International Dunhuang Project

Educational Links

Click here for technical links.

page mounted: 1/12/05 page last updated: 2/11/09

Dunhuang and the Silk Road

The Dunhuang Academy: An integrated national academic institution devoted to the conservation, management and research of the grottoes group in Dunhuang.

Wall Paintings at Mogao Grottoes: A Getty Conservation Institute project researching the deterioration of wall paintings at the Mogao Grottoes in China.

Merit, Opulence and the Buddhist Network of Wealth: A Collaborative Research and Technical Project Sponsored by North Western University and the Dunhuang Research Academy.

Dunhuang Art Through the Eyes of Duan Wenjie: A collection of writings on Dunhuang cave art by the former director of the Dunhuang Academy, Professor Duan Wejie, translated by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and mounted on their website.

The Silkroad Foundation: The Silkroad Foundation is a non-profit organization, established in 1996, to promote the study and preservation of cultures and art on Inner Asia and the Silk Road.

The Silk Road Project: Reuniting Turfan's Scattered Treasures: A three-year project (1996–98) funded by the Henry Luce Foundation Inc. that brought together a team of twenty-five Chinese and American scholars working within the disciplines of archeology, history, art history, and religious studies. The site contains a Chinese-English database of published materials from Turfan. These are now accessible through IDP.

Silk Road Seattle: An ongoing public education project using the 'Silk Road' theme to explore cultural interaction across Eurasia from the first to the seventeenth centuries. Includes The Silk Road Virtual Art Exhibit: An online Silk Road exhibition, with pages on cultures, religions, trade and intercultural exchange.

Silk Road to China: A site about the Silk Road, especially Dunhuang, with maps and cave art.

Monks and Merchants: The Asia Society website of the Monks and Merchants exhibition of Silk Road treasures from Northwest China, Gansu and Ningxia, 4th–7th Century.

Bulletin of the Asia Institute Website: Studies in the art, archaeology, numismatics, history and languages of ancient Iran, Mesopotamia, and Central Asia and connections with China and Japan along the Silk Route are presented in a scholarly journal.

The Central Eurasian Studies Society: Central Eurasian Studies Society activities, membership and resources

Central Asian Studies World Wide: Forum for Central Asian Studies, Harvard University, USA. CASWW 'is meant to provide a global perspective on Central Asia studies, and to provide a key point of access to highly dispersed resources in this field. It seeks to provide basic information which is useful to both 'beginners' and 'experts', encompassing all fields of the social sciences and humanities wherever in the world people engage in such study.'

Transoxiana, Journal of Oriental Studies: Articles and book reviews in Spanish and English. Also contains Ērān ud Anērān 'Webfestschrift': an electronic version of a collection of articles on Central Asian art, linguistics and archaeology, presented to B. I. Marshak in ocassion of his 70th Birthday.

Central Eurasian Studies: The Central Eurasian Studies Department at Indiana University.

The Sogdian-L discussion group: A forum for the discussion of the history of Sogdian communities in Transoxiana and beyond, and the relations of these communities with other communities and civilizations of Eurasia.

The Glories of Sogdiana: An introduction to Sogdian history.

Digital Silk Roads: A Japanese research project about the integration of information technology with the study of culture.

China Heritage Newsletter: An Australian National University site covering contempory Chinese archaeology, heritage and conservation issues.

The Silk Road and Central Asia on the World Wide Web — Major Information Gateways: A collection of links with some teaching resources.

Anthronotes Back Issues: The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Publication for Educators
AnthroNotes (Volume 23 No. 1 Winter/Spring 2002) PDF format (833KB):
The Silk Road — The Making of a Global Cultural Economy
Teacher's Corner — The Silk Road Big Map

The Education pages of the Musem of East Asian Art: Services designed to encourage children and adults to discover the art and cultures of East Asia through listening, observing, creating and handling.

Silk Road Project: Founded by Yo-Yo Ma and dedicated to music of the Silk Road.
see also Silk Road Encounters: A site for teachers offering free downloadable educational materials developed by the members of the project with additional resources from the Asian Society.

Silk Road: The music of four composers published by G. Schirmer and Associated Music Publishers.

Silk Roads: A paper by IDP's director Dr Susan Whitfield for the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. The 'Medicine Across Asia' pages provide a range of collaborative projects that go beyond comparative histories and attempt to understand the development of healing traditions in an interconnected world.

Tang Dynasty Times:

A Comprehensive Edition of Tocharian Manuscripts: Tocharian texts made available by providing photographs, text transcriptions, and English translations with a commentary on the respective linguistic, philological, and cultural aspects. The text material is made accessible through a database with various search options, both grammatical and philological.

East Asian Library and the Gest Collection: English-language publication devoted to studies on book culture and the history of printing and publishing in East Asia. A complete set of PDF journals is available to download including Issue 14:2, a catalogue of Chinese Dunhuang and Turfan holdings at Princeton University; Huaiyu Chen, Nancy Norton Tomasko (ed.), A Descriptive Catalogue of the Dunhuang and Turfan Materials.


Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library: An internet guide to Buddhist studies.

The Council on East Asian Libraries: The organization for East Asian librarians in North America.

The Samantabhadra Collection: A collaborative electronic project centered around the reproduction, analysis, interpretation, and translation of Tibetan literature in the Nyingma tradition.

The Electronic Buddhist Text Initiative: An open, expanding liaison group, comprised primarily of representatives of academic institutions and Buddhist clerical organizations from around the world.

The Huntington Archive: The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Related Art contains nearly 300,000 original color slides and black and white and color photographs of art and architecture throughout Asia.

The Buddhist Society UK: The object of the Society is to publish and make known the principles of Buddhism and to encourage the study and practice of those principles.

Buddhist Art and the Trade Routes: An introduction to the Buddhist Art of the Asia Society collections with images and maps.

Links for Chinese Religions and Philosophy: Compiled by Joseph Adler at Kenyon College.

The Institute of Oriental Philosophy UK (IOP-UK): a research and study centre focusing on Buddhism and working towards the public education and awareness of the religions and philosophies of Asia and their application in social and cultural life.

The Clear Vision Trust: UK Buddhist audio-visual media project specialising in DVD and interactive online resources for Buddhism in your classroom.

Tibetan/Nepalese Art & Manuscripts

Himalayan Art Resources: An online gallery with over 20,000 images.

Tibetan Buddhism Resource Center: The mission of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, Inc. is to promote research and scholarship in Tibetan Buddhism and advance the preservation of the Tibetan cultural heritage by making its literary tradition widely available in the form of digital images.

The Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project: A catalogue of more than 180,000 Nepalese manuscripts microfilmed under the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project.

Dharmapala Thangka Centre: School of Tibetan Thangka Painting with more than 4,000 pages of Tibetan art.

Early Tibet: An evolving resource for the study of the early history of Tibet, from the Tibetan Empire (7th to 9th centuries) to the dark age of the 10th century and Reading Tibetan Manuscripts: A site which aims to develop into a complete guide to reading the Dunhuang manuscripts. Both weblogs are authored and maintained by IDP's Sam van Schaik.

Digital Himalaya: Based at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge the Digital Himalaya project was designed to develop digital collection, storage and distribution strategies for multimedia anthropological information from the Himalayan region.


The Silk Road: Materials for an e-History: A collection to link in one place narrative pieces either written or co-authored by Daniel C. Waugh which might serve as the basis for a new survey of the history of the Silk Road.

From Silk to Oil, Cross-Cultural Connections Along the Silk Roads: A free downloadable book about the Silk Road from II BC to the present (high school level and above), produced by the China Institute (New York) containing information, maps, tables, glossary, a comprehensive bibliography, and web links for educators, China-Asia related centres, etc.

The Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library: An international community using Web-based technologies to integrate diverse knowledge about Tibet and the Himalayas for free access from around the world. is an educational website for students and teachers covering some thirty countries that comprise Asia today, and featuring materials that stem from early civilizations to current events.


WTO Silk Road Project: The World Tourism Organization serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and practical source of tourism know-how.

Central Asia Traveler: An excellent resource with detailed travel information on selected Central Asia destinations, concentrating mainly on the southern Silk Road in Xinjiang.

Mannerheim's Way: The website focuses on the journey of a Finnish journalist and a Finnish agronomist who retraced Mannerheim's footsteps through Central Asia and China in 2006, the centenary year of the start of the original expedition. It contains a diary  and photographs from the 2006 journey from Osh (Kyrgizstan) to Beijing, where the two travellers were briefly arrested on arrival in Tiananmen Square. (For more information on Mannerheim refer to Other Collections: Finland, on the IDP website).

Hidden Histories of Exploration: Supporting Hidden Histories, a major exhibition held at the Society, in South Kensington, London from 15 October to 10 December 2009, the website includes an online exhibition, a gallery of additional items from the Collections, a research forum and extensive resources on researching geographical collections.

Scripts & Languages

The TITUS database: A thesaurus of Indo-European texts and languages materials aims to prepare all textual material relevant for Indo-European Studies (including Middle Iranian, Tocharian etc.) in electronic form for analysis.

Ancient Scripts: A compendium of world-wide writing systems from prehistory to today.

Chinese manuscripts — Imre Galambos' site about his research on Chinese manuscripts, both from the pre-Qin and medieval periods.


Mongols, Ancient China and the Silk Road: A blog by Hans van Roon dedicated to to the Silk Road.

Chinese Codicology: A blog about Chinese codicology using images from IDP.

Jabbabhasa: A blog about language. It provides online material for linguistic studies and research.

Tibeto-logic: More-or-less monthly musings on mainly antiquarian topics of Tibet-related interest.

BabelStone: Andrew West's blog about Unicode, Ancient Writing Systems, Epigraphy, Tangut, Jurchen, Khitan and more.

Thor bu - Curiosia Indo-Tibetica: Textual and visual odds and ends from India, Tibet, and around.

Tibetan Studies Resources Blog: Established on 15 Nov 2005 by Asia Pacific Research Online (, brings together news of electronic resources useful to the Tibetan Studies' research and teaching.

Asian art blog: Objects related to people & expertise.

Far West China: A blog dedicated to travel, culture and living in Xinjiang.