Presenting the Bernier Archive

This Wednesday at Boulder’s Tsadra Foundation, we’ll be giving our first invited talk about the Ronald M. and Dianne J. Bernier Archive.

Though our blog has been quiet, we’ve all been quite busy preparing the first 1,000 images for release on the public database.  This is–and will be for some time–a work in progress. With only 1/25th of the Bernier materials digitized and no funding available at present to dedicate to the project, the VRC has been drawing on two seed grants (from VRAF and ArtStor) that funded scanning, specialist content, and archival materials, some student and administrative labor, and volunteer efforts.

Dianne and Ron at the Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto, Japan

Dianne and Ron at the Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto, Japan

Though dedicated financing certainly is our biggest challenge at present, we look forward to drawing upon crowdsourcing and social media technology to get the word out about the Bernier Archive. Once the database represents the full integration of our images and spreadsheets, with the blessing of Ron’s estate, we will turn to those who knew Ron, took his courses, traveled with him, or have spent time in the regions themselves to add user-generated content to make the Bernier Archive more accessible, searchable, and useful.

We want to acknowledge openly that none of what we’ve done to date could have come about without Dianne Bernier. Her generosity in sharing these documents from her life (and adventures) with Ron will provide scholars, researchers, and aficionados of Asian cultures an abundance of material dating back to 1966. “Thank you” cannot begin to cover our gratitude, and “thrilled” cannot begin to express our excitement about the Bernier Archive.

For the coming months, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite findings thus far. We’re looking forward to your feedback, and we thank you for your interest.


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