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The manuscripts, which relate for the most part to Buddhism, vary greatly in size and format, ranging from small fragments to sections of scrolls, concertina books and pothi folios. They offer an unparalleled resource for the study of early Tibetan history, culture and religion.

Most of these documents had been previously conserved or were already stable enough to be digitised. Those that were in a more vulnerable condition have been treated by a conservator to ensure that they could be safely handled during imaging. Work is still underway to rehouse some individual items in specifically made boxes in order to improve their storage and transportation conditions.

This project also coincided with cataloguing to enhance hundreds of records. Both this new information and the high resolution images will be made available on our website, greatly increasing the visibility of these Tibetan collections for future research, as well as enabling their long-term preservation.

The British Friends of Dunhuang