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Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya M. Sanskrit Manuscripts from the N.F.Petrovsky Collection in the St Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 5, No 4, December 1999. P. 36-39.

The manuscript collection gathered by the Russian Consul in Kashghar N.F.Petrovsky (1837—1908) has attracted the attention of scholars from the end of the nineteenth century. Petrovsky began his career in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 1882, and, in the same year, he was appointed the Russian Consul in Kashghar shortly after its opening. In 1892, he became Consul General and remained in the post until 1903 when he retired for health reasons.

It was Petrovsky who laid the foundation of the Central Asiatic manuscript collection of the Asiatic Museum in St. Petersburg (at present the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies). While he was in Kashghar he sent to St. Petersburg a large number of manuscripts. In 1905, he also presented his valuable private manuscript collection to the Russian Committee for the Study of Central and Eastern Asia. After Petrovsky's death, the Russian Academy of Sciences bought from his relatives his extensive library and remaining manuscripts. After having been listed, the overall number of the manuscripts turned to be 582 items. These were manuscripts or fragments in Sanskrit, Khotanese, Tocharian B, Tibetan and Uighur. About 250 items among them were written in Sanskrit. In 1894, Academician S. F. Oldenburg started his systematic publication of some Sanskrit manuscripts fragments. He succeeded in publishing the fragments of 19 Sanskrit manuscripts. The publications were accompanied by the thorough and profound study of these fragments.

It should be mentioned that often only those fragments were edited which had survived better, so that many of the manuscripts remained unpublished. As for the number of facsimiles, it is insufficient…


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Buddhist literature
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Petrovsky Nikolai Fedorovich
Sanskrit Manuscripts

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