Digital Archives Research Center

-Digitizing Historical Documents for Preservation and Worldwide Access-

Ryukoku University is working towards creating a system utilizing the latest information technology to digitize, preserve, organize, and classify its collection of classical texts and historical documents and to make this information available on the internet. To achieve our goal of fostering an intellectual environment within a highly academic and cultural setting, the Center reaches out beyond the university. The Center cooperates with outside researchers and international institutions, such as the British Library and Deutsche Staats Museum. The Center has already independently developed an online catalogue of the classical manuscripts in the university collection and provides access to information in the natural sciences. As a first step towards a virtual library, it has made progress in creating a digital database of important manuscripts, allowing access to approximately 2,000 Central Asian materials from the Otani Mission.

The Center also analyzes fragments of excavated sutras and ancient documents by electron microscopy, and is currently reconstructing the hemp paper used for the Li Bo Manuscript (J., Lihaku bunsho), an ancient Chinese letter draft written on the oldest paper still in existence.