The Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art provides online access to the Ashmolean Museum's Eastern Art department collections.
As part of the University of Oxford, the collections hold particular value for teaching and research, but they also appeal to visitors who may not be as familiar with the material. This project aims to open up the collections and enable everyone to find what they are interested in; whether for research, artistic inspiration or general curiosity.
Eastern Art Online is designed to provide layers of information about the objects and the stories they tell. High quality images and up-to-date information for the objects are a priority and there is an extensive, ongoing programme dedicated to this.
As much as possible the Centre avoids duplication of information that already exists online, choosing instead to link to and reference other resources in related areas, while specialising in the unique areas of our collections.
The Ashmolean reopened its doors in November 2009 following an extensive redevelopment. As a result the Museum has more galleries and better conditions for storing and displaying the collections. The galleries highlight the connections between objects that show how the civilisations that shaped our modern world developed as part of an interrelated world culture, rather than in isolation.
The Yousef Jameel Centre complements the Islamic and Asian Art galleries, and provides online access to more of the collections and contextual information than has ever been possible before.
Unfortunately it is not possible to display the entire collection in the Museum for space and conservation reasons. Initially the online collection will focus on the objects that are on display. Over time, it will grow to include more objects that are not in the galleries, and play a vital role in providing extended access to objects that visitors would not otherwise see.
Eastern Art Online would not have been possible without the generosity and vision of Yousef Jameel, Hon. LHD, a dedicated supporter of the arts and a number of educational initiatives. The project began in July 2007 and is currently funded to January 2013.