Posts tagged ‘Rare and special books’

Special collections: old Manchu and Mongolian books

Old Manchu and Mongolian books

The East Asian Library in Leiden University has a collection of 40 old books and manuscripts in Manchu. Most of these were described in Professor Hartmut Walravens’ German 1986 catalogue of 35 Manchu books, which were published as “Mandjurische Bücher im Sinologisch Instituut, Leiden”. This collection originates mostly from seven 19th century scholars. We also have a small collection of old Mongolian books, comprising one calendar and four Christian items.

This collection also comprises 5 Mongolian books and 5 Imperial or Presidential Decrees for meritorious officials. Half of the Manchu books are linguistic works; there are also many translations of Chinese classics and fiction. Special works are the Manchu translation of the Jin Ping Mei and the admonitions of the Qianlong and Jiaqing emperors. (more…)

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May 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Special collections: Rare and special books (VGK)

Rare and special books (VGK)

After the founding of the Sinological Institute in 1930, the majority of the 850 Chinese books inside the Leiden University Library were moved to the Chinese library of the Sinological Institute, later the East Asian Library. Since the summer of 2016 all of the collections have moved to the Asian Library at the main University Library at the Witte Singel, where they can be accessed at the Special Collections, during opening hours.

Some of the works had been in the University Library’s collection since the 17th century, but most were acquired after the 1870s.
Professor of Chinese studies J.J.L. Duyvendak, director of the Sinological Institute from 1930, actively acquired many rare and special editions in China. Many of the works were kept in the Van Gulik Room (Van Gulik kamer). Most of the collection can be found through our library catalogue. The library has about 3,000 rare or old Chinese books (古籍善本) (including all special collections). (more…)

April 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment


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this blog is set up by Alice de Jong, former subject librarian of sinology at the East Asian Library, part of the Asian Library
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