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Meeting of the Academic Council - April 21, 2010 Print E-mail

On April 21, 2010, at the meeting of the Academic Council of the IOM RAS, three papers, by Dr T.A. Pang, Dr K.G. Maranjian, Dr V.Y. Klimov, were presented as a part of the series of presentations, The IOM’s Manuscripts Collection. Principal Research Perspectives.

Abstracts of the papers

Dr T.A. Pang. The Manchu collection of the IOM RAS

  • The first Manchu and Chinese books were brought to Petersburg by Lorentz Lang, the Swedish officer at the Russian service, from his third trip to China in 1727-30. It was the beginning of the Manchu and Chinese parts of the Library of the Academy of Sciences (AS), later they were passed to the Asiatic Museum.
  • The collection of texts belonging to Illarion Rossokhin, a member of the Second Spiritual Mission in Peking (1729-35), who started to work at the AS from 1741, was essential for the formation of the Manchu collection kept at the Library.
  • Manchu and Chinese studies were always closely connected but after mid nineteenth century, when I. Bitchurin started his academic works, the focus of scholars shifted from Manchu sources to Chinese texts. Only after the catalogue by Volkova and Fuks was published the scholars realized the meaning and originality of Manchu sources.
  • The Manchu collection kept at the IOM RAS was thoroughly catalogued by M.P.Volkova (in two volumes) and T.A.Pang (in 1 additional volume). All in all there are 343 mss and 539 block prints kept at the IOM. The smaller collections are kept in St Petersburg University and the National Library. All the collections kept in Petersburg were catalogued. In Moscow there is also a small collection that was never catalogued.
  • There are two most important parts of the IOM’s collection, that of Grebenshchikov and that of Krotkov. Grebenshchikov collected mss, songs and fairy tales in Manchu villages in early 20th century. The other part consists of Sibin folktexts obtained by Krotkov during the 1890s when he was the Russian consul in Ghulja. These are unique texts unavailable even in China now.
  • Manchu was the language of the secret diplomacy until 1912. It was used for the relations with Russia and Mongolia. At the collection there are many documents of that type, waiting for their researcher.

Dr K.G. Maranjian. The Japanese collection kept at the IOM RAS

  • Our collection of Japanese mss and block prints consists of 744 titles and 2710 items, it is ranked as the third one in Europe after those of the British Museum and Leiden University. It was founded in the late 18th century when the AS acquired the mss and block prints from Daikokuya Kōdayū, who found himself in Russia after the shipwreck. The collection was gradually replenished further on, with the books from the personal libraries such as those belonging to I.A. Goshkevich, the first Russian Consul in Japan, O.O. Rosenberg, who studied Buddhism in Japan, N.A. Nevsky, who lived in Japan for a long time, with the block prints from the collection of the Russian Geographical Society, etc. In mid 20th century, it was replenished with the books from the Library of the Central Naval Museum and some Sakhalin libraries after the South Sakhalin was annexed to the USSR.
  • The academic catalogue of the collection was made by O.P. Petrova and V.N. Goreglyad with participation of G.D. Ivanova and Z.Y. Khanin. Six volumes of the catalogue were published during 1963-71.
  • Among the most valuable mss there are several textbooks and dictionaries compiled by the Japanese Gonza in 1736-39 and used by him at the Japanese School opened in St Petersburg in 1736, the first school of that kind in Europe. It is interesting to notice that the author put all the words in Russian transcription. Only one of the sources, the Russian Japanese dictionary, was published in 1985 by a well-known linguist Murayama Shitiro.
  • There are seven mss on the Russian Japanese relations, including Kankai ibun (translated by V.N. Goreglyad into Russian) narrating about the journey of the Japanese sailors who got to Russia after the shipwreck.
  • Geographical and ethnographic descriptions of the Japanese cities and provinces, maps of Japan and its provinces (more than 45 items), schemes of the cities are also presented in the collection. The Ainu documents are of high academic interest.
  • Poetical anthologies and cheap illustrated editions of popular stories represent the literary texts.
  • There are about 40 dictionaries, including bilingual (Ainu Japanese) and trilingual (French English Dutch with Japanese translations) ones.
  • We have various reference books, particularly those on genealogy providing us with many interesting facts concerning the history of Japanese society.
  • A number of texts relate to Buddhism and Shintō. Thus, there are some rare mss from the collection of N.A. Nevsky describing Shintō rites and ceremonies. 
  • Archival documents that belonged to the Japanese merchants from early 19th century, letters of the Japanese diplomats sent to Russia in 1895, texts on botany and pharmacology, a rich art collection are also worth studying and editing.

Dr V.Y. Klimov. The Japanese collection kept at the IOM RAS

  • The catalogue of the Japanese mss and block prints by O.P. Petrova, V.N. Goreglyad, G.D. Ivanova and Z.Ya. Khanin proved fundamental for the further Japanese researches in our country.
  • The history of the formation of the collection may give important information on the sources, historical epochs and people who collected mss. Thus, in the catalogue the collection of M. Brosset is often mentioned though he himself did not gather these texts, he processed them only. There are two old Japanese account books with all the place names relating to Southern Sakhalin. They are the oldest books of that kind in the world and contain rich data on the merchant relations between the Japanese and Ainu. Obviously they got to Russia after the 1806 Sakhalin expedition of Khvostov and Davydov.
  • We possess a good collection of maps that are awaiting their researcher. According to the Catalogue there is a map of Hokkaido, Sakhalin and Kuril Islands that used to be a part of the Brosset collection. It is known also that Khvostov brought some Japanese maps. Perhaps, this is one of the maps acquired by Khvostov. 
  • The collection of mss brought to Russia by K. Posyet, a well-known state man from the second half of the 19th century, is worth attention, too. It is essential to remember that different parts of the collection are kept in other archives and libraries. The general view of its significance can appear only after the scrutinizing of all its parts telling much about the extraordinary life and activities of K. Posyet.
  • The photo archives has a lot of valuable pictures that should be systemized and catalogued. It suffices to mention a photo of the members of the 1862 Japanese diplomatic mission accepted by Alexander II in the Winter Palace, St Petersburg. This was the first Japanese embassy to Europe. Except for Russia, they visited France, England, Holland, Germany and Portugal. Some precious pictures are kept also in the Hermitage. Scholars working with Japanese archival documents kept at various institutions can contribute much to both fundamental research of Japanese history and culture and tightening links between Russia and Japan.

The Academic Council also affirmed the monograph At the Source of Tibetan Poetry. Buddhist Hymns in Tibetan Li-terature: 8th – 14th Century [У истоков тибетской поэзии. Буддийские гимны в тибетской литературе VIII-XIV вв.] by Dr A. Zorin, for the publication.

Last Updated ( 06/08/2010 )
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