibet: Dzogchen and Chan

I’ve written four posts on Tibetan Chan without mentioning the question of whether the Chinese meditation tradition known as Chan influenced the Tibetan meditation tradition known as Dzogchen. Or, to put it in the stronger version, whether Dzogchen is just a disguised form of Chan. Partly, I’ve left the question alone because it doesn’t seem that interesting to me. It seems evident that if you spend a while with Chan and Dzogchen texts from the time when the influence is supposed to have taken place (the 8th/9th centuries) that there is one clear difference between the two: they are in dialogue with two different scriptural bases. That is to say, Chan is a tradition in dialogue with the sutras, while Dzogchen is in dialogue with the tantras.

Read more here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

IDP Report: July–September 2011

Download this report as a PDF (250KB).


  • IDP photographer Rachel Roberts is currently digitising photographs from Aurel Stein’s fourth expedition to Dunhuang as well as continuing work on Dunhuang manuscripts.
  • Data on archaeological sites is currently being updated following an enhancement of the database. Miran, Endere and Kharakhoto are near completion.


  • 2–13 July: Susan Whitfield visited Afghanistan with John Falconer for meetings at the Ministry of Information and Culture, Kabul University, the National Archives and the National Museum, to discuss the development of an updated guide to resources on Afghanistan in the British Library. They continued to Delhi where they interviewed interns for the IDP/British Museum Stein artefacts project, and held continued discussions with the National Museum and the Ministry of Culture about collaboration on Central Asian material.
  • 2 September: A new scholarly resource for manuscript studies was launched on the IDP website, providing an introduction to the script types found in the Chinese and Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang. This was achieved as part of as part of IDP’s Leverhulme palaeography project (2008 to 2011).
  • 26 September: Hu Wanglin arrived for a six-month internship as part of IDP’s collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. Funding has again been provided by the British Museum’s World Collections Programme.
  • The BL received a donation of 1940s photographs of Dunhuang taken by John B. Vincent, scheduled for cataloguing and digitisation.


  • 14 July: Dr Sarah Kenderdine from the Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment (ALiVE) at the City University of Hong Kong visited to discuss immersive technologies.
  • 14 July: Three researchers from LIRIS (Informatics Laboratory for Imaging and Information Systems, based in Lyon, France) visited to discuss automated character recognition systems.
  • Rebbekah Abraham and Tony Morris from Historypin visited to discuss adding historical and modern photographs to the Historypin website.
  • 5–8 September: Dr Helman-Wazny from Hamburg’s Institute of Sinology made a follow-up visit relating to her earlier paper analysis work (IDP quarterly report for April to June 2011).
  • 7 September: The BL’s Head of Architecture and Development, Sean Martin, visited the IDP studio with members of his team to see digitisation work in progress.
  • 7 September: Benjamin Albritton of Stanford University Libraries and Dr Robert Sanderson of Los Alamos National Laboratory, both working on the Shared Canvas Project visited IDP to discuss user annotation of manuscripts, after their presentation to BL staff on Shared Canvas: Interoperable Medieval Manuscript Facsimiles.
  • 12 September: Professor Ishizuka Harumichi and Professor Ikeda Shoju, from Hokkaido University, Japan, visited IDP and consulted Dunhuang manuscripts in the Asian and African Studies reading room.
  • 11–19th September: Vic Swift accompanied the BL’s visual arts lead curator John Falconer to Sri Lanka, to assist in the installation of his exhibition A Return to Sri Lanka: Images of Sri Lanka from British Collections 1640–1900, for which she designed the exhibition graphics panels.


  • 9–10 September: Sam van Schaik gave a paper at a SOAS conference entitled Bon, Shangshung and Early Tibet.
  • 11 September: Abby Baker spoke about IDP to students attending BL Learning Department workshops.
  • 21 September: Susan Whitfield spoke about IDP to members of the Buddhist Society, London.
  • 15–16 October: Imre Galambos gave a talk entitled ‘Medieval Chinese Manuscripts with Multiple Dates’ at The Rise of Writing in Early China conference in Chicago.


  • IDP News 36-37, Winter / Spring 2010–2011.
  • Imre Galambos, ‘The Tangut Translation of the General’s Garden by Zhuge Liang’, in Pis’mennyje Pamjatniki Vostoka, St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, 2011.
  • Imre Galambos, ‘The Northern Neighbours of the Tangut’, in Cahiers de Linguistique – Asie Orientale 40 (2011): 69-104.
  • Imre Galambos, ‘Touched a Nation’s Heart: Sir E. Denison Ross and Alexander Csoma de Kőrös’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 21.3 (2011): 361-375.


  • Manuscripts and Travellers: The Sino-Tibetan Documents of a Tenth-Century Buddhist Pilgrim by Sam van Schaik and Imre Galambos is due for publication by de Gruyter in November.
  • Imre Galambos: ‘Punctuation marks in medieval Chinese manuscripts’, in Sobisch and Quenzer (eds.), Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field, Berlin and New York, de Gruyter.
  • Imre Galambos: ‘Correction marks in the Dunhuang manuscripts’, in Imre Galambos (ed.) Chinese manuscripts: Copies and Originals, Budapest, ELTE University.
  • Imre Galambos: ‘Popular character forms (suzi) and semantic compound (huiyi) characters in medieval Chinese manuscripts’, Journal of the American Oriental Society.
  • Imre Galambos: ‘Japanese exploration of Central Asia: The Ōtani expeditions and their British connections’, Bulletin of SOAS.
  • Sam van Schaik: ‘Towards a Tibetan Paleography: A Preliminary Typology of Writing Styles in Early Tibet.’ Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field, edited by Jörg Quenzer and Jan-Ulrich Sobisch. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Sam van Schaik: ‘The Origin of the Headless Style (dbu med) in Tibet.’ Tibeto-Burman Linguistics, edited by Nathan Hill. Leiden: EJ Brill.
  • Sam van Schaik and André Alexander: ‘The Stone Maitreya of Leh: The Rediscovery and Recovery of an Early Tibetan Monument’. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. October 2011.
  • Susan Whitfield. Contribution on Buddhist sites on the Eastern Silk Road for The Cambridge World History of Religious Architect: Buddhist Volume.
  • Susan Whitfield, ‘Creating a Codicology for Chinese and Tibetan Manuscripts’ for the Proceedings of the Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Partners' Meeting in Dunhuang

At the IDP partners' meeting, generously hosted by the Dunhuang Academy from 11–13 October 2011, representatives from IDP Centres around the world met to discuss IDP's future direction. Presentations and lively discussion took place over the two days of the meeting and continued during the visits to local sites.

A full report will be given in the next issue of IDP News.

Pictured front row (left to right):

  • Yoshihiro Okada, Director of the Digital Archives Research Centre, Ryukoku University
  • Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Director of the Turfan Research Group, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities
  • Li Xiao, Director, Turfan Museum/Academy
  • Susan Whitfield, Director, IDP UK, The British Library
  • Wang Xudong, Executive Vice-Director, Dunhuang Academy
  • Lin Shitian, Researcher, National Library of China
  • Nathalie Monnet, Curator of Chinese Collections, Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • Khasim Anwar, Vice-Director, Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology
  • Yong-chul Choe, Director, Research Institute of Korean Studies

Back row (left to right):

  • Sheng Yanhai, Head of IDP, Dunhuang Academy
  • Lou Jie, Director, Exhibition Centre, Dunhuang Academy
  • Liang Xushu, IDP Imaging Assistant, Dunhuang Academy
  • Liu Zhijia, Research Assistant, Turfan Academy
  • Shouji Sakamoto, Researcher, Ryukoku University/British Library
  • Yoon-hee Hong, Research Professor, Research Institute of Korean Studies
  • Chunhee Wu, Researcher, Research Institute of Korean Studies
  • Ma De, Director, Document Research Institute, Dunhuang Academy
  • Barbara Meisterernst, Researcher, Humboldt-University
  • Agnieszka Helman-Wazny, Paper scientist, Hamburg University
  • Alastair Morrison, International Manager, IDP UK, The British Library
  • Birgit Schlyter, Director, South and Central Asian Studies, Stockholm University
  • Ann Olsen, Photograph Archivist, Ethnography Museum, Stockholm
  • Vic Swift, International and Technical Manager, IDP UK, The British Library
  • Yang Xiuqing, Secretary General, Researcher, China Dunhuang Cave Preservation Research Foundation, Dunhuang Academy
  • Luo Huaqing, Vice-Director, Dunhuang Academy
  • Zhang Yuanlin, Director, Information and Resources Centre, Dunhuang Academy
  • Liu Gang, Vice-Director, Digital Centre, Dunhuang Academy
  • Taeshik Shim, Senior Research Fellow, Manager, Office of International Affairs, Research Institute of Korean Studies
  • Liu Bo, Researcher/ Head of IDP Beijing, National Library of China

IDP News Issue No. 36–37 now online

IDP News Issue No. 36–37, Winter/Spring 2010–11 is now available online. This issue covers the launch of the IDP Seoul website featuring the keynote address by Professor Mair and articles from Korean scholars.

In this issue we also report on links being developed with institutions in Afghanistan to make resources held in the British Library accessible to all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sacred Texts on the Silk Road

As a new addition to the popular Sacred Texts workshop, run by the British Library learning team for school years 7–13, groups are now offered the option of a Sacred Texts on the Silk Road add-on.

This hour-long session, run by a member of the International Dunhuang Project, will introduce students to some of the manuscripts, paintings and artefacts that were uncovered in Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites in northwest China in the early twentieth century, and use them to explore how important the Silk Road was as a conduit for religion and ideas through the first millennium.

Interested schools should contact the BL learning team for more details, and to book.

Image: Book of Buddha's Names Or.8210/S.253.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two frogs, a thousand years apart

A while ago I wrote about a Tibetan spellbook, a grimoire if you like, dating back to the ninth or tenth century. This compendium of spells is written in a tiny hand on long leaves of paper that have been stitched in the middle, creating a makeshift booklet. Across the front, the owner has written his name in big letters. Clearly this was a compendium of rituals that was owned and used by this person, and from his name, we can tell that he was a Buddhist monk. Probably, he made some kind of a living from performing these rituals for local people. Some might be shocked that a Buddhist monk would stoop to such things – and that was the subject of a discussion on one Buddhist forum that picked up on this post. But if you’ve read any anthropological or archeological studies of Buddhist communities, you probably wouldn’t be surprised.

Read the full post at

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

IDP France offline

IDP France will be offline 9–12th September for essential maintenance. Our other servers will be available as usual.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New online resource for Tibetan and Chinese manuscripts

A new scholarly resource for manuscript studies has been launched by IDP. It provides an introduction into the script types found in the Chinese and Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang. Each type of script is described, with examples, and a transcription exercise.

The resource is the result of the palaeographic project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and was developed by Imre Galambos, Sam van Schaik and Vic Swift. It can be found here on the Technical Resources page of the IDP website.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dunhuang conference in Paris

On 14-16 June 2011 a conference was held in Paris on recent achievements in Dunhuang studies, with the title ‘Rencontres franco-chinoises sur les Etudes de Dunhuang: Actualité de la recherche et publications récentes.’ The conference was organized by the UMR and EFEO and was held at Collège de France (first day) and EFEO (second day). Participants principally included French researchers and Chinese guests from the Dunhuang Academy, although Helen Wang of the British Museum and IDP’s Imre Galambos also gave papers.

The full programme of the conference can be accessed here in PDF format.

In the afternoon of the second day participants visited the Musée Guimet and were shown paintings on textile from the Pelliot collection. On the third day they visited the Bibliothèque nationale de France where they had a chance to see some of the rare manuscript treasures from Dunhuang.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Previously Unpublished Silk Road Manuscripts Now Available Online

Completion of Digitisation of Dunhuang Chinese Manuscript Fragments in the British Library (Or.8210/S.8401-13891)

In 1987 the British Library hosted scholars from the Institute of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. They came with a proposal to produce a facsimile edition of non-Buddhist Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang, to include previously unpublished fragments. The resulting joint Sino-British project conserved all the remaining fragments, including the Buddhist material. This resulted in 6136 more manuscripts becoming available for study.

Thanks to the grant from the Research Institute of Korean Studies, IDP has now completed the digitisation of these fragments, resulting in the publication, for the first time, of most of this material with over 13,000 more images online.

Further information will be available in the next issue of IDP News.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New book on the history of Tibet

Tibet: A History, by Sam van Schaik (of IDP UK) is a history of Tibet from the glory days of the Tibetan empire in the seventh century through to the present day. The early chapters draw upon the author's research in the Dunhuang collections. The book also explores the emergence of Tibetan Buddhism and the rise of the Dalai Lamas, Tibet's entanglement in the 'Great Game' in the early twentieth century, its submission to Chinese Communist rule in the 1950s, and the troubled times of recent decades.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Studies of the Old Tibetan Documents

One of IDP's partners is the Japan-based OTDO (Old Tibetan Documents Online). They have just published the third volume of their monograph series: New Studies of the Old Tibetan Documents: Philology, History and Religion. The volume contains 11 articles by some of the leading scholars in the study of early Tibetan linguistics, history and religions. Sam van Schaik's article, "A New Look at the Invention of the Tibetan Script," is the result of IDP's recently completed project on the paleography of the Dunhuang manuscripts. For details of the publication, click on the link above or email

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

China under Tibetan Rule

We’ve become accustomed to thinking Tibet in terms of its present status, subsumed by China, so it’s interesting to consider the time when Tibet was an occupying force in parts of China. It’s fairly well-known that the Tibetan army was once a very effective war machine that even got as far as occupying the Chinese capital in 763. But what was it like to be a person of Chinese background living under Tibetan occupation?

Read the rest of this post on

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Seminar day on the Christian library from Turfan and the ‘mother church’ in Mesopotamia

Between 1902-1914 the German Turfan Expedition unearthed a library at the monastery site of Bulayïq in Turfan (north-west China) that yielded over 1000 Syriac, Christian Sogdian and Christian Uighur manuscript fragments written in the Syriac script. This wealth of material was brought to Berlin where it was preserved in various locations. Since April 2008, this remarkable collection has been catalogued by an AHRC-funded project, The Christian Library from Turfan.

SATURDAY 28th MAY 2011 at The Khalili Lecture Theatre
SCHOOL of ORIENTAL and AFRICAN STUDIES Thornhaugh St., Russell Square London WC1H 0XG


Morning Session. [10.30 A.M. –1.00 P.M.]
Dr. Erica C D Hunter (SOAS)
Syriac prayer-amulets from Turfan.
Prof. Peter Zieme (Berlin)
Old Uighur Christian texts between Turfan and Kharakhoto.
Dr. Mark Dickens (SOAS)
Biblical texts from Turfan: Psalters and lectionaries.
Prof. Nicholas Sims-Williams FBA (SOAS)
The contribution of Christian Sogdian texts to Syriac literature.

Afternoon Session. [2.00 – 4.30 P.M.]
His Grace, Mar Awa, bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East, California, USA will deliver the keynote address:

The importance and impact of the liturgical texts from Turfan on liturgy today.

This address will be followed by discussions and presentations from the various Christian communities in London.

Download full details and a registration form from:

You can also register and pay on-line at

For further details e-mail:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

IDP France

IDP France is now back online. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

New catalogues of Sanskrit manuscripts

New transliterations of the British Library's Sanskrit fragments by leading scholars in the field have just been put online on the IDP website. Go to the catalogue search page to browse the transliterations. This work is the result of a collaborative project, headed by Professor Seishi Karashima, between IDP and the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology in Tokyo. The manuscripts have been digitized by IDP, so the transliterations may now be viewed alongside high-quality colour images.

The image shown above is IOL San 664, a fragment of the Ratnaketuparivarta.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Secrets of the Cave II: the "Library Cave"

When Stein wrote about his discovery of a cave full of manuscripts at Dunhuang, he called it a “monastic library” but I don’t think he really considered this very seriously, and he didn’t offer any theories about why a Buddhist monastery would place its whole library in a cave. Then, later on, when scholars looked more closely at the manuscripts which had monastic library stamps, they saw that they came from a variety of different monasteries. Why would that be?

Read the rest of this post on

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

IDP France

Due to technical issues IDP France is currently unavailable. We are working to restore the service as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meeting of the OTDO editorial board in Kobe, Japan

On 3-4 February, Sam van Schaik attended the editorial meeting of the OTDO (Old Tibetan Documents Online). The OTDO website contains transliterations of Tibetan texts from Dunhuang, and will soon be expanded to include inscriptions and material from other Central Asian sites. The editorial group discussed developments in the OTDO website, and agreed on closer links between IDP and OTDO. Already, one can click to link from OTDO's transcriptions to IDP's images and catalogues, and vice versa.

Friday, January 28, 2011

IDP News 35

The latest version of IDP News is now online. Articles include Following the Tracks of a Tenth-Century Buddhist Pilgrim and A Technical Study of Portable Paintings from Cave 17 in US Collections.

The image above shows a detail from the Eleven-Headed Guanyin, AD 985, painting on silk. 1943.57.14, ©Harvard Art Museums.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Secrets of the Cave I: "Sacred Waste"

The Tibetan manuscripts from the sealed cave in Dunhuang are still the earliest that we have (along with those from the Tibetan forts in the Taklamakan desert). So, some readers might be surprised to hear that there is absolutely no agreement about why they were put in the cave, and why it was sealed up. Our failure to answer these questions remains deeply problematic. How much can we say for sure about these sources for Tibetan culture and history if we don’t know these basic facts about the reasons they have survived to this day?
Read the rest of this post on

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

IDP Report: June – November 2010

Download this report as a PDF (168KB).


In October, both Susan Whitfield and Barbara Borghese returned to IDP. Following Susan Whitfield’s return full-time to IDP, a management group was set up and had an initial meeting to discuss the structure, role and future of IDP. After discussion among the whole team and some changes, the recommendations were implemented and work has now started on reviewing and completing existing projects, reviewing digitisation and quality control procedures and updating where necessary, and reviewing priorities and funding sources for the coming five years.


  • June–July: Imre Galambos spent a month at Princeton University Library doing research on Qing palaeography. While there, he gave a talk on ‘Works on Chinese palaeography from the 18th and 19th centuries’.
  • 23 June: Susan Whitfield and Alastair Morrison visited China, for a workshop at the Dunhuang Academy and meetings with IDP colleagues. They also had discussions on collaboration with the Director of the Turfan Academy, Li Xiao and, the following day, met the new Director of the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology to discuss a planned field trip and internship.
  • 9–18 July: Susan Whitfield, Imre Galambos and Vic Swift visited IDP Japan based at Ryokoku University in Kyoto, for a workshop/symposium. All three gave papers and a memorandum of understanding for continuing collaboration was signed by Wakahara Dosho, President of Ryukoku University and Susan Whitfield.
  • 21 July: Abby Baker attended a training day run by Museums, Arts and Libraries, on ‘Supporting creative curriculum approaches in primary schools’.
  • 25–30 July: Susan Whitfield, Imre Galambos, Alastair Morrison and Vic Swift visited IDP Russia in St Petersburg. They also discussed potential collaboration with colleagues at the Hermitage and attended the Permanent International Altaistic Conference (PIAC). PIAC delegates were given a tour of the Hermitage storage facilities outside St Petersburg, including a visit to vaults holding the murals from Turfan which were formerly held in Berlin.
  • 16–17 September 2010: Susan Whitfield attended a workshop at de Montfort University, speaking about the experience of IDP in setting up a networking project.
  • 29 October 2010: Susan Whitfield visited Nottingham University to talk to Julian Henderson about potential collaboration on Silk Road projects.
  • November 2010: Susan Whitfield and Lukas Nickel of SOAS’s Art and Archaeology Department applied for an AHRC research grant for Ilse Timperman to research tomb cultures of the Tarim Basin.
  • 8 November: Susan Whitfield, Alastair Morrison and Vic Swift visited the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford to look at Stein material.
  • 10 November: Susan Whitfield gave a talk at the London book launch of The Caves of Dunhuang by Fan Jinshi, on which she was translator and consultant editor.
  • 11 November: Sam van Schaik met Nathan Hill (SOAS) to discuss the Tibetan Rāmāyana manuscripts in the Stein Collection. A transcription appears on the Old Tibetan Documents Online website.
  • 11–12 November: Susan Whitfield visited Germany where she met (1) Professor Michael Friedrich and students (including Agnieszka Helman-Wazny who will start work on a research project on identification of paper fibres with IDP in December) at Hamburg University’s Research Project on manuscript cultures of Asia and Africa; and (2) colleagues in Berlin, from the BBAW and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, to discuss ongoing collaboration.


  • 8–15 August: Liu Bo, IDP Manager at the National Library of China, Su Bomin, Head of Conservation at the Dunhuang Academy, and Wubuli from the Xinjiang Cultural Relics Bureau made a working visit to IDP London. They also visited the British Museum and the V&A, and participated in a workshop at the Courtauld Institute.
  • 22 September: Jan Hybner, a PhD student from the Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture in Prague, visited the BL, including IDP and the conservation department.
  • 25 October: Avijit Chakrabarti, an intern with BL Preservation, visited the IDP studio.
  • 8 November: IDP hosted eight visitors from Ryukoku University during their visit to the BL.


  • 1 September: Imre Galambos and Sam van Schaik gave presentations at the Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages Symposium, held at SOAS. Imre spoke on ‘Reconstructing a lost Song edition of Zhuge Liang’s Jiangyuan on the basis of its Tangut translation’ and Sam on ‘The Sutra of the Ten Virtues: one of the earliest Buddhist texts’.
  • 4 September: Sam van Schaik spoke at a British Museum study day on ‘Digitising Cultural Heritage’.
  • 5 September: Imre Galambos visited Wiltshire (UK) in search of material on Hobbs, who travelled with the 2nd Otani expedition to Xinjiang and died there in 1911.
  • 7–9 October: Imre Galambos and Sam van Schaik attended a conference at Hamburg University on ‘One-Volume Libraries: Composite Manuscripts and Multiple Text Manuscripts’. Sam gave a paper on ‘Tibetan Zen Mis- cellanies, The Roles of Pedagogy, Patronage and Liturgy in the Creation of Multiple Text Manuscripts’, and Imre spoke on ‘Manuscripts as products of accumulation: The case of a tenth century Chinese manuscript from Dunhuang’. Both were appointed website editors, Sam for Tibetan and Imre for medieval Chinese.
  • 19–22 October: Imre Galambos attended a conference at the University of Minorities in Beijing, on ‘Ancient Manuscripts and Literatures of the Minorities of China’ and gave a paper on translation fidelity in Tangut renditions of Chinese military texts.
  • 26 October: Susan Whitfield gave a lecture to students at Christie’s.
  • 29 October: Susan Whitfield spoke at a Cambridge event on the theme of digital scholarship and world history.
  • 4 November: Susan Whitfield accepted the Casa Asia annual prize in Madrid, awarded to IDP for its website. She then gave a lecture at Casa Asia in Barcelona, on the Silk Road and the Dunhuang Library Cave.
  • 6–8 November: Imre Galambos attended conference at Fudan University in Shanghai, on ‘Ritual, Religion and Institution in Medieval China’ and gave a paper on taboo characters in Buddhist manuscripts from Dunhuang.
  • 8 November: Susan Whitfield gave a talk at Oxford School of Archaeology.
  • 10 November: Imre Galambos met Professor Qiu Xigui, China’s foremost palaeographer.
  • 11 November: Susan Whitfield gave a lecture and graduate seminar at the University of Hamburg, on Manuscript Culture in Asia and Africa.
  • 21 November: Susan Whitfield attended a Colloquium on Digital Humanities at Chicago’s Northwestern University.
  • 23 November: Sam van Schaik spoke about the Lotus Sutra on the Silk Road, at a British Library conference centre event.
  • 30 November: Sam van Schaik gave a lecture to SOAS students on the palaeography of early Tibetan manuscripts.


  • Imre Galambos, ‘Scribal Notation in Medieval Chinese Manuscripts: The hewen and chongwen Marks’, in Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa, Hamburg University.
  • Imre Galambos, ‘Japanese “Spies” Along the Silk Road: British Suspicions of the Second Otani Expedition (1908–09),’ in Japanese Religions.
  • Susan Whitfield, ‘Marc-Aurel Stein: Scholar on the Silk Road’, in Robin Hanbury-Tenison (ed.), The Great Explorers, London, Thames and Hudson, 2010.
  • Susan Whitfield, ‘A Place of Safekeeping? The Vicissitudes of the Bezeklik Murals’, in Neville Agnew (ed.), Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road: Proceedings from the Second International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites, August 25-30 2004, Los Angeles, Getty Conservation Institute, 2010.
  • Susan Whitfield, The Caves of Dunhuang (translator and consultant editor), London, London Editions, 2010