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British Library partners with SOAS for centenary year
SOAS, University of London has partnered with one of the world’s greatest research libraries, the British Library, for its centenary year.
The two organisations have agreed to work together on education and research projects, building on their shared commitment to support scholarship, curation and conservation of Asian, African and Middle Eastern archives.
The year-long partnership will begin this June, 100 years after SOAS received its Royal Charter.
SOAS centenary activities with the British Library will include a pilot project to digitise and make available online more than 200,000 historic Indian books, as announced by the British Library in November 2015, with the support of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the Newton Fund.
The two institutions will also work together on the first SOAS exhibition to tour internationally, The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination, which opens in Delhi this March.
Another focus of the partnership will build on the British Library and SOAS’s mutual commitment to supporting postgraduate students, including the development of new collaborative doctoral training opportunities and internship programmes, inspired by the close connections between SOAS and British Library collections.
SOAS Pro-Director of Research and Enterprise Professor Richard Black said: “This partnership with the British Library is a perfect fit for SOAS, as we share a commitment to maintaining world-class library and archival resources on Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Over the course of our centenary year, we aim to forge a lasting collaboration that will benefit students and scholars across the UK, as well as within our regions.”
Dr Catherine Eagleton, Head of Asian and African Collections at the British Library said: “The British Library is committed to supporting and stimulating research of all kinds, and partnering with SOAS will enable us to boost research using our rich international collections. We look forward to working with SOAS in their centenary year, to advance the exciting projects already underway, and to explore new ways to support and inspire researchers studying Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”
SOAS’ additional centenary partners include: Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China, ranked in the top five Chinese universities and a comprehensive research university covering all major disciplines; Presidency University, in Kolkata, India, the oldest institution of higher learning in Asia, which will also be celebrating its bicentenary around the same time as SOAS; and Cambodian Ministry of Higher Education, with which SOAS is developing a new field school at Banteay Chmmar in Cambodia.
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