ARTstor is pleased to announce a sizable addition toThe Mellon International Dunhuang Archive. Nearly 40,000 images from the British Library manuscripts and over 28,000 images from the Bibliotheque national de France manuscripts will join the previously released images of the Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China. The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive is the product of a major and ongoing multi-institutional, multi-national effort to create high-quality digital reconstructions of the mural paintings and related art and texts associated with the several hundred Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China, a uniquely important cultural crossroads on the ancient Silk Route in the Gobi Desert.

This newest release involved creating high quality digital images from direct digital photography of the sacred and secular scrolls, manuscripts, textiles and other objects once located at Dunhuang and now dispersed among museums and libraries around the world including the British Library and the Bibliotheque national de France. Other institutions that will be involved in this collaborative effort include the British Museum, the Musée Guimet, and the Bodleian Library.

Ultimately, the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive seeks to reunite “virtually” and present to scholars a rich body of primary source materials that are relatively inaccessible and difficult to see and study on-site even under optimal circumstances.

To browse these new ARTstor images, from ARTstor’s Welcome Page click on “Image Gallery” and then select “The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive.”

For more information, please view the collection page online.