Zorin A. Tibetan Buddhist Texts Acquired by the Russian Academy of Sciences during the 18th Century // Journal of the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies. Vol. XIX. Tokyo: ICPBS, 2015. P. 184—142.
Two years ago, the legendary collection of Tibetan book leaves
brought to St. Petersburg from deserted Buddhist monasteries in South
Siberia in the first third of the 18th century was refound at the Institute of
OrientalManuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The present
paper offers a new look at the history of their acquisition based upon
carefulexamination of archivaldocuments and personalwitnesses from the
18th century. Thus, I argue that the first Tibetan texts were brought to St.
Petersburg from the so-called Sem Palat monastery in ca. 1718 before the
large library at Ablaikit monastery was found in 1721 and its 6 leaves were
delivered to Peter the Great and then were brought to London and Paris. In
1734, about 1,500 leaves from Ablaikit were sent by G. Müller and J. Gmelin
to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, the major part of them being in
Mongolian. Their consequent “life” in the library of the Academy of
Sciences and then the Asiatic Museum, now the IOM RAS, is outlined, too...