Jain Community celebrates launch of JAINpedia exhibitions and website
London 18th November 2010
The Institute of Jainology (“IoJ”) was delighted to receive His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London to view the JAINpedia exhibition and see the JAINpedia online digital resources.
The Prince was greeted by Mr Paul Ruddock, Chairman of the V&A, and Mr Nemu Chandaria, Deputy Chairman of the IoJ and then introduced to the Directors of the IoJ and key staff at the V&A.
The JAINpedia project is a 5 year project launched by the IoJ in 2007 to make the Jain manuscripts in major UK collections more accessible through exhibitions and events, and a digitally rich website featuring over 5,000 images and contextual material.
Mr Nemu Chandaria commented, “the Jain community is grateful to His Royal Highness for visiting the JAINpedia exhibition. His warmth and interest in the project and the Jain community has made this a very special day for us.”
The Prince was guided through the V&A exhibition by curator Nick Barnard and JAINpedia expert Prof. Nalini Balbir of the University of Paris. He spent several moments discussing Jain cosmology and 15th century manuscripts featuring the lives of the Jain teachers. His Royal Highness was then shown how the manuscripts are made available through the JAINpedia site; its technical development partner being Kings College London.
Over 100 members of the Jain community were invited to meet His Royal Highness during the visit as well as stakeholders from the British Library, the Wellcome Trust and the Bodleian Library. After the visit, there were speeches by Beth McKillop, Deputy Director of the V&A, Mehool Sanghrajka Director of the IoJ and the JAINpedia Project and finally by Wesley Kerr, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund London Committee.
About the JAINpedia Project
The JAINpedia project was created by the IoJ following the successful launch of its publication ‘The Catalogue of the Jain Collection at the British Library by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
JAINpedia is a project to create an online, accessible resource for the Jain community and beyond. This will be a first for Jain heritage as there is no other online public resource that has worked with the key holders of Jain artefacts in the UK or worldwide. Not only will the website be an extensive and highly detailed multimedia site of Jain Manuscripts, but it will have two main sub-sites called ‘Learn Jainism’ and ‘Jain Spirit’.
Learn Jainism, will provide educational resources for teachers using the images and text from the main site and will be a dedicated educational interface designed for schools and learners with materials for religious education lessons. Jain Spirit, will be a dedicated site for the community, with articles and event updates of the Project. The JAINpedia project now in its third year has exhibitions already running at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Library, and still to come at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
About the JAINpedia exhibition at the V&A
A display of finely illustrated Jain manuscript pages and paintings from India opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 14 May. Of these a large Jayatra yantra or Victory banner, consecrated at Diwali in 1447, is one of the oldest surviving dated Jain paintings on cloth. The illustrated manuscript pages on display include finely detailed pages of the 15th and 16th centuries from manuscripts of the canonical Kalpasutra and Uttaradhyayanasutra texts. They tell the stories of the 24 Jinas (spiritual victors) revered by the Jains and several illustrate the principles of non-violence and respect for all forms of life that are at the heart of Jainism.
Conservation of the Jain manuscript pages involved special research and treatment to avoid the use of animal glues in accordance with Jain principles.
The display continues until 31 December 2012.
About the Institute of Jainology
The Institute of Jainology (IoJ) was established following the first International Jain Conference held in London in 1983, when the need for an organisation to coordinate Jain affairs internationally was recognized. The Trust is administered by a Board of Trustees. Its centeres of operations are in London and in Ahmedabad, India.
Representatives of Jains worldwide met at Buckingham Palace, London in 1990 to present the ‘Jain Declaration on Nature’ to H R H Prince Philip. This event repositioned Jainism as the eight faith of the world and marked its entry to the World Wide Fund for Nature.
To find out more about the project please visit www.jainpedia.org or contact the JAINpedia team on email@example.com 020 82361001
Above is a selection of the photographs that were taken during the visit by H R H The Prince of Wales. Click here to see the rest of the photographs taken by us on the day. Should you want a copy of any of the photograph please contact Ms Bansri Mehta at Bansri.Mehta@jainpedia.org.