Documenting the Dir Museum collection: Mission Accomplished

When the team returned from Pakistan last May, they brought back – carefully packed in suitcases – five external hard drives containing several copies of photos of sculptures they had set to document in the Dir Museum. After three weeks of hard (and fun!) work, the last batch of 500 objects was digitized, almost 70 sculptures were 3D scanned and all the quality control boxes were checked. The last digitization campaign was a success and we have now documented the whole collection! This win did not come easily. Indeed, in September 2022, we had to cancel our fieldtrip (you can read about it here), and we had to activate our contingency plan – a remote digitization campaign monitored from Bochum – in order to keep the DiGA Project going and guarantee the completion of the digitization of the collection.

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About a cancelled fieldtrip and a troubled land

As you all know by now, the very core of the DiGA project is the digitization of the Gandharan artefacts stored in the Dir Museum (Chakdara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan). Documenting this collection requires us to travel to the area, therefore the project plan includes three fieldtrips. The first digitization campaign took place in November 2021, when almost half of the collection was documented (you can read about it in this blogpost). In the last few months, most of the team’s efforts went to the organisation of the second fieldtrip that was supposed to take place from September 25th to October 15th, 2022.  

However, starting in late August, distressing news about a resurgence of Taliban operations in the area started to spread, and in the last couple of weeks it was clear that the situation was turning too dangerous and unstable, therefore, our fieldtrip was cancelled.

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Open for Contributions: the DiGA Thesaurus 1.0 is released!

Make some noise! The DiGA Thesaurus is now available in an updated version on SKOSMOS! We finally completed the long and painstaking task of digitizing the printed reference vocabulary for Gandharan art that is the Repertorio Terminologico per la schedatura delle sculture dell’arte gandharica, published in 2007 by Domenico Faccenna and Anna Filigenzi. The digital thesaurus that we now release was – as the name says – initially developed for the DiGA Project. During the first phase of DiGA, it was OCR’d, and converted into SKOS. A detailed description of the conversion process is available in this blog post.

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The DiGA Kickoff Workshop: a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue looking at the future

On the 7th and 8th of February 2022 the DiGA Team hosted on Zoom their DiGA Kickoff Workshop, an event aimed at establishing and consolidating dialogue among scholars variously engaged in South Asian studies and Digital Humanities. Drawing sharp borders between disciplines and fields of research, especially in such an interdisciplinary context, negatively affects the progress of knowledge, this is why we invited speakers from various fields, from Gandharan studies, Indology and philology, Buddhist studies, to Central Asian studies.

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