From 7-8 February, the British Library hosted a conference titled, “Unlocking Buddhist Written Heritage.” This conference featured many veteran names in Buddhist textual studies, many of whom our website has covered and interviewed over the years. The conference was held in partnership with SOAS and supported by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.
As we reported in a news article leading up to the conference, its aim is to examine comprehensively “a wide array of manuscripts and texts from the history of Buddhism, ranging from colorful illuminated books from Thailand to Buddhist medic texts found along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.” Altogether there were four panels over the two days: “Collections and Buddhist Practice: Texts and Translation,” “Collections in Monastic Contexts,” “Collections and Buddhist Practice: Art and Performance,” and “Collections in Heritage Contexts: Conservation, Preservation, Dissemination.”
Now that the conference has concluded, we are very excited to be publishing a series of upcoming articles and blog posts about these foci and the speakers and panel members that made this conference so enriching, from keynote speaker Brigit Kellner to some friends of the website like Jann Ronis, T. H. Barrett, Sam van Schaik, and more. Keep an eye out for a feature on the conference, as well as interviews, podcasts, and other media.
Very deep thanks to the British Library and the team of the Asian and African Collections Department and the Endangered Archives Programme for organizing such a successful conference, including Luisa Elena Mengoni, Matt Kimberley, Charles Manson and Sam van Schaik
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