Description of Special Collection
Collection Level Description: Oriental Manuscripts
- Collection name: Oriental Manuscripts
- Collection code: GB 033 ORI
- Date range: 15th-20th century
- Extent: 16 metres
- Language: Amharic; Arabic; Armenian; Hebrew; Persian; Turkish; Cagatay; Hindi; Pali; Sanskrit; Telugu; Chinese; Japanese; Tibetan; Urdu; English; German
- Created by: Durham University Library (collector)
- Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
The contents are extremely varied, including literary manuscripts, religious, mathematical, astronomical, astrological and medical texts, grammatical and other linguistic material, a Taoist weather manual, and correspondence and diaries. Some of the descriptive units contain photographs, and there are also a few printed items. The diaries and correspondence relate to the Far East, and are in English, with the exception of two Japanese diaries from World War II. The photographs relate to China, Korea and Japan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, Turkey and Russia, and to Islamic antiquities in Spain.
The spread of material by language is Islamic (material in several languages, including Urdu), Amharic, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish including Cagatay, Hindi, Pali, Sanskrit, Telugu, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and European. The photographs are chiefly located in the European section.
About the creator:
This artificial collection is used to locate miscellaneous small accessions of manuscripts and papers of oriental (Middle and Far East) interest received by the Library, and not preserved as separate collections. It is the equivalent category, for material of oriental interest, to the Library's Additional MSS.
The primary arrangement is by language, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Hindi, Pali, Sanskrit, Telugu, Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan. Material in, or translated into European languages is grouped in the category MS OR/Eur.
Acquired by gift and purchase at different times from various sources.
Open for consultation.
Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.
The collection receives occasional additions.
Very unevenly detailed catalogue, partly word-processed, partly typescript, partly photocopied manuscript. Quite detailed (although incomplete) draft catalogue entries by E. Birnbaum are provided for most of the Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts; (as these were done in 1960, they follow different, then current conventions for the transliteration of Arabic script, etc. which means that usage is inconsistent across the list as a whole). In many other cases the list is merely a photocopy of the extremely sketchy details in the accessions register. In the case of some of the Pali mss and a few of the more recently received Arabic mss, contents have still to be identified. Part of this is available online at http://endure.dur.ac.uk:8080/fedora/objects/UkDhU:EADCatalogue.0163/datastreams/XTF/content
Index termsCorrespondence -- 20th century.
Diaries -- 19th century.
Diaries -- 20th century.
Literary manuscripts and papers.
Date last modified: 18 November 2008