(A Report of IFLA ALP Project No. 229)
By Sun Beixin Urinhirag-a( Delger translated from Chinese into English, polished by IFLA)
Compiling the Union Catalogue of Mongolian Ancient Materials of China is a scientific research item of Social Science Programs of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region and Social Science Foundation of China in 1994. And also, it was registered as a project of IFLA ALP in 1997. The scientific research achievements will be : 1. Compiling and publishing “A CATALOGUE OF ANCIENT MONGOLIAN BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS OF CHINA” in three volumes, and “CATALOGUE OF GANJUUR AND TANJUUR” in two volumes. 2. If it is possible, developing data base of “A CATALOGUE OF ANCIENT MONGOLIAN BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS OF CHINA”. After the six years of hard work and joint efforts, we have finished the editing and publishing of the Book, which consists of three volumes.
This project is sponsored by several institutes (Sorting and Research Office for Minority Ancient Books of China, Sorting and Research Office for Ancient Books of Inner Mongolia, National Library of China, Library of Inner Mongolia University, Library of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Library of Social Sciences Academy of Inner Mongolia, Library of Normal University of Inner Mongolia, Library of Minority Normal College of inner Mongolia, China Nationalities Library, Library of Nationalities University of China. The editorial board consists of Mongolian librarians who come from eight libraries mentioned above.
The Union Catalogue of Ancient Mongolian Books and Documents of China is a big reference book of scientific research, rare materials and practical values. In this catalogue, we registered the total amount of 13,100 of ancient books and documents, which were printed or composed with the year before May 1947 in Inner Mongolia and before October 1949 in China. These Mongolian antique books have long history, wide courses, substantial contents, varied types, beautiful handwritings and bindings. There are a lot of rare treasures in this book. 66 titles of Uigurjin Mongolian literatures (18 titles of inscriptions on ancient bronzes and stone tablets, 11 titles of books, 37 titles of grotto stone inscriptions) which were formed between thirteenth century to seventeenth century. 110 titles of Pagspa Mongolian literatures of imperial edicts, signs used as tokens of authority, inscriptions of stone tablets and wreckage pages of books in Yuan Dynasty. Ming Dynasty handwriting copies of Dictionary of Translations for Chinese Minority Tatar Words. A Text book for Uigur Language; and wreckages of Golden Word Ganjuur etc. Qing Dynasty 108 volumes of woodcut print of Vermilion Word GANJUUR. 225 volumes of woodcut print of Vermilion Word TANJUUR. Handwriting copies of “The Real History of Qing Dynasty”. Handwriting copies of translation of Chinese novel “Journey to the West” in Todo Mongolian letters. Injanashi’s personal handwriting of “Stories of the Cuckoo”, etc. The catalogue consists of main part, the indexes and the appendix. The main part is made up of four sections such as the books and scriptures, the archives and materials, the inscriptions of bronze or stone tablets and periodicals including 10301 entries, 2223 entries, 532 entries and 54 entries separately. The main part has the classified layout, the titles of the same kind books are arranged by the order of Mongolian Letters, but some documents are arranged by their contents or times, such as the Buddhist biographies, historical novels, almanacs, inscriptions of bronze or stone tablets and periodicals. The classical Mongolian Letters are used as a description word here and the title of the literature, names of the authors or publishers, and quoted word of the explanation – are written in their original ones. Each entry has its general order number, first title, second title, coordinate title, explanations to the title, author, edition, published place, publisher and published time, physical pattern, binding form, explanation and code names of the different storing libraries. Its Indexes consist of Mongolian Title Index, Latin Transcription Title Index and Chinese Translation Title Index. Appendix is A Concise Catalogue of New Editions of the Mongolian Antique Books (1949.10-1998) including 370 titles of Mongolian antique books and folklore. The Union Catalogue has about 4,000,000 words, consist of three volumes. It has published by The Beijing Library Publishing House.
The Catalogue has the characters of complete including, standard description, scientific classification and easy searching. Firstly, the editors had made investigations to the 180 related libraries, institutions and 80 private or personal libraries of China, and collected 152,000 original entries and more systematically reflected overall aspects of storing of Mongolian literature in China. Secondly, according to the International Standard Book Description (ISBD) and Chinese Standard Book Description (GB 3792), drew up an Editing Essentials for the compiling of A CATALOGUE OF ANCIENT MONGOLIAN BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS OF CHINA. Adopt determined, description marks, description principle and methods, did objective standard descriptions to the Mongolian literature. Have did certain textual researches for their formed times, related information to the author and their edition and recorded prefaces and postscripts of some books. And also reflected the aspects of Mongolia literature cataloging and requirements of the cataloging of the Catalogue, e.g. there are 13 kinds of written languages, and added 8 types to the edition description of the hand-copied books. Made a very good integration between the principle of standard description and Mongolian antique books. Thirdly, according to the classification system, order marks and classifying rules of THE CHINESE LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION, laid down the Guiding Classification of the catalogue became scientific and practical. Fourthly, the three different indexes of the Mongolian Title Index, the Latin Title Index, the Chinese Translation Index, offered different searching ways to the users, and improved its practical rate and scope.
CATALOGUE OF GANJUUR AND TANJUUR would been completed in few months, it would been published by the end of this year.
At present, we are investigating on the possibility of developing the database. But the main problem is lack of a computer OS platform, which can support the ISO Mongolian standard code. Only when this problem is solved, it is possible to develop the database of Mongolian Ancient Books provided for national and international users.