AIIT Appeal                                                                                                                                             2
permitted, to maximise the use of this space for the library, offices, accommodation and events. Major developments have included the conversion of some offices into two flats which are rented out and bring in extra revenue; installing good quality mobile and fixed shelving for books; the refurbishment of the basement to provide more office and storage space, the extension of the car park and the provision of disabled access. To help increase the Trust’s income, opportunity has also been taken to include within the design of the proposed new Resource Centre, a further extension on the other side of the house for two more flats, the costs of which would be met from the Trust’s endowment fund.

Notwithstanding these efforts, the design of the house is essentially that of a family home. The largest room holds a maximum of 40 people which restricts numbers at lectures, conferences and other events. Many special events have to be by invitation only and cannot be publicised too widely. This is regrettable when more people express an interest in attending, as they did recently for the conference on Zoroastrianism, held as part of the Trust’s 30th anniversary celebrations in June 2008. As a result, the Trust risks being perceived as too exclusive or specialised, which directly contradicts its objective to attract as wide an audience as possible and encourage exchange between people from different cultural, social and professional communities.


An Expanding Library
The Trust’s library has become one of the most distinguished collections in the western world.  It comprises more than 25,000 volumes, many very rare, and over 100,000 photographic images which are currently being catalogued and digitised.  As well as recent acquisitions in all fields, it includes the personal collections of the founding trustees, Sir Harold Bailey (Indo-Iranian studies, philology, Buddhist works in various languages and Armenian and Caucasian studies); Professor Joan van Lohuizen (art and archaeology of South and South-East Asia) and Drs Raymond and Bridget Allchin (South Asian Archaeology, prehistory and art history). It also contains libraries of Professor Charles Bawden (Mongolian studies); Professor Gregory Possehl (South Asian archaeology, travel and anthropology), Professor Mary Boyce (Zoroastrianism, Iranian studies, Near Eastern archaeology) and Ralph Pinder-Wilson (Islamic art). At present, the library is almost at maximum capacity. This is a pressing problem as new books
are bought regularly and it is known that certain individuals intend to bequeath their personal collections to the Trust. Based on its growth in recent years and the likelihood of future bequests, it is estimated that the library will need, over the years, considerable extra shelf space. Furthermore, there is nowhere to exhibit the Trust’s collections of manuscripts, coins and works of art. The basement together with the envisaged book-lined lecture/reading room and dedicated exhibition space in the proposed new building will solve these problems for the foreseeable future.

It is also anticipated that the conference room in the new wing could, when not being used by the Trust itself, be let out on a commercial basis to other organisations and hence provide an additional source of revenue. Recently, INTACH UK, SAALG and the Cambridge Library Group have held meetings at the Trust and there has also been some interest from local language schools in hiring rooms for teaching. Having a larger space and better facilities to hire out will be an added benefit from the new building.

The Current Set-up of the Trust and Future Plans
The Trust has been funded by contributions and legacies from Trustees, regular gifts from its expanding network of Friends and supporters and several substantial donations from individuals and organisations for all aspects of its work. With the exception of a £60,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund specifically for cataloguing in 1995, the Trust has received no public money.  The home of the Trust, 23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge, was bought in 1981 with personal funds scraped together by the five founding Trustees.

The Trust employs a part-time Custodian who lives in and looks after the house, and two other part-time staff, an Administrator and an Assistant Librarian. The administrative and library workload currently exceeds the man-hours that can be provided by staff by a significant extent. The Trust is therefore reliant on voluntary work undertaken by its Librarian (one of the Trustees), its Treasurer (another Trustee) and others. It is fortunate to have a small number of dedicated volunteers who help with tasks such as cataloguing offprints and slide collections and repairing books, but this is inherently unsatisfactory as there is no guarantee for how long the personal