IDP has been a largely externally funded project from its inception and thanks are owing to all the institutional and individual supporters who have made its work possible. Details of foundational support is given in IDP's timeline and updated here.
The host institutions help IDP by providing space, support, network facilities and various other costs, but most salaries, equipment, educational projects, conferences, and other events are externally funded. All funds raised are kept in a separate interest-bearing account and used exclusively towards IDP. Detailed accounts are kept and budgets provided to funders. Financial reports are regularly submitted to the Steering and Management Committees.
Since 1994 scores of individuals, foundations and companies have given their support to IDP, in the form of donations, grants, fellowships, Sponsor a Sutra, products and consultancy. Grateful thanks are owing to you all: IDP would not have been possible without your help. Details of grants awarded by major sponsors (over £100K) are given below.
IDP continues to need support for all its work. Becoming a regular Silk Road Supporter will help us fund our core work, plan ahead and spend more time on IDP work rather than fundraising. Please consider this option if you wish to support us. Click the above link to find out more and download forms.If you would like to talk about making a larger contribution tailored to your interests (which might include the possibility of a naming opportunity) please email the Project Director at IDP.
The International Dunhuang Project is indebted to all its generous sponsors for their help and support in making IDP a leading international digital resource for scholars of the Silk Road. Grant givers over £100,000 are listed below.
THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL (AHRC) / THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH BOARD (AHRB) UK
- Funding Period: 2002–2005
- Funding Amount: GB £302,851 (IDP portion totalled GB £118,869)
- Project Name: Digitisation and Access Enhancement of the Tibetan Dunhuang Manuscripts at the British Library
In 2002 the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) provided funding to the School of Oriental and African (SOAS) for a joint project between IDP and SOAS. The project was directed at cataloguing the neglected Tibetan tantric manuscripts in the Stein collection at the British Library. The grant included funding for two researchers, Sam van Schaik and Jacob Dalton, to create a detailed descriptive catalogue of the material.
The project was completed in 2005, and an online version of the catalogue was launched on the IDP site. In the following year a printed version of the catalogue was published. In addition to the catalogue the researchers also produced a substantial body of new research and scholarly publications on a variety of subjects related to the Tibetan tantric manuscripts. Among this research was the identification of individual Tibetan scribes through palaeography.
BRITISH ACADEMY, UK
- Funding Period: 2010–2013
- Funding Amount: GB £111,000
- Project Name: Tibetan Zen
In 2010 the British Academy gave a Research Development Award to IDP to fund a three-year project on the Tibetan Zen manuscripts in the Dunhuang collections. The funding is primarly for Sam van Schaik as principal investigator and project manager.
The principle aims of the Tibetan Zen Project are to catalogue and transliterate all of the relevant manuscripts, to provide translations of key texts and to make these available in printed and digital editions. The principle investigator will work closely with experts in Tibetan and Chinese Zen (Chan) and a cross-disiplinary workshop will be held in the project's final year.
DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT (DCMS), UK
- Funding Period: 2009–2011
- Funding Amount: £92,000
- Project Name: World Collections Programme Internships
Two interns from the Dunhuang Academy, China were selected to spend six months each over 2009–10 at IDP London working on photography and image manipulation as well as becoming more familiar with IDP’s workflow and resources. For 2010–11, two more interns will be chosen, one from China and one from India, to work on the Stein 3D objects at the British Museum, with time spent also at IDP in the British Library, and at the V&A.
- Funding Period: 2010–2011
- Funding Amount: £26,000
- Project Name: World Collections Programme Web Translation
This grant has been used to translate core pages of the IDP website into Turkish and Arabic to provide access to the collections to users on the western Silk Road. Additional educational content not currently available in Chinese will also be translated.
CHIANG CHING-KUO FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARLY EXCHANGE, TAIWAN
- Funding Period: 1994–1997
- Funding Amount: US $75,657
- Project Name: Documents from Chinese Central Asia: A Preliminary Database of the Stein Collection in the British Library
- Funding Period: 1997–1998
- Funding Amount: US $80,000
- Project Name: The International Dunhuang Project: Database Expansion
- Funding Period: 1998–1999
- Funding Amount: US $50,000
- Project Name: The International Dunhuang Project: Database Expansion/cont.
- Funding Period: 2003–2004
- Funding Amount: US $30,000
- Project Name: Cataloguing of the Chinese Dunhuang manuscripts at the Institute of Oriental Studies - St Petersburg branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
- Funding Period: 2007
- Funding Amount: Euros €30.000
- Project Name: Cataloguing of the Chinese Dunhuang manuscripts at the Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
IDP was founded in 1994 with a three-year grant from The Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation (CCK). This grant was then twice extended for a total of two more years. CCK funded the main part of IDP's work during its establishment. In particular, it contributed towards the design and installation of the IDP database and the entry of preliminary cataloguing records which enabled the launch of the IDP website in 1998.
EDUCATION, AUDIOVISUAL & CULTURE EXECUTIVE AGENCY, EUROPEAN UNION
- Funding Period: 2008–2009
- Funding Amount: €177,059
- Project Name: The International Dunhuang Project: Cultural Routes of Eurasia (IDP-CREA)
IDP-CREA was a 15-month collaborative project between six EU partners (from the UK, Hungary, France, and Germany) and three associate partners from China. The project drew together stories of the European explorers, archaeologists and scholars who travelled in Central Asia in the early years of the twentieth century, illustrating a shared Eurasian culture that has existed for centuries and which continues to this day.
IDP-CREA has successfully developed IDP’s collaborative model by including three European partners and adding 69,648 new images and metadata to the IDP website. IDP-CREA also created a new set of scholarly and educational resources on Silk Road collections in Europe and the European exploration that resulted in the journeys of objects from archaeological sites in Central Asia to European cultural institutions in the early twentieth century.
THE FORD FOUNDATION, USA
- Funding Period: 2006–2008
- Funding Amount: US $300,000
- Project Name: Bringing Together Scholars, Scholarship and Scholarly Resources on the Silk Road
The Ford Foundation's grant was directed at hitherto neglected Silk Road collections in Russia, China and India. The project brought together curators of Silk Road collections from these countries, with young and established scholars, and encouraged them to collaborate to build up shared web resources and expertise on Silk Road materials.
IDP UK trained one scholar from each of these countries in research methods, image management, catalo. This resulted in new items from Central Asian collections being catalogued, digitised and made available online.
- Funding Period: 2007–2009
- Funding Amount: US $200,000
- Project Name: Building Skills and Resources
This project aims to train young staff at the Dunhuang Academy (DHA) and the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) in field photography, image production and management, web design, web resource creation and educational programmes. These staff will prepare a body of high-quality, historically accurate and image rich digital data that will be delivered through the multi-lingual websites at DHA and IDP. Educational workshops will be organised at schools local to the British Library and Dunhuang Academy from which web and print resources will be produced.
THE HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND (HEFCE), UK
- Funding Period: 2001–2006
- Funding Amount: GB £150,000 + GB £9,500 (increased grant awarded in 2004–2005 for increased salary and travel costs)
- Project Name: HEFCE-British Library International Collaboration
In 2001 the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) agreed to fund a Network and Digitisation Manager for IDP for five years to build links internationally and to direct the work of IDP China. The terms of reference were revised with the opening of IDP Centres in Russia, Japan and Germany during the grant period and the grant increased to take into account the additional travel.
THE LEVERHULME TRUST, UK
- Funding Period: 2005–2010
- Funding Amount: GB £470,000
- Project Name: A Palaeographic Study of the Chinese and Tibetan Manuscripts from the Dunhuang Collections
In 2005 the Leverhulme Trust provided funding for a three-year research project covering the palaeography, codicology and the social context of the Chinese and Tibetan Dunhuang manuscripts.
The first two years of the project were mainly concerned with gathering data through palaeographic and codicological analysis of the manuscripts and 'cutting out' syllable and character forms from digital images of the manuscripts. In the third year, an online resource making use of this data was developed. At the same time, the project's researchers, Susan Whitfield, Sam van Schaik and Imre Galambos began using the data in their research.
In 2008, at the end of the three years, the Leverhulme Trust provided a further two years of funding, for the publication of the results of the research and the creation of an online educational tool. During the this period the researchers published numerous articles, and a book co-authored by Sam van Schaik and Imre Galambos will be published in Spring 2011.
See the Research Pages for the results of this project.
ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION, USA
- Funding Period: 2001–2005
- Funding Amount: US $1.1 million; US $265,000 (additional grant for conservators December 2001); US $182,000 (additional grant for additional image manipulator and equipment April 2003)
- Project Name: Dunhuang Digitisation Project
- Funding Period: 2004–2007 (St. Petersburg)
- Funding Amount: US $237,000
- Project Name: The Conservation, Digitisation and Documentation of Scrolls held by the Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded a four-year project (2001–2005) for conservation and digitisation of the British Library's Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang for incorporation on ArtStor. The project involved the creation of over 40,000 digital images comprising 3,788 manuscripts with accompanying metadata and the conservation of several hundred scrolls and fragments. The images and metadata were also added to the IDP archive and website.
The Mellon Foundation also awarded IDP and the Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS) an additional grant in 2004 to digitise Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang at the IOS. This project was completed in 2007 and the images incorporated onto IDP and ArtStor.
NATIONAL HERITAGE MEMORIAL FUND (NHMF), UK
- Funding Period: 1997–2000
- Funding Amount: GB £148,000
- Project Name: Entering Stein Materials into the IDP Database
In 1997 IDP received a three-year grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) to digitise and catalogue material from Dunhuang. The NHMF grant covered the preliminary database entry of the Chinese, Tibetan and Tangut material. The images and data enabled the launch of the IDP website in 1998.
THE PIDEM FUND
- Funding Period: 2005–2010
- Funding Amount: GB £200,000
- Project Name: IDP Grant
In 2005 the Pidem Fund awarded IDP an annual grant of GB £40,000 for five years for general IDP work. The grant is enabling the day to day work of IDP as well as the development of the map interface.
The Pidem Fund also contributed to the 2004 Silk Road Exhibition.
THE SINO-BRITISH FELLOWSHIP TRUST (SBFT), UK
- Funding Period: 1997–present
- Funding Amount (awarded to the Chinese section of the British Library): GB £70,000
- Project Name: Travel grant for Chinese scholars to visit UK for the Dunhuang Manuscript Project and (from 2003) for IDP scholars to visit China for training and research.
- Funding Period: 2001–2006
- Funding Amount: GB £ 64,000 (£13,000 p.a. (GB £12,000 in year one)) towards staff costs
- Project Name: Grant for IDP China
- Funding Period: 2006/7–2011
- Funding Amount: GB £82,500 (£16,500 p.a.)
- Project Name: Grant for IDP China Digitisation Studio
Prior to the start of IDP the Sino-British Fellowship Trust (SBFT) provided five grants to Chinese Section of the British Library for visits by Chinese scholars and conservators to work on the conservation and cataloguing of the Dunhuang material. From 1997 SBFT gave an annual travel grant enabling one to three visits per annum to the UK by Chinese scholars and conservators to work on the Dunhuang and other material in the British Library. This continues to the present. From 2003 to 2006 a separate travel grant enabled training and research visits both to and from China specifically for IDP work and training.
In 2001 the British Library and the National Library of China (NLC) began a five-year collaboration, funded by the SBFT, to catalogue and digitise Dunhuang manuscripts at the NLC and include them on the IDP website. SBFT's grant covered staff salaries at the NLC.
In 2006 SBFT agreed a further five-year grant to cover the salaries of IDP digitisation staff at the National Library of China as part of the studio's expansion of IDP China.
SBFT also contributed towards the 2004 Silk Road exhibition at the British Library.