Two years ago the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of
Oriental Studies took part in the International Dunhuang
Project. This Project was started on the initiative of the
British Library by the efforts of Peter H. Lawson, chief
conservation officer and manager of the Oriental conservation
studio. Another participant of the Project is the Bibliothèque
Nationale de Paris. The principal aim of the Project
is the study and preservation of manuscripts from Dunhuang.
These manuscripts and documents dating to the
4th— 11th centuries were recovered in the first quarter of
the 20th century by several European expeditions working
in Dunhuang. The Dunhuang collection is now divided
between the two above mentioned libraries and the Manuscript
fund of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of
Oriental Studies (formerly the collection of the Asiatic Museum).
The conservation and restoration of the Dunhuang
manuscripts are among the most urgent and complicated
problems standing before these three institutions...