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Uspensky V. Catalogue of the Mongolian Manuscripts and Xylographs in the St. Petersburg State University Library / Compiled by V. L. Uspensky with assistance from O. Inoue. Edited and Foreword by T. Nakami. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1999. XV, 530 pp.


It is worthy of note that the Russian researchers of the past have produced great works in the field of Mongolian studies. In fact, anyone wishing to commence studying the history, language, culture of the Mongols at some stage will have to refer to Russian scholarship. Russia has a long tradition of Mongolian studies. The first chair of Mongolian language at any university in the world was founded at Kazan in 1833. Later, from the middle of the nineteenth century, St. Petersburg turned into a world center for Mongolian studies. Russian Mongolists earnestly and ambitiously — in both good and bad meanings — investigated and collected many primary materials from the Mongolian homelands and Peking.

After the Russian Socialist Revolution of 1917 and in particular since the 1950s, the emphasis in Mongolian studies in the Soviet Union shifted from the classical to the strategic and ideological. The headquarters of Oriental studies in the USSR also moved from Leningrad to Moscow. However, the rich collection of Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs and the academic tradition of Mongolian philology were left in Leningrad.

Two important Mongolian collections in St. Petersburg, one in the “Institute” and the other in the “University”, have now attracted the attention of Mongolian researchers all over the world. To facilitate easy access to the collections, catalogues are essential. A detailed catalogue of part of the Mongolian collection in the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies was compiled by Dr. L. S. Puchkovskiy in 1957. Thereafter, Dr. A. G. Sazykin has continued to compile a complete catalogue of the collection. However, no catalogue of the Mongolian collection in the St. Petersburg State University has appeared except for that of the famous Kanjur, compiled by Dr. Z. K. Kasyanenko and published in 1993.

In 1994, when I visited St. Petersburg and met with Dr. V. L. Uspensky, he spoke to me warmly about his plan to compile a catalogue of the University's entire Mongolian collection. Between 1996 and 1997, he was invited to the Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa in Tokyo as a visiting professor, where he undertook most of the compilation work. He completed the first draft after his return to Russia in 1998 and sent it to me for checking. Due to the great length of the work, I asked a younger distinguished Mongol philologist, Dr. Osamu Inoue of Waseda University, for his support. Dr. Inoue kindly and carefully read over all of the draft, and made many important suggestions.

It is our great pleasure through this catalogue to introduce the contents of one of the most important Mongolian collections in the world to our colleagues in Mongolian studies. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Uspensky for his long and sustained efforts, and Dr. Inoue for his prudent advice. I also wish to thank Prof. Christian Daniels for his kind help in improving the English text and Mr. Wataru Izumi and his staff at the University of Tokyo Press for editorial suggestions.

Tatsuo Nakami


Foreword, Contents, Acknowledgments


Mongolian manuscripts
Mongolian xylographs

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