The Silk Road and Central Asia On the World Wide Web

Major Information Gateways

  • Silk Road Seattle
    An ongoing, lavishly illustrated, and already content-rich web project that includes a virtual Silk Road Art Exhibit, pages on traditional cultures, a Silk Road atlas, historical texts, and annotated guides to teaching and learning resources. Sponsored by the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for Humanities, University of Washington.
  • The Silk Road Foundation Home Page
    A major site for information on the silk road and its historical legacy. Highlights include an interactive time line that contains hot links to topics concerning the Silk Road, including Marco Polo's travels, the spread of Buddhism, and historical events from 5000 BC to the present. Also featured is a slide show of paintings found in the Mogau Caves in China. The presentation offers 24 images found in the caves, many on Buddhist themes. Recently added is the Silk Road Newsletter which includes general interest articles.
  • The Silk Road and Dunhuang China
    A service of "China the Beautiful" web-site, this page offers links to a map of the silk road and an exhibition of art at the Mogau Caves.
  • Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library
    A comprehensive database on the major issues concerning Asia. Contains links to directories covering the nations and regions of Asia.
  • Islamic History
    Sponsored by the University of Calgary, this site gives an overview of Islamic History to 1600.
  • Central Eurasian Studies at Harvard University
    Sponsored by the Harvard Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus, this site gives resources for the study of Central Eurasia including links, dissertations and syllabi. The Central Eurasian Studies Review is also available on-line.

The Art, Culture, and Religion of Central Asia

  • Ghengis Khan and His Empire
    A feature of the National Geographic web site, this on-line exhibit highlights the life of the great Mongol leader. Includes an interactive time line, a map of his empire, and a page of links.
  • Dunhuang Art Through the Eyes of Duan Wenjie
    Dua Wenjie, former Director of the Dunhuang Institute, gives a chronological study of the contents inside the Mogao caves with several decades of research of the Dunhuang Academy under his command.
  • International Dunhuang Project
    International Dunhuang Project is a groundbreaking international collaboration to make more than 100,000 manuscripts, paintings and artifacts from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites. Sponsored by the British Library.
  • Buddhist Studies in the WWW Virtual Library
    The Internet Guide to Buddhism and Buddhist Studies. Edited by Dr T. Matthew Ciolek and Prof. Joe Bransford Wilson, in conjunction with other virtual librarians.
  • Islamic Texts and Resources MetaPage
    This site provides a 'springboard' for exploring texts and resources on Islam and Islamic thought, ideas, and related issues. A service of the University of Buffalo.
  • Internet Medieval Sourcebook
    Contains some material relevant to the silk road, as well as Byzantium and the medieval Islamic world.
  • The Cities/Building Archive
    Now maintained by the University of Washington Libraries, this site was a original project by Meredith L. Clausen, a UW professor of architectural history. The site includes images of important architectural sites in both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
  • The Virtual Memory of Central Asia
    Sponsored by UNESCO, this site is an experimental web page that promises a multimedia presentation of the virtual memory of Central Asia. It includes maps, texts, images and sounds presenting the region and its rich culture. Not all of the links work but visitors may view three-dimensional images of artifacts as well look at images of important historical and cultural items.
  • Marco Polo Homepage
    This site offers a biography of the traveler as well as accounts of his voyages.
  • Central Asian Artifacts On-Line
    The REECAS Center web-site has a page devoted to Central Asian culture, including musical instruments, costumes, and handicrafts. The page offers full-color photos as well as samples of folk music in Real-Audio format.
  • Yurt Building for Everyone
    Prepared by Claudia Olmstead, this web page describes how yurts, tent-like homes used by the nomadic peoples of Central Asia, are constructed. Includes instructions on how to build a miniature version of a yurt out of balsa wood, twine, and felt.
  • The Folk Epic "Manas"
    Celebrating the independence of the Kyrgyz people, the millennium-old folk epic "Manas" describes how the title character resisted foreign invaders and led his people to freedom.
  • Museum Collections of Silk Road Art
    On the Silk Road Seattle site contains an annotated catalog of links to museum websites from around the world featuring art related to the Silk Road.

Map Resources 

  • Silk Road Seattle Maps
    On the Silk Road Seattle site contains an interactive map exercise and an annotated list of links to other on-line map collections. 
  • EarthSat
    Sponsored NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Scientific Data Purchase Program and produced, under NASA contract, by Earth Satellite Corporation. This site features Landsat satellite observations of the Earth, and the data that they collect have been used for almost 30 years to study the Earth's environment, resources, and natural and man-made changes on the Earth's surface. 
  • Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
    A feature of the University of Texas Library On-Line, this site is major repository of maps of the world with many concerning Central and Inner Asia. This site includes a directory of maps covering the nations of Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.


Country Profiles of Central Asian Nations 

The Ellison Center
REECAS Program
Box 353650
203B Thomson Hall
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4852 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax