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.