The Learn Jainism website is part of the JAINpedia project, which aims to build up the spirit of the British Jain community and to make the most of the educational potential of the JAINpedia network of websites.
It meets these aims using two main, mutually supportive methods.
Secondly, these objectives are chiefly met by three kinds of activity that take place offline:
- holding events
- mounting exhibitions
- offering opportunities to volunteers.
Beginning in 2010, various events have been held to publicise and support the whole JAINpedia project, particularly the main website and the public exhibitions. More are in the pipeline, as the JAINpedia.org and Learn Jainism websites launch to public view. Two types of exhibitions support JAINpedia.org and the related websites. In addition, volunteers – who do not have to be from a Jain background – can get involved in all areas of the project.
Mainly held alongside the exhibitions, a series of public educational and academic events has been run at the JAINpedia partner institutions, including:
- story-telling sessions
- design workshops for children
- public and ticketed lectures
- tours of exhibitions
- behind-the-scenes access to the world of manuscript conservation.
Similar events continued until December 2012.
Plans and details of upcoming events are publicised in the blog, e-newsletter and JAINpedia Facebook and Twitter pages.
There have been two kinds of exhibitions, ranging from major displays at world-class institutions in London to briefer exhibitions staged at local faith centres across the UK.
The large static exhibitions took place in some of the JAINpedia project's partner institutions.
The first such exhibition was held in the South Asia Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It ran from May 2010 to the end of December 2012.
An exhibition at the Treasures Gallery of the British Library in London ran from October 2010 until the end of June 2011.
A further static exhibition at the Bodleian Library in 2012 continued to build on the JAINpedia experience.
The travelling exhibition began in 2012, publicising JAINpedia and bringing contemporary Jainism to faith, local community and education centres across the UK.
You can find out more about all these exhibitions on the JAINpedia blog or by signing up to the e-newsletter via the blog.
Volunteers are an important part of the project and assist in all areas. Volunteers can choose to guide exhibition visitors, go to schools to help teach children about the Jain faith or contribute to the website, particularly Jain Spirit. Volunteers can also take on practical tasks, such as organising events and publicity, and transporting equipment.