The Tibetan collection kept at the Institute of Oriental
Manuscripts, RAS, includes a number of items acquired by
the Library of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences in
the 18th century. Kalmyk manuscripts comprise an important part of
them, being probably the world’s biggest collection of the Kalmyk
texts in Tibetan produced at the time. Some of these texts seem to
have been found and brought to Saint Petersburg after a significant
part of the Kalmyks migrated from the steppe region of southwestern
Russia to their historical homeland Dzungaria, in 1771. Without
doubt, these are precious documents for the study of the Kalmyk
book culture, bilingual from the very beginning as Tibetan was used
along with Oirat (Kalmyk). They can be divided into two main parts:
1) bundles of loose folios and 2) scrolls made to be inserted into the
Buddhist prayer wheels.
In 2018–2019, two big scrolls of this kind, Tib. 960 and Tib. 963,4
were conserved and scrutinized...