Open Day: Conservation for IDP
When: Wed 12 Mar 2014, Various times starting from 14.00
Where: Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation
Price: Free, booking essential
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 discovered numerous artefacts including over 40,000 manuscripts and early printed documents in over 20 languages and scripts.
The amount and variety of this material poses serious challenges for both conservation and digitisation, challenges that the curators and conservators at the British Library have been addressing for two decades through collaboration with colleagues in institutions material worldwide through the auspices of IDP.
The Open Day is presented as part of a series of events to celebrate IDP’s 20th anniversary at the British Library. IDP was formed following a conference in late October 1993 at which conservators and curators of all the major collections of Dunhuang, Turfan and Chinese Central Asian manuscripts met together for the first time. United by a common desire to ensure preservation of the manuscripts while greatly increasing their access for scholars, they considered how best to achieve these aims. They recognised that collaborative working and the use of the emerging internet and digital technology were both essentials and. Following a successful funding application, work started on this ambitious initiative in early 1994.
The conservation team and IDP Studios are now offering the opportunity to meet the conservators and digitisation team to learn about their work on IDP and the Stein Silk Road manuscripts. There will also be a chance to visit the IDP Studio on the same day – see the separate listing.