Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dunhuang manuscripts in France

DIGITIZATION: Dunhuang relics 'return' to China in digital form (
More than 5,300 pieces of Dunhuang manuscripts have been "returned" from France in digital form and are available online, according to the National Library of China.

These digital resources are provided by France's national library, which holds more than 7,000 original copies of Dunhuang manuscripts.

The Dunhuang manuscripts are documents discovered in the Mogao Grottos in China's Gansu Province in the early 20th century. There are more than 50,000 of them, featuring history, linguistics, art and religious documents.

Dating from the 5th to 11th centuries, the majority are in Chinese, but some are represented in other languages such as Khotanese and Hebrew.

This manuscript hoard found near the Gobi Desert seems like an unlikely source for Jewish and Christian manuscripts, but some were found there. I hope some new and interesting things show up in these newly digitized fragments.

Background on the manuscripts recovered from Dunhuang and Turfan in the early twentieth century are here and here and links.

For many other manuscript digitization projects, see here and here and just follow those links.

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