The Art and Science of Bringing Asian Resources Online

Scholars and students at the University of Chicago and around the world have a fundamental need for access to digital Asian resources in all disciplines.  By collaborating with librarians, faculty, computer scientists, and other colleagues at libraries and universities around the world, the University of Chicago Library is expanding the size and range of Asian digital collections that are freely available and discoverable online, while developing sophisticated new approaches to presenting and connecting materials in a variety of sonic and visual formats.

The University of Chicago has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to improve the metadata for the John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art currently at The Ohio State University. The Library is collaborating with the Huntingtons to augment and improve access to the metadata for more than 27,500 photographs of the art of China, Korea, and Japan, as well as Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Indonesia for improved scholarly and public understanding of Asia from ancient to modern times.

The Huntington Archive represents the efforts of 45 years of field documentation photography by John and Susan Huntington, who visited sites in remote regions of Asia, photographing many works of art that had never been published. Since the time many of these photos were taken, in far too many cases, the works of art have since been lost through theft or have been destroyed through natural and man-made disasters. The photos comprise one of the most important sources of information about these works.

Written by James Nye, Bibliographer for Southern Asia at Humanities & Social Sciences