I am Susan Whitfield. I worked for twenty-five years at the British Library as curator of the Central Asia manuscript collection from the explorations of M. Aurel Stein and others in the early twentieth century. I also helped establish and then developed and directed the International Dunhuang Project (http://idp.bl.uk). This is an international collaboration to make these manuscripts and other artefacts dispersed in collections worldwide freely available online. I am now Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London and continue to research, write, lecture and travel on the Silk Road.

My research interests are broad: starting with Chinese historiography, censorship and forgeries, and moving on to include all things Silk Road, from archaeology, history, art, religion, geography, as well modern issues such as the UNESCO Silk Road World Heritage inscriptions and OBOR. I have travelled widely on the Silk Road, including field trips to many of the archaeological sites.


By the Amu Darya (Oxus River) valley, Wakhan corridor, northeastern Afghanistan.
Photograph: John Falconer

Most of my posts will be works in progress. After decades of research and travel I have too many ideas and leads ever to follow up in a single lifetime and I welcome others to cite and expand them.