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The Manuscript Collection Kept at the IOM RAS

(for requests to borrow materials)


Monday to Friday: from 10 a. m. to  6 p. m., without a lunch break 

First Tuesday of every month – closed

July and August – closed

Since 2020, requests to borrow materials should be made according to the following rules:

- no more than 5 items
- requests submitted before 1 pm will be available the next day after 1 pm
- requests submitted after 1 pm will be available the day after next after 10 am



The Council of Experts of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts RAS does not review copying requests in June and July. Requests made in June and July will be reviewed in August.

To purchase electronic copies of manuscripts and archival materials, it is necessary:
1. To fill the application form (in Russian or English)
2. To send the scanned application to:

All requests are reviewed by the Council of Experts of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts RAS. The Council of Experts also determines copying prices in each case. The approximate pricelist is available here.

It is recommended that applications are filled in electronic format. Manuscript number and page numbers have to be filled in appropriate sections of the application form. If possible, the title of the requested material should also be indicated (for example, A 895 “Genealogy of Turkmens”, f. 18–25). It is recommended that manuscript catalogues are used for correct indication of manuscript numbers.

Fees for digital copies of manuscripts and documents are accepted only in Russian rubles.


The History of the Formation of the Manuscript Collection

The Arabic Collection (Dr A.Khalidov)

In 1986, The Arabic Manuscripts Kept at the Institute of Oriental Studies. A Brief Catalogue was published, being the completion of the work carried out by several generations of St Petersburg scholars; the collection of Arabic manuscripts had been gathered over more than 150 years and they had been catalogued on many occasions. Ch.D.Frähn, B.A.Dorn, V.R.Rosen, K.G.Salemann, I.J.Krachkovsky and V.I.Belyayev, each in his own time, spoke about the primary importance of the cataloging of Arabic manuscripts kept at the Asiatic Museum (AM) and took some practical measures for this purpose. Like some other Orientalists, they did a lot to open the manuscripts treasures of the AM for experts and broader circles, but the number of manuscripts kept increasing and the entire project had never been brought to fulfillment. More...

The Tibetan Collection (Dr A.Zorin)

The IOM Tibetan collection consists of a huge number of texts – by the end of 2016, more than 20,000 items (varying from big volumes to single folios) have been numbered and it will take several years more to complete the processing of the collection, the total number may exceed 30,000 of items. Without doubt, this is one of the biggest collections of Tibetan literature world-wide. More...

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