Uspensky V. Two Years of Cataloguing of the Tibetan Collection in the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies: Some Problems and Perspectives // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 2. No. 1. March 1996. P. 51—53.
The St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies
of the Russian Academy of Sciences (henceforth the
Institute) possesses one of the world's largest collection of
the Tibetan xylographs and manuscripts. Outside Asia it is
the largest collection of such kind. Its origin goes back to
the eighteenth century, and it had been increasing rapidly
up to the mid-twentieth century.
At present the Tibetan collection of the Institute numbers
about 20.000 items, the amount of works’ titles has
never been counted (surely, there are numerous duplicates
there). The most voluminous are the collections of Tibetan
books printed in the Peking and Buriat monasteries. The
books printed in Central Tibet and, especially, in Amdo are
Needless to say that the cataloguing of such a big
amount of block prints is a very hard and time-consuming
work. Attempts were made in the 1930s to make a card
catalogue, but the Second World War calamities and the
transferring of the Institute to another building soon after
the end of the war, along with many other misfortunes of
the time, prevented this work from being completed. At
present a huge cardfile represents a sad memorial to this
work, as the library numbers, which the cards refer to, have
In 1992 the Institute signed an agreement with the
Asian Classics Input Project (henceforth ACIP) on the
IBM-based computer cataloguing of the Tibetan collection...
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