Digital Archives Research Center (DARC)

Introduction to our Center

The Digital Archives Research Center (DARC) first established in 2001 and in 2019 adopted a Priority Reinforcement Research Promotion Project by Ryukoku University in 2019 and relaunched.

Since 2022, the research agenda for DARC has been “A Research for Digital Archives and Methods for a Multifaceted Exhibition of Cultural Properties and Academic Materials” . DARC makes effective use of digitally archived classical documents and cultural property gathered according to the founding spirit of Ryukoku University and employs the latest techniques, such as ultra-realistic communication technologies, to form digital archives that facilitate versatile publishing of academic materials. Also, through the latest research results and scientific analyses based on interdisciplinary research that integrates the humanities and the sciences and a track record of international collaboration with the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), DARC aims to add discussions of historical context, support the preservation, restoration, and succession of cultural properties and academic materials, and build a next-generation digital museum.

DARC consists of two research units, one for science and technology and the other for the humanities. The former is “Research on Multifaceted Exhibition Techniques” and the latter is “Research on Contents and Digital Humanities. The research is being conducted with the involvement of the curators of the Ryukoku Museum. Eliminating research for research’s sake, multifaceted exhibition through new and unconventional methods is an important theme of DARC.

In December 2021, DARC used the floor space of the Ryukoku Museum as it entered its 10th year of operations to hold a research exhibition entitled “Creating a digital archive of cultural property: Aiming to restore the Buddhist culture of the Otani expedition and Nishi Hongwanji.”

DARC looks forward to pursuing even greater work through collaboration with British, German, French, and Chinese partners of the IDP, and through collaboration with the China Tibetology Research Center and Lushun Museum in China and the National Museum of Korea in South Korea, amongst other groups.

Be on the lookout for upcoming research activities from DARC.

Mazumi Mitani (DARC Director)

History of DARC

2001 Digital Archives Research Center (DARC) established
2002 Construction of the Zuikokan DARC research facility completed on the Seta Campus
2004 Japanese branch of British Library’s International Dunhuang Project (IDP) established at DARC
2009 Kurosawa Digital Archive launched
2010 Ryukoku University concludes memorandum of understanding with The British Library (extending agreement with IDP)
2011 Ryukoku Museum established
2015 Research Center for World Buddhist Cultures established
2017 Li Bo manuscript replica presented for 100th anniversary ceremony of Lushun Museum
2019 Center atopted a “Ryukoku University Priority Reinforcement Research Promotion Project” and renamed Japanese designation
2021 Research Exhibition held at Ryukoku Museum
2022 Restored “Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Cave” murals installed on the external wall of the Fuyoku Hall of Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin Buddhist Seminary
2022 “Ryukoku University Priority Reinforcement Research Promotion Project” period extended