Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

The Van Manen Collection: Locating Literature, Lived Religion, and Lives in the Himalayas

ERC Starting Grant: The Van Manen Project. This five year project (2023-2028) is made possible with an ERC Starting Grant. It aims to (digitally) reunite all parts of the Van Manen Collection. This enables us to study it as a whole, helping us to understand the process of collection formation. More importantly, perhaps, it will also shed light on printing culture, knowledge dissemination, and religious and ritual practices in Central Tibet and the Eastern Himalayas in the first half of the 20th century.

2023 - 2028
Berthe Jansen


Key Objectives

Some of the project’s key objectives

  • To extensively catalogue and study the mostly unstudied unique and rare manuscripts in the collection.
  • To gain an understanding of the “collection formation” process beyond the colonial narrative.
  • To learn how to “read”, and engage with, a multi-media collection curated by one single collector.
  • To contribute to the analysis and methodology of multi-media collections of non-Western literature and material culture.

Project Website

On our project website you can find additional information

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