“Digitization of manuscripts and printed books from the the Asia and Pacific Museum’s collection” is a two-year project launched in 2019 as part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s “Digital Culture” programme. It is aimed at creating an open access digital library and making the unique book collection of the Andrzej Wawrzyniak Asia and Pacific Museum available to all. At the core of the collection are Burmese manuscripts, manuscripts and xylographs associated with Tibetan buddhism, books originating from India and Nepal and Indonesian manuscripts written on palm leaves.
This is a multistage project carried out by an interdisciplinary team consisting mainly of Oriental studies specialists and conservators.
The stages of digitization
In the first preliminary phase of digitization, books are worked on by Oriental studies academics specialising in Asian literature and writing systems. The language and content of the text is identified and the order of pages is verified.
The books are subsequently inspected by conservators who carry out the necessary procedures enabling safe digitization.
During the next stage, each page is photographed under a conservator’s supervision and metadata is recorded.
Photographs with metadata descriptions are then entered into the digital library.
The project also includes educational activities, such as family workshops entitled “Asian Manuscripts” and ”School of Manuscripts” – a programme addressed at students of higher education institutions.
Dominika Kossowska-Janik, Asia and Pacific Museum
Jacek Tomaszewski, PhD, Asia and Pacific Museum
Magdalena Grenda-Kurmanow, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
Internet app design
Andrea Acri, PhD, École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL Université
Agata Bareja-Starzyńska, PhD, DSc, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Warsaw University
Ilona Kędzia, Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University
Jotika Khur-Yearn, Phd, Librarian for SE Asia and Arts & Humanities, SOAS University of London
Sirisarn Mueanphothong, PhD, Department of Oriental Language, Silpakorn University in Bangkok
Monika Nowakowska, Phd, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Warsaw University
Roberta Zollo, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg
Prof. Justin McDaniel, University of Pennsylvania
Renoo Wichasin, PhD, Chiang Mai University