announcement (fwd)

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Tue Dec 5 15:01:49 UTC 2000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 14:21:16 -0000
From: "Quessel, Burkhard" <Burkhard.Quessel at>
Subject: announcement

Tomnorrow's World

You are invited to a presentation on the world's earliest Buddhist
manuscripts to take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 13 December in Meeting
Room 1 of the British Library's Conference Centre at 96 Euston Road,
London NW1 2DB. The nearest underground stations are Euston and King's
Cross/St Pancras, each 5 minutes' walk.

The birchbark Buddhist scrolls acquired by the British Library in 1994 and
miraculously saved from extinction by a major conservation project have
proved to be a milestone in the study of early Buddhist religion and South
Asian culture and linguistics. Written in the first century A.D. and hence
by far the earliest South Asian manuscripts in the Library's rich
collection, they are the subject of a major research project. The Library
is collaborating with the University of Washington, Seattle, in the study
and publication of the scrolls in a series of some ten volumes. Professor
Richard Salomon published in 1999 to universal acclaim an overview volume
"Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara: the British Library Kharosthi
fragments". His monograph on the Rhinoceros Horn Sutra fragment is to
appear later this month.

The first speaker will be Dr Greg Bearman, a senior research scientist
with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena USA. Dr Bearman is in
London for the week to investigate the possibility of revealing text which
cannot be read with the naked eye or conventional optical aids by the use
of advanced infra-red imaging technology. Dr Bearman will talk of the
application of infra-red in fields as diverse as geophysics and medical
imaging, and demonstrate with slides the spectacular results he has
achieved with the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is hoped that he will be able to
report initial findings on his work with the BL manuscripts.

The second speaker is Dr Andrew Glass, Research Assistant with the team in
Seattle. Dr Glass will give an update on this exciting and fast-moving
Project and show with audio-visual aids how computer graphics have
assisted the solving of the particular "jigsaw puzzle" problems these
manuscripts present to scholars.

The assistance of the Sunday Times Magazine in enabling Dr Bearman's visit
to take place, of the Director of the JPL in lending us both Dr Bearman
and the valuable state-of-the-art equipment he will use, and as ever of
the donor who made all this possible, is gratefully acknowledged.

Would those planning to attend kindly RSVP to either Michael O'Keefe or
Burkhard Quessel of the British Library's Oriental and India Office
Collections, by post to the above address, by telephone to 0207 412
7654/7819, or via email to michael.o'keefe at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list