HERITAGE LOTTERY GRANT FOR ACCESS TO
JAIN MANUSCRIPTS IN UK INSTITUTIONS
March 17th, 2008
London, UK: The Institute of Jainology today announced that it has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £375,000 towards the creation of an ambitious on-line multimedia resource which will illustrate Jain manuscripts and artefacts held by major UK libraries and museums. This grant will contribute to the Institute of Jainology’s overall £700,000 project.
Mr. Ratilal Chandaria, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology, said: “We thank the HLF for the huge contribution it has provided to this project. Britain has a vast and rich collection of Jain manuscripts that reside in national museums and libraries. This grant provides us the ability to bring access through a modern Internet based resource that will mean that millions of people will have access to these cherished manuscripts for the very first time.”
He added: “We want to target young people by bringing these ancient manuscripts to life. For example, the online resource will allow users to understand various aspects of our heritage by precise translation, supported with video and textual material. The resource will continue to develop by allowing users to blog their Jain experiences online and therefore weave their everyday practices into the richness of the UK Jain tapestry.”
Carole Souter, Director of HLF, said: “Jainism is one of the world’s oldest religions, famous for its ancient literature and spiritualism. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s grant will help bring together a fascinating range of historical documents plus create accompanying exhibitions so enabling many more people to learn about and gain a deeper understanding of this ancient religion.”
By December 2009, it is anticipated that over 2000 pages will be digitised and available on-line. Further to this landmark date, a series of exhibitions will be organised in regional museums, local libraries and Jain temples across the UK to promote the use of this resource.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About the Institute
The Institute of Jainology promotes Jain philosophy and its values of compassion and non-violence towards all living beings through art, culture and education.
The Institute has many years of experience in delivering national and international Jain projects. These have included major exhibitions at the V&A (1995), publications of Jain sacred literature with contemporary English commentaries (Tattvartha Sutra, Harper Collins 1994) and an annual Ahimsa (non-violence) Day at the House of Commons. In 2007, HRH Prince Philip launched the Catalogue of Jain Manuscripts of the British Library which was compiled by the Institute over a 12 year period. The Institute also launched Discover Jainism in 2007, a book for teaching Jainism within the English National Curriculum.
The Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will enable the Institution to digitise important Jain collections in the UK at the British Library, Wellcome Trust Library, V&A and the Bodleian Library (Oxford) and contextualise them to create a rich online resource for students, scholars and the general public. The online resource will be promoted for 4 years through local and regional exhibitions, school INSET days and events at Jain temples around the UK.
About the grant
HLF enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. They have supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk