Monthly Archives: November 2013

Old Mongolian Manuscript Maps

Old Mongolian Manuscript Maps

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Description of Maps

You can search descriptions on the maps (except Map 14, 15) by words and/or by features.

PUBLICATION Futaki Hiroshi and Kamimura Akira(eds) 2005. Landscapes Reflected in Old Mongolian Maps, 東京外国語大学大学院21世紀COEプログラム「史資料ハブ地域文化研究拠点」叢書. Centre for Documentation & Area-Transcultural Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Kamimura’s article (PDF 3M)

e-mail to the author (C) Copyright 2004, KAMIMURA Akira Created : 2004/12/20 Last Modified : 2007/04/27

The Tibetan-Mongolian Rare Books and Manuscripts (TMRBM) project

Project Background

The Tibetan and Mongolian Rare Books and Manuscripts project came about   as a collaborative effort between many scholars and institutions in the   UK, US and Europe and the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences (TASS) in the   Tibet Autonomous Region. The project was conceived through the inspirations of the late E. Gene Smith   and Alak Zengkar Tudeng Nima, seated below, the two most respected and   renowned bibliographers of Tibetan literature in the world. Their visit   to Cambridge in 2003 and preliminary assessment of the collections of   the Tibetan and Mongolian books in the University Library, Cambridge and   the British Library gave the first impetus for this project.   Following this, Dr Stephen   Hugh-Jones, Dr Hildegard Diemberger and Dr Craig Jamieson set out to establish  a co-operative venture among librarians, Tibetologists and anthropologists  at Cambridge, the British Library, the Bodleian Library, and the TASS in  order to work on the many rare Tibetan and Mongolian books  in  UK  libraries.


The Tibetan-Mongolian Rare Books and Manuscripts  (TMRBM) project aims to document, consolidate, catalogue and make accessible  the rare Tibetan and Mongolian books in the University Library, Cambridge,  the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the British Library in London, with focus on the collection acquired during the Younghusband Mission to Tibet in 1903–4.   Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Resource  Enhancement Scheme, the project is administered by the Mongolia & Inner  Asia Sudies Unit (MIASU) within the Department of Social Anthropology,  University of Cambridge in collaboration with scholars and institutions in the UK, US, Europe, Bhutan, Nepal and China.

They made an application to the Arts and Humanities Research  Board (now Arts and Humanities Research Council) for funding to conserve,   consolidate and catalogue the Tibetan and Mongolian resources available in the three libraries, with primary focus on the books collected by the  Younghusband Mission to Tibet in 1903–4. In Autumn  2003, they   were awarded a generous Resource Enhancement Grant to be administered  in Cambridge. Subsequently,  the project built a network of professional consultants and advisors.  In relation to the Tibetan Materials these include: Alak Zengkar Tuden  Nima (Paltseg Research Institute, New York), Dr Robert Barnett (Weatherhead  East Asian Institute, Columbia University, New York), Prof. David Germano  (Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library, University of Virginia), Ralf Kramer (Keeper of Tibetan Collections, Bodleian Library), Dr Ulrich Pagel (School of Oriental and African Studies, London), Burkhard Quessel (Curator,   Tibetan Collections, British Library) E. Gene Smith (Tibetan Buddhist  Resource Centre, New York), Pasang Wangdu (Tibetan Academy of Social  Sciences) and Per Sorenson (Leipzig University). Dr Karma Phuntsho    was appointed as the chief researcher for the project in March, 2004.

For the Mongolian Materials these include: Professor  Bat-Ireedui (Mongolia National University, Professor Erdenibayar (Inner Mongolia University), Dr Hürelbaatar (Depty Director, MIASU, University  of Cambridge), Dr David Sneath (Director,      MIASU, University of Cambridge), Professor  Caroline Humphrey, (Department of Social Anthropology,University of Cambridge), Uranchimeg (Ph.D student,    SOAS)

Dr Karma Phuntsho, an expert in Tibetan literature, was appointed as the chief researcher for the project. His expertise was obtained through both a rigorous traditional  monastic education and form academic training (PhD in Buddhist Studies, University of Oxford). In March 2004 work began on the project to microfilm, digitize and catalogue the materials.


1) to provide long-term archiving of the Younghusband Collection, additional   Cambridge Tibetan holdings and major UK Mongolian holdings through microfilm  and digital technologies

2) to provide a catalogues of the Younghusband Collection,  additional Cambridge Tibetan holdings and major UK Mongolian holdings through microfilm and digital technologies in conjunction with a planned a Union  catalogue of UK-based Tibetan-Mongolian holdings

3) to make available major Tibetan  and Mongolian texts for the preparation of scholarly editions and studies

4) to provide public, highly accessible reproductions of major  Tibetan and Mongolian texts, thus enabling detailed study of documents from remote sites

5) to enable the repatriation of copies of texts to Tibet and Mongolia in support of cultural heritage efforts there

6) to support those involved in reconstructing incomplete texts or series by facilitating access to relevant fragments and volumes

7) to facilitate the study, re-collection  and understanding of the cultures and literatures of Tibet and Mongolia and to encourage inter-disciplinary and regional approaches to study by presenting Mongolian resources in conjunction with Tibetan materials, in view of the numerous cultural, historical and geographical reasons for bringing them together

8) to draw attention of scholars to the historicity and cultural correlates of library collections and their formation and to provide resources for the comparative study of colonial-British and indigenous-Asian libraries.

Mongolian Materials

THe project has created a catalogue of the Mongolian block prints  and manuscripts at the British Library in XML format (MASTER), including extensive quotes and detailed descriptions (both physical and of the content),  cross references to other catalogues and subject headings from colophons  and other relevant passages in Mongolian language.

The British Library has acquired through the Endangered Archives scheme a substantial amount of Mongolian materials from the Danzann Ravjaa Collection which have been added to the BL collection and together will form the basis for the Union Catalogue of Mongolian Resources.


(MIASU, Cambridge University, UK)

Ancient Mongolian Buddhist Scriptures and Collections in China

by Delger (Inner Mongolia University Library)

Mongolian Buddhism was adopted from Tibetan Buddhism and much of its recent characteristics from Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelugpa School. As early as 14th and 15th centuries, the Mongol emperors of the Great Mongol Yuan Empire had already converted to Tibetan Buddhism, but it had not yet become a national religion at that time. In the 16th century, at the period of Altan Khan, the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism spread throughout Mongolia, and Buddhist monasteries were built across Mongolia, both in Inner Mongolia and Outer Mongolia later. After Buddhism was adopted in Mongolia, over two thousand monasteries were built. Most of them had printing houses and libraries. The Ancient Mongolian Buddhist scriptures have been preserved in these monasteries and libraries or in private libraries. Unfortunately, a lot of ancient Mongolian Buddhist scriptures have been lost in the long run of nomadic life, war and political movements. After the founding of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in 1947, and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the most part of these collections have been collected and preserved in public libraries or in the Ancient Books Office of the Committee of Nationalities Affaires. Unfortunately, most of them were burnt or destroyed during the ten years of disturbance of the Cultural Revolution. Same thing happened in Mongolia during the socialist cultural movements in the early 20th century.

According to Catalogue of Mongolian Ancient Books and Documents of China, there are over 17,000 items of Mongolian rare books preserved in Inner Mongolia and other parts of China, over 60% of them are Buddhist scriptures, dating from 13th century to the late 19th century.

Chronicle description on ancient Mongolian Buddhist scripture translations

1.       The Great Mongol Yuan Empire or Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)

In 1246, the great Tibetan Buddhist Lama Saja Bandida Gunggajalsan (1182-1251) was invited by Prince Gudan Noyan (the second son of Emperor Ogedei ) to Liangzhou (located in the Gansu Province today); he preached Buddhism to Mongolian royal family and aristocrats.


In 1237, the government of the Great Yuan Mongol Empire established Sudur Bichig-un Huriyeleng (Institute of Archives and Documents), in 1264, Yuan Ulus-un Teuhe Johiyahu Huriyeleng (Institute of Yuan Empire History) in Khan Balgasu (Beijing). There were 453 staffs, among them, 108 Mongolian Bichigechi (bookmen), 34 Mongolian Hagulugchi (transcriptor) and 204 translators for histories. Hence the Buddhist scripture translation into the Mongolian language started officially.


*  Delger is………………….at the Inner Mongolia University Library


There were three great Buddhist scholars of Yuan Empire in history, namely Choijiodzar, Shirebsengge and Barazanashiri. (1)Choijiodzar, during the period of Oljeitu Khan (1295-1307) and Ayurbalbad Buyantu Khan (1312-1320), he was translating and compiling Buddhist scriptures into Mongolian in Daidu (Beijing), he finished Hutugtu Manshuriri-yin ner-e-yi uneker ugulehui, from Tibetan into Mongolian; Buvadhi Saduva-yin yabudul-dur oruhui neretu sastir, from Sanskrit into Mongolian; he also translated many other scriptures as Banzaragcha; (2)Shirebsengge, during the period of Esentemur Khan (1324-1328), translated Banzaragcha and Altangerel into Mongolian, referred with its Sanskrit, Uygur and Chinese manuscripts; (3)Barazanashiri, during the period of Oljeitu Khan and Togtemur Jayagatu Khan (1328-1332), translated Dolugan Ebugen Neretu Odon-u Sudur from Chinese into Mongolian and printed 2,000 xylographic copies in 1328. He also translated other Buddhist scriptures as Samadi-yin Sudur (from Chinese) and Sedhishi Ugei Samadi-yin Sudur (from Tibetan).These three scholars and translators made the first basic translations of Buddhist scriptures into Mongolian.


2.       The Period of Northern Yuan Empire (1368-1634)

Due to the clap downs of the Great Yuan Empire, Mongol Emperors and the royal family moved to their homeland and more disturbances occurred, the Buddhist scripture translation had stopped in the early two hundred years of this era (1348-1548), hence this period called “the Dark Period for Buddhist Scripture” in history.

Altan Khan (1507-1581), a Mongol king from the Golden Family, invited Sonam Gyatso  (1543–1588), the head of the rising Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism to a summit. Altan Khan gave the title of Dalai Lama (Ocean Knowledge Teacher) to the Tibetan Buddhism leader, which his successors still hold. In the following century the Yellow Sect spread throughout Mongolia. The Sutra translation recovered again and development of the Buddhism came to its most prosperous stage in Mongolia; Altan Khan and his successors, helped and supported the translation and printing of a great many sutras into Mongolian. Among the scholars, Shiregetu Gushi and Ayushi Gushi were most famous, two of them were organized and did the first whole translation of Ganjuur (tripitica) into Mongolian in 1602-1607 and the second whole translation of Ganjuur, by the order of Ligdan Khan (1592-1634), organized by Gunggaodzar and Samdansengge and translated and hand written in golden ink, 113 volumes, called Golden Ganjuur; in 1638.

3.       The period of the Qing Empire (1636-1912)

The Manchu governors, in order to control Mongols by religious methods with political intrigue, they greatly supported Buddhism in Mongol areas, based on Beijing, the Buddhist scripture translation work in Mongolian was much more prosperous in this period. The Buddhist scriptures that had been translated into Mongolian at the periods of the Great Yuan Empire and the Northern Yuan Empire were printed (as much as had been found and collected), and the Ganjuur and Danjuur were published whole in xylograph.


The Mongolian Ganjuur of 1720: By the order of Kangxi Emperor (1654-1722), at the suggestion of Shiri Beile, Jambarashi Beise and Rashi, the manuscripts of Ligden Khan’s Golden Ganjuur with the Tibetan Ganjuur of Beijing Xylograph of 1683, were translated. Proofreading: Chorji Lubsangchuldum, chief Lama, Da Lama Ganjurba Lubsangchuldum, both from Dulugan Nagur Monastery; Shiri Beile from Sunid, and Demchug Gung from Abag-a were in charge of the proofreading work in Huhe Monastery of Dolugan Nagur, started in 1717. Printing: the works of writing for blocks, cutting blocks for printing, proofreading of writing for blocks and printing were made in Song Zhu Si Temple of Beijing, from 1717-1720, number of the people attending rose to over 200, and consisted of Living Buddhas or Hutugtu, Rabjamba, Lobon, Gushi, Gelung, Gesul, governors; Gong, Beile and Beise from different Banners. The translation was finished in 1720 and published with cinnabar ink and xylograph, hence called Shinghun Bar-un Ganjuur in Mongolian.


The Mongolian Ganjuur of 1720 has 108 volumes and one additional catalogue volume in Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu and Chinese; block size 17×59 cm; it has over 30,000,000 words in total. There are 6 different copies of this Edition in China: Ganjuur in The Library of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, from Hundelen Monastery, the Urad Middle Banner, in 1956; Ganjuur in the Library of Inner Mongolia University Library, from Chagan Agula Monastery, Chahar, in 1959; Ganjuur in the China Nationalities Palace Library, from the Baragun Monastery, Bagarin Right Banner, in 1956; Ganjuur in the China National Library, from Altan Buse Monastery, Urad Middle Banner, in 1961; Ganjuur in the Library of Inner Mongolian Social Science Academy; Ganjuur in Potala Palace, collected since Qing Dynasty. There are only three different copies in the other countries, Ganjuur of 1720 in the National Library of Mongolia; a Ganjuur in Harvard University Library; and an electrostatic copy in India.


The contents of the Mongolian Ganjuur of 1720: It is a whole collection of contents of the Gajuur, it consists of 25 volumes of Dandar-a, 12 volumes of Yum, 4 volumes of Horin Tabun Minggatu, 6 volumes of Arban Naiman Minggatu (including Tumen Shilugtu 1 volume, Naiman Minggatu 1 volume and Eldeb Bilig Bramid 1 volume), 6 volumes of Erdeni Dabhurlig, 6 volumes of Olanghi, 33 volumes of Eldeb, and 16 volumes of Gdulu-a, and is classified into two big categories of Dandr-a (25 volumes) and Sutra (83 volumes counted from the Yum).


There are 756 Buddha color portraits in Gannjuur of 1720, all of them are painted with treasury ink made from gold, silver, coral, pearl, turquoise, Nomin, Labai, Gang, copper, cinnabar and other precious minerals.

The Mongolian Danjuur of 1749: By the order of Emperor Qian Long (1711-1799) in 1741,Living Buddhas or Hutugtus, scholars and translators from Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, leading Lamas from the Tibetan and Mongolian Monasteries in Beijing, Lobon or teachers from Tibetan Mongolian School of Beijing, were gathered in Beijing and formed the Danjuur Translating Team; the team organized and headed by Jangja Hutugtu Rolbidorji and Altan Shiregetu Lobsangdambinim-a. The team consisted of over 200 scholars and translators; Jangja Hutugtu Rolbidorji (1717-1786), compiled a special Tibetan Mongolian Dictionary of Merged Garhu-yin Oron Neretu Togtagagsan Bichig, especially for the great translation, with the help of Altan Shiregetu Lobsangdambinim-a (1689-1762) and other scholars, published in 1742.


Translation work: The translation of the Danjuur was begun in 1742, the Block Print Beijing Edition of Tibetan Danjuur of 1724 was used as the original text, finished in 1749 and published in the same year, with cinnabar ink and xylograph, hence it was called Shinghun Bar-un Danjuur in Mongolian. This edition has 225 volumes, with an additional catalogue volume, block print size 17 x 59cm, 108,016 x 2 pages and over 50,000,000 words in total. There are only three items left in the world: Danjuur in the Library of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, from the Qindamani Monastery, Jalaid Banner, Hulun Boir League in 1958; Danjuur in the Library of Inner Mongolian Social Sciences Academy, from Hayanggiru-a Monastery, Shangdu Aduguchin Banner in 1958; Danjuur in the National Library of Mongolia, from Sechen Wang Nayantu, Sain Khan Noyan Province; and an electrostatic copy in India.


The contents of Mongolian Danjuur of 1749: the concepts are classified into three categories, such as Magtagal-un Chigulgan (Collection of the Praise), Dandar-a-yin Tailburi (Explanations to the Dandar-a) and Sudur-un Tailburi (Explanations to the Sutra). There is one volume of the Magtagal-un Chigulgan which consists of 63 articles, 86 volumes of the Dandar-a-yin Tailburi which consists of 3,017 articles and 136 volumes of the Sudur-un Tailburi which consists of 781 articles. In total, there are 3,861 articles in the Mongolian Danjuur. There are 1,120 Buddha colour portraits in Danjuur of 1749, all of them are painted with treasury ink as same as the Ganjuur’s.


The later Mongolian Buddhist scriptures, independent sutras, the most of them were derived, developed or separately copied from the different editions of these Ganjuur and Danjuur collections.


Classification and Contents of the Mongolian Buddhist Scriptures


According to indexes of the Catalogue of Ancient Mongolian Books and Documents of China (1999), (not including Ancient Mongolian Buddhist scripture collections in Mongolia), there are 14 categories of contents in Mongolian Buddhist scriptures which collected mostly in Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region and some of them are preserved in other provinces of China (the sutra titles and personal names and Buddhist terms, in italics, are given in Mongolian), such as:

1. Ganjuur (Original work collections of Shagjamuni in Tripitika); 2.Danjuur (commentaries on Shagjamuni’s works in Tripitika); 3.Sumbum (Collections of Works); 4. Belge Chinar-un Aimaig (Class of the Exotric Buddhism); 5. Bodi Mor-un Jerge (the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment ); 6. Dandar-un Aimag (Class of Tantra); 7.Sang-un Nom ba Tagalal Tailburi(Terma Explanatory); 8. Sudur Tarni-yin Eldeb Jang Uile(Principles and Rituals of the Esoteric and Exotoric Buddhism); 9.Burhan Shanshin-u Uhagulg-a (Buddhist Propagandas); 10.BURHANBurhan Shashin-u Teuhe (History of Buddhism);11.Namtar Chedeg (Biographies); 12.History of Buddhist Monasteries and Famous Places; 13.Principles of Buddhist Monasteries; 14. Others. These contents of Mongolian Buddhist scriptures cover all categories and contents of Buddhism and there are a lot of great works of Mongolian Lamas also collected into those Mongolian Buddhist scriptures.

The Physical Carrier Description of Mongolian Buddhist Scriptures

1. Date: The Great Mongol Yuan Empire 1271-1368; the Northern Mongol Yuan Empire (Ming Dynasty to Early Qing Dynasty) 1368-1634 ; the Great Qing Empire (Qing Dynasty) 1636-1912.

2. Languages: Most of the ancient Mongolian Buddhist scriptures were written in Uygurjin or classic Mongolian combined with Mongolian Ali Gali Phonetic Sytem , a few in Todo Mongolian, few in Mongolian Square Script, Soyonbo Script, and Vagindar-a Script; Some scriptures were written in Mongolian-Tibetan, or Sanskrit-Mongolian, Mongolian-Tibetan-Chinese, and Mongolian-Tibetan-Chinese-Manchu.

3. Ink: treasury ink made from gold, silver, coral, pearl, turquoise, Nomin, Labai, Gang, copper , cinnabar; common ink of black ink, red ink, blue ink and etc.

4. Editions: manuscripts (written with bamboo pen, wooden pen, bone pen and brush), xylograph or block print, lithography of rare books, unique copies and sample copies or common copies.


5. Most Popular Xylographs: Chagan Agula Sum-e Block Print, Beijing Block Print, Halh-a Block Print, Buriyad Block Print.


6. Sutra Paper: gold plate, silver plate, handmade white paper, thick yellowish paper, white pink paper, yellow paper, blue paper with black background, black paper (papers are popular among them).


7. Sutra Size: block size or edition frame size of 32.x88cm;31.7x41cm;27.×27.3cm;26x28cm;25x25cm;24.5x71cm;23.5×26.9cm;22x50cm;21x21cm;20.6×29.2cm;19×26.4cm;18.8×60.3cm;17x59cm;16.8×59.4cm;15×65.5cm;14.7×51.2cm;13.5x46cm;12.7×45.8cm;11.3×46.5cm;10×55.4cm; 9.5×35.5cm; 8.7×28.7cm; 7.4×31.2cm; 6x21cm; 5.2×27.2cm; 4.3×28.6cm.


8. Sutra decorations:

1) Cover: about 1-0.5cm thick wooden board front and back covers, some of them are decorated with precious stones or gold and silver plates, some of them with curved, or painted with Buddha portraits and golden ink titles.

2) Spines or backs: some of them are painted with Buddhist designs of cinnabar ink or some precious mineral ink, around their four sides.

3) Inside: cinnabar or black ink Buddha portraits on two sides of the first page and the last page, some were printed, and some were hand painted; some sutra were written with red ink and black ink in intervals; some sutras were printed with chromo xylograph.

4) Sutra binding: most of them have ancient Sanskrit style boundings, folios of unbounded sheets (loose-leaves), shorter in height, longer in length, some are in folded pages; the sheets are clipped with the plywood covers from the two sides, and then tied up with two leather ties by the two sides; some leather ties are designed with special buttons; and then put into a square cloth-bindind and packed; the package cloth usually has two colours, dark red and yellow, the yellow ones are most popular; there are some miniature editions of pamphlets and pocket books, too.


Eight Big Collections of Mongolian Buddhist Scriptures in Inner Mongolia and China


Between 1993 and 2003, the eight member libraries, (which have eight big collections of ancient Mongolian Buddhist scriptures in China), of editorial board of the Catalogue of Ancient Mongolian Books and Documents of China, Catalogue of Mongolian Ganjuur and Danjuur, had investigated over 100 public libraries, academic libraries, ancient books offices and private libraries of Inner Mongolia, cities and visited the other provinces and minority autonomous regions of China. They figured out the general preservation amount of ancient Mongolian Buddhist Scriptures and rare books.


According to the investigations, they discovered 17, 218 ancient Mongolian books. There are four libraries’ ancient Mongolian book collections of over 1,000 items; four libraries’ collections over 100-1,000 items; and over 100 libraries, offices and private libraries’ collections of under 100 items. This statistic might have some leaks, but it can show the general preservation amount of ancient Mongolian books in China. 60% or more of these are Buddhist scriptures.


The following is the statistics from these eight libraries (not including ineditcal copies):


1.       Inner Mongolia University Library: wrote 2,857 entries and descriptions, of which 1,542 entries from Inner Mongolia University Library and a few from college collections, over 500 of them are Buddhist scriptures, representing about 50% of the total collection; 1,314 entries from the work division areas of the Huhhot City, the Ulaganchab League, the Juu Uda League (Chifeng Municipality) of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, Shaanxi Province, Taiwan, and private libraries of these areas.


2.       Inner Mongolian Teacher’s University Library: wrote 2,138 entries and descriptions, of which 1,360 entries from Inner Mongolian Teacher’s University Library and a few from college collections, over 1,360 of them are Buddhist scriptures, representing about 80% of the total collection; 513 entries from the work division areas of the Hulun Boir League (Hulun Boir Municipality ), the Hinggan League, the Chichhar City, the Shilingol League of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Tibetan Autonomous Region and private libraries of these areas.

3.       The Library of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region: wrote 2,214 entries and descriptions, of which 2,100 entries from the Library of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, over 600 of them are Buddhist scriptures, representing about 40% of the total collection; 114 entries from the work division areas of the Bayannagur League, the Bugutu City of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Gansu Province and private libraries of these areas.

4.       The Library of the Social Sciences Academy of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region: wrote 6,772 entries and descriptions, of which 6,280 entries from the Library of the Social Sciences Academy of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, over 1,500 of them are Buddhist scriptures, representing about 30% of the total collection; 492 entries from the work division areas of the Alagsha League of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Ningxia Province and private libraries of these areas.

5.         Inner Mongolian Nationalities University Library: wrote 733 entries and descriptions, of which 215 entries from Inner Mongolian Nationalities University Library and a few from college collections, over 184 of them are Buddhist scriptures, representing about 80% of the total collection; 549 entries from the work division areas of the Jirim League (Tongliao Municipality) of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Liaoning Province, Jilin Province and private libraries of these areas.

6.         China National Library: wrote 1,731 entries and descriptions, of which 845 entries from China National Library, representing about 30% of the total collection are Buddhist scriptures; 886 entries from the work division areas of Beijing City, Tianjin City, Yinchuan City, Nanjing City, Chongqing City, Shanghai City, Anhui Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangxi Province, Fujian Province, Guangdong Province, Hubei Province, Hunan Province, Shandong Province, Shanxi Province, Henan Province, Sichuan Province, Yunnan Province, Ningxia Province and Guangxi Zhuag Autonomous Region and private libraries of these areas.

7.         Central Nationalities University Library: wrote 550 entries and descriptions, of which 108 entries from Inner Mongolian Nationalities University Library and a few from college collections, about 50% of the total collection are Buddhist scriptures; 291 entries from the work division areas of Beijing City, Xinjiang Autonomous Region and private libraries of these areas.

8. Inner Mongolian Nationalities University Library: wrote 217 entries and descriptions,  of which 144 entries from Inner Mongolian Nationalities University Library and college collections, and about 50% of the total collection are Buddhist scriptures; 73 entries from the work division areas of Beijing City, Tibetan Autonomous Region and private libraries of these areas.


1. Catalogue of Mongolian Ancient Books and Documents of China, 3 volumes, by Urinhirag-a and Delger and the Editorial Board, Beijing Library Press, December 1999

2. Catalogue of Mongolian Ganjuur and Danjuur, 2 volumes, by Urinhirag-a and Delger and the Editorial Board, the Yuanfang Publishing House of Inner Mongolia, September 2003

3. Minority Documents Utilization and Digital Management, by Delger, Chinese Edition, Inner Mongolia Educational Press, March 2007

4. A Brief Introduction to the Catalogue of Mongolian Ancient Books of China and Statistics on the Mongolian Ancient Books, by Delger, 1998 (additional version), Journal of China Library Science

5. The Golden Tripitaka (Ganjuur) Was Commissioned by Ligden Khan and Ligden’s Contributions to Mongolian Culture, by Delger, Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Mongolian Edition), No. 4 /2010

6. A Brief Introduction to Mongolian Buddhist Scriptures and Collections in China, by Delger, talks given in British Universities or Academy, in 2011-2012


* Published: Focus on International Libraryand Information Work,Volume 44, Number 2, 2013 Editorial 43, London, UK


Mongolian Studies at the IOM

The beginning of Mongolian studies in St Petersburg dates back to the period from late 18th to early 19th centuries. Initially the basis for these studies was the collection of manuscripts kept at the Asian Museum of Imperial Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Oriental Studies of St Petersburg University. The first Mongolian scholars were J.I.Schmidt (1779-1847), A.V.Popov (1808-1880) and K.F.Golstunsky (1831-1899). The period from late 19th to early 20th centuries became the “Golden Age” of Mongolian studies in Petersburg, with A.M.Pozdneev (1851-1920), V.L.Kotvich (1872-1944), A.D.Rudnev (1878-1958), B.Y.Vladimirtsov (1884-1931), N.N.Poppe (1897-1991) as the preeminent scholars.
In 1930, at the Institute of Oriental Studies the Mongolian Section was established where experts in the main fields of Mongolian studies worked till 1941. Their names are: N.N.Poppe, G.D.Sanzheev, V.A.Kazakevich, G.N.Rumyantsev, V.D.Yakimov, S.D.Dylykov, S.A.Kozin, Ts.Zh.Zhamtsarano, B.I.Pankratov, T.A.Burdukova, A.I.Vorobyova, E.P.Lebedeva, L.S.Puchkovsky.
The main tasks for the researchers were to edit and study sources on Mongolian history, to publish folk literature and to work on The Comprehensive Mongolian-Russian Dictionary. After World War 2 the compilation of the dictionary was continued under the leadership of S.A.Kozin. However, the dictionary was published only in March 2001.
In 1956, the Department of Turkic and Mongolian Studies was founded, with L.S.Puchkovsky, I.I.Iorish, T.P.Goreglyad and A.I.Vorobyova as the academic contingent. They continued the cataloguing of the Mongolian manuscripts and block-printed books, which had been started before WW2, and the research into archival documents on Mongolian studies. A small part of the manuscripts collection including texts on history, law and administrative system was described by L. S. Puchkovsky, his catalogue being published in 1957.
During the 1970s, more than 4000 Mongolian manuscripts were found during the processing of the Tibetan collection of the Institute. All of them needed cataloguing and describing. This work was started by a Hungarian scholar G.Kara who was working at the Institute in 1968-1969. In 1972, he published a monograph entitled Books of Mongolian Nomads [Книги монгольских кочевников] which was then defended by him as a PhD dissertation at the Faculty of Oriental Studies of Leningrad State University. The monograph, with some additions, was also published in English.
Dr A.G.Sazykin (1943-2005) took up the work on describing Mongolian manuscripts and block-prints. He joined the Department in 1971 and it is to him that we owe the completion of the description and cataloguing of the collection of Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs and the publication of its 3-volume catalogue. Dr A.Sazykin also described two collections else: that of the State Museum of Religions, in St Petersburg, and the one of the Tuvan Ethnological Museum “Sixty Heroes”, the city of Kyzyl. Moreover, Sazykin published some translations and studies on Mongolian manuscripts. His PhD dissertation was devoted to a Buddhist eschatological text entitled The Story of Choijid-dagini [Повесть о Чойджид-дагини], it was afterwards published as a monograph and can be seen as a masterpiece of textological study. This eschatological study was continued by the publishing of a number of other texts, such as The Story of Naranu-gerel [Повесть о Нарану-гэрэл], The Story of Gusyu Lama [Повесть о Гусю-ламе], On the Benefits of Vajracchedika [О пользе Ваджрачхедики]. Several other redactions of the same texts were then compiled in a book entitled Visions of the Buddhist Hell [Видения буддийского ада]. In addition to this, Sazykin published some more manuscripts, not so large, but of great interest, containing the instructions of Buddhist hierarchs to the community of believers: To Those Who Smoke Tobacco, Against Shamanism, Against the Expansion of Christianity. One more direction of his scholarly work was publishing texts belonging to the genre of itineraries. He collaborated a lot with Hungarian scholars and, with Dr A.Sárközi as his co-author, edited a volume of religious texts, including Manjushri-nama-samgiti and The Story of Choijid-dagini, supplied with translations from Old Mongolian and Oirat into Russian (the book was issued in 2005). He also completed the edition of the Oirat biography of Zaya Pandit, the founder of the so-called “clear script”, prepared by G.N.Rumyantsev. All in all, A.G.Sazykin edited more than thirty texs belonging to Mongol written heritage. Among his more than one hundred papers there are those on the history of Mongol literature, certain literary genres, Mongol manuscripts, and the history of Mongolian studies.
N.S.Yakhontova (at the Department of Turkic and Mongolian Studies since 1982) is another scholar who edits texts kept at the Institute. She wrote a monograph The Oirat Version of “The Story of Molon-toyn“, St Petersburg 1999; and a short paper The “Oyun tülkigür“ or “Key to Wisdom“: Text and translation based on the MSS in the Institute for Oriental Studies at St.Petersburg, published in Mongolian Studies (Bloomington),Vol. 23, 2000.
T.Y.Yevdokimova (works at the Department from 1981) focusens on the didactic treatise representing popular Buddhism, The Shastra Entitled “The Bunch of White Lotuses” , which is kept at the IOM in various redactions in both Tibetan and Mongol.
V.L.Uspensky (worked at the Department from 1984 till 2007) ran the cataloguing work. In 1994-96 and 2002-05, he took part in the project of the compilation of computer data base of the IOM’s Tibetan library. He compiled and published in English a catalogue of the Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs kept at the academic library of St Petersburg University (Токио, 1999—2000 in 2 vols; 2001 as 1 vol). This is one of the best collections of Mongol old books worldwide and the best one in Russia. V.L.Uspensky wrote also a book about the Manchu Prince Yunli who was a leading expert in Tibetan Buddhism and himself wrote some Buddhist treatises in Mongol (published in Japan in 1997, in English).
In 1966, I.I.Iorish published the first volume of the description of archival documents relating to the history, law and economics of Mongol peoples, The Documents on the Mongols, Kalmucks, Buryats, Kept at the Leningrad Archives [Материалы о монголах, калмыках и бурятах в архивах Ленинграда]. I.Iorish also carried on the research into the history of Russian Mongol studies. Thus, he published an account of works by Leningrad Mongolists on the history of Mongolia, a short paper and an uncompleted monograph about A.M.Pozdneev, a preeminent scholar from the 19th century, and a chapter on the history of Mongol studies prepared for the special book dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Asiatic Museum.
Among the major academic interests of I.V.Kulganek (at the Department since 1977) is the history of Mongol studies. She editedThe Diaries of Ts. Jamtsaran of 1903—1906, along with her Buryat colleagues such as Ts.P. Vanchikova and V.Ts. Lyksokova (published in Ulan-Ude 2001); The Diaries of A. Kondratiev, a Participant of the P.K. Kozlov Expedition of 1923—1926, ed. along with D.D. Vassiliev (punlished in Moscow 2000); Russia-Mongolia-China: The Diary of the Mongolist O.M.Kovalevsky. 1830-1831, ed. along with R.M.Valeev (published in Kazan 2006); The Life and Academic Activities of S.A.Kondratyev (1896-1970): in Mongolia and in Russia, ed. along with V.Zhukov (St Petersburg 2006); and wrote more than 20 papers on the personal archives of Mongolian scholars such as O.M.Kovalevsky, A.M.Pozdneev, A.V.Burdukov, T.A.Burdukova, G.D.Sanzheev, the Buryat scholar from the early 20th century Agvan Dorjiev, and on various archival documents concerning Buryats and Kalmucks. To the same area belongs also a paper by N.S.Yakhontova on the history of the study of Mongol Secret History in Russia and the USSR.
Folklore of Mongol peoples is another principal object of I.V.Kulganek’s studies. Her PhD dissertation Poetics of Mongol Folk Songs [Поэтика монгольских народных песен] and the monograph, based upon it, The World of Mongolian Folk Songs [Мир монгольских народных песен], treat traditional songs of Mongols. In 2000, The Catalogue of Folk Materials Kept at the Archives of the Orientalists at the St Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, the RAS [Каталог фольклорных материалов Архива востоковедов при СПбФ ИВ РАН] was published. She wrote a number of papers on Mongolian folk literature, manuscripts containing pieces of Mongolian folklore kept at the IOM’s manuscripts collection, and relating documents from the Archives of the Orientalists at the IOM. In these papers she considered some principal subjects such as genres of Mongol folk literature, poetics of folk songs, pieces of folk poetry composed by children, culture of folk humor, history of translation of religious literature, theory of translation of literary texts. Theoretical developments are realized also in practice as literary and poetical translations from Mongolian, some of which were published while the others are used for the special course, Mongolian Folklore, delivered at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg University.
Linguistic studies are represented with a monograph on the Oirat language and a number of papers on various subjects by N.S.Yakhontova.
From 1994, the Mongolists of the Department edits their own periodical, Mongolica (editorial board includes S.G. Klyashtornyj, I.V.Kulganek, N.S.Yakhontova). By now, eight issues have been published. Each of them was dedicated to a common theme or memorable date. К настоящему времени вышел шестой его выпуск. Каждый из них посвящен какой-либо сквозной теме, или памятной дате. Thus, the third one was entitled The Archives of Russian Mongolists from the 19th and 20th Centuries, the fourth was dedicated to the 90th birthday of Tc.Damdinsuren, the fifth was in memory of Dr K. Golstunskiy (on the occasion of the centenary of his death), the sixth was devoted to the 150th birthday of Dr A.Pozdneyev, the seventh to the 100th anniversary of D.Natsagdorj, the eighth to the 190th anniversary of the Asiatic Museum. It has several heads such as From the Manuscripts Heritage, From the Archives of the Orientalists, Our Translations, and Reviews.
In 2000, the Department organized the conference Documents on the Mongolian and Turkic Peoples Kept at the Russian Archives [Материалы о монгольских и тюркских народах в архивах России], and its proceedings were subsequently published as a book.
An essential part of the academic activities of all the Institute’s Mongolists is their involvement in various conferences held at the Institute, in Russia, or abroad. Every year, a ten papers are delivered in Russian, English, or Mongolian. The Department keeps academic contacts with both Russian regional Mongolist centers such as those from Kalmykia, Buryatia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan), and foreign ones such as those from Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, China, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the USA, Australia, and Japan.
Activities aimed at the widening of academic contacts between Russian and Mongolian colleagues, participation in joint conferences, expeditions and other academic events remain among priorities for the Department’s scholars. They carried out a number of trainings and long academic trips to Mongolia for the accumulation of data for their monographs, practicing Spoken language, learning achievements of Mongolian colleagues and presenting them those of Russian scholars.
Every year the Institute’s Mongolists supervise students of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg State Universities, who have to write their qualification papers and MA theses.
The IOM’s Mongolists keep constant academic contacts with foreign colleagues. It was mentioned that in early 1970s G.Kara, a well-known Hungarian scholars, worked at the Institute for 3 years. The academician of Mongolian Academy of Sciences Ts. Damdinsüren was also a fellow of the Department and prepared here his monograph Ramayana in Mongolia [Рамаяна в Монголии]. It is worth mentioning that in the 1950s the Institute of Oriental Studies published another book by Ts.Damdinsüren, The Historical Roots of Gesar Epic [Исторические корни Гесериады]. Ts.Damdinsüren was followed by his younger Mongolian colleague, D. Yondon, later the head of the Institute of Language and Literature, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. While working at the Institute in 1981-84, he wrote and defended his Habilitation dissertation published as a monograph Fairy Tale Motifs in Tibetan and Mongolian Literatures [Сказочные сюжеты в памятниках тибетской и монгольской литератур] (Moscow 1987). At the Department there worked some other researchers from Mongolia such as B.Rinchen, L.Bold, Kh.Sampildendev, J.Enebish, Sh.Bira, Ch.Biligsaikhan, Olziibayar, R.Otgonbaatar, Ch.Dashdava, D.Bayar, D.Nansalma, Ts.Saraltsatsral, D.Erdenbaatar, N.Khishigt; and from China such as Ardajav, Zhao Zikui, Bulag (Bao Ligao), T.Jamtso, B.Davagva, U.Setsenmunkh, Jalfunga, Damrinzhav, Ayurjav, etc., and Mongolists from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Germany.
All the current or recent Mongolists of the Institute such as N.S.Yakhontova, T.Y.Yedvokimova, I.V.Kulganek, V.L.Uspensky and A.G.Sazykin were once doctoral students at the Institute. A dozen scholars from various Russian academic centers wrote or discussed their PhD and Habilitation dissertations at the Department of Turkic and Mongolian Studies of the IOM. Among them there are some respected academics such as N.O.Sharakshinova, D.A.Alekseev, Ts.D.Nominkhanov, E.R.Rygdylon, T.A.Bertagaev. Among recent doctoral students we should mention the names of K.V.Orlova, senior researcher at the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies (supervised by A.G.Sazykin), I.V.Manevskaya, researcher at the University of Manchester (supervised by I.V.Kulganek), D.N.Murzaeva, head of the Manuscripts Department at the Kalmykian Institute for Humanities, Elista (supervised by V.L.Uspensky), B.S.Zadvaev, researcher at the Kalmykian Institute for Humanities, Elista (supervised by S.G.Klyashtornij).

Dr N.S.Yakhontova, Dr I.V.Kulganek Translated by A.Zorin, M.Rogacheva; proofread by S.Wickham-Smith

Last Updated ( 16/03/2009 )



The 2nd Mongolian Studies Open Conference has been held in Canberra of Australia

The 2nd Mongolian Studies Open Conference has been held in Canberra of Australia.  Some 20 scholars from Mongolia, Australia, South Korea, the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China and America took part in the conference and considered some research works on various topics of Mongolian history, culture and society. The conference was hosted by the Mongolian Studies Centre at the Australian National University with support of the Mongolian Embassy in Australia.


Tuvan Center for Mongolian Studies Was Opened in Kyzyl

Marianna Kharunova

Tuvan Center for Mongolian Studies Was Opened in Kyzyl On November 26, 2010 Tuvan Center for Mongolian Studies at the Tuvan Institute for Research in the Humanities under the Government of the Republic of Tyva was opened. Among the guests of honor at the event there was the Consul General of Mongolia in Kyzyl in the Russian Federation Mr. Dashbalbar Bazarsad. Director of the TIRH Bicheldey Kaadyr-ool introduced aims and goals of the center and its short-range plans. Research and scientific events will be conducted within the framework of the formerly signed agreements with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and other scientific institutions of Mongolia. The Tuvan Institute for Research in the Humanities, Tuvan State University, and Aldyn Maadyr National Museum of the Republic of Tyva create the scientific basis of the center. It was also announced at the presentation that they are planning to hold the III International Conference “Tengriism and Epic Heritage of the Nations of Eurasia” in Kyzyl from July 1 till 3 July, 2011.


Mongolian language course

An intensive course in the Mongolian language held at the Australian National University (ANU) in January 2013 is the first of its kind in Australia.

Six students participated in the three-week course which was delivered by Dr Batzaya Gerelt-Od from Ulaanbataar University. Dr Batzaya is a specialist in teaching Mongolian to foreigners. The participants included ANU postgraduate students, staff and people from the public. The language course also included presentations on the history and culture of Mongolia.

The course was arranged by the director of the ANU Mongolian Studies Centre, Professor Li Narangoa, who was very pleased at the outcome. “We offer Mongolian as part of the normal undergraduate program in the College of Asia-Pacific”, said Professor Li, “but I felt it was important to also offer an intensive course to people who were unable to attend classes during the academic year”.

ANU is the only tertiary institution in the southern hemisphere to offer a comprehensive program of teaching and research in Mongolian studies and thus it is breaking new ground.

ANU hopes to hold the intensive course again in 2014.