Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post-doctoral Fellowship in Silk Road Studies — Silk Road Studies at Georgetown University

Applications are invited for a one-year, non-teaching postdoctoral fellowship at Georgetown University beginning Fall 2014. The postdoctoral fellow will play an active role in the year-long John E. Sawyer Seminar titled "Critical Silk Road Studies," funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and organized by Georgetown faculty members James Millward (Department of History, School of Foreign Service) and Michelle C. Wang (Department of Art and Art History). Applicants whose scholarly work addresses any of the geographical regions covered by the Silk Road, from ancient to contemporary, and represents any discipline in the humanities or social sciences are encouraged to apply. The fellow will be expected to attend all sessions of the Sawyer Seminar and to be an active participant in the Sawyer Seminar and University community. Additionally, the fellow is expected to pursue an active research agenda by making use of the resources of Georgetown University and the greater Washington, DC area. Read more here…

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

IDP’s 20th Anniversary: Programme of Events

To celebrate IDP’s 20th anniversary we will be organising a series of events and activities over the next year. Details will be added and updated below and on our programme page. From November 1 the IDP blog will also feature ‘A Few of Our Favourite Things’, a weekly post showcasing IDP collection items selected by twenty of IDP’s partners, supporters and users. Please contact idpevents@bl.uk for more information.

Download a PDF of the programme of events


LECTURE: ‘MAPPING THE SILK ROAD’
1 NOVEMBER 2013
18.30–20.30
FREE ENTRY

In recent years a team of experts have conducted research into the Silk Road’s sites and routes as part of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia project. Tim Williams, archaeologist at University College London (UCL) and leader of the UCL Ancient Merv Project, has been working on this project for several years. In this lecture he will discuss the considerable challenges of mapping the the Silk Roads and their sites.

Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
MAP


EXHIBITION: ‘AUREL STEIN AND THE SILK ROAD’
6 JANUARY – 14 FEBRUARY 2014
MONDAY–SATURDAY
FREE ENTRY

Between 1900 and 1916 the archaeologist and scholar, Aurel Stein, led three expeditions to the Taklamakan and Lop Deserts of western China in search of the sand-buried settlements of the Silk Road. He excavated scores of sites and took over 5000 photographs. These photographs of ancient Silk Road settlements, stupas and forts in the Taklamakan Desert are shown alongside modern images and video taken on recent British Library expeditions to record the changes of the past century.

Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London, SW7 2AR
MAP


OPEN DAY: CONSERVATION AND IDP STUDIO
12 MARCH 2014
10.00–17.00
FREE ENTRY
(BOOKING REQUIRED)

Archaeologist and scholar, Aurel Stein excavated scores of sites and discovered numerous artefacts including over 40,000 manuscripts and early printed documents in over twenty languages and scripts. The amount and variety of this material poses serious challenges for both conservation and digitisation that curators and conservators at the British Library have been addressing for two decades through international collaboration and under the auspices of IDP. This open day offers a chance to meet the conservation and digitisation teams and to learn about their work on the Stein Silk Road manuscripts.

Foyle Centre and IDP Studio
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
MAP


EXHIBITION: ‘THE DIAMOND SUTRA AND EARLY PRINTING’
FROM MARCH 2014
DAILY
FREE ENTRY

The Dunhuang Diamond Sutra, the world’s earliest, dated, complete printed book, will be on display at the British Library for the first time since a programme of long-term conservation was completed. It will be shown alongside other examples of early printing in Asia.

Sir John Ritblat Gallery
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
MAP


LECTURES AND RECEPTION: ‘SILK ON THE SILK ROAD’
11 APRIL 2014
14.00 – 20.00
£12 (£8 CONCESSIONS)

Over a century of archaeology on the eastern Silk Road has resulted in thousands of textile finds, preserved by the dry desert air. In their variety — of material, dyes, designs and weaves — they demonstrate the richness of cultural and technical exchanges among the peoples of the Silk Road. This afternoon of lectures by scholars, curators and conservators is intended for a general audience, and will introduce the Silk Road and the textiles collections held in London and worldwide. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
MAP


Monday, October 14, 2013

A Secret Library, Digitally Excavated

From the New Yorker by Jacob Mikanowski.

Just over a thousand years ago, someone sealed up a chamber in a cave outside the oasis town of Dunhuang, on the edge of the Gobi Desert in western China. The chamber was filled with more than five hundred cubic feet of bundled manuscripts. They sat there, hidden, for the next nine hundred years. When the room, which came to be known as the Dunhuang Library, was finally opened in 1900, it was hailed as one of the great archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century, on par with Tutankhamun’s tomb and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Read more…