Reviews

The present catalogue is the first providing a description of the whole collection of Turkic-language manuscripts of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Russia (2,432 notices for 1,674 manuscripts).  Descriptions by prominent scholars from previous generations (V. D. Smirnov, A. N. Samoilovich, etc.) have been systematically checked by the author.  A short introduction offers a history of the collection since the creation of the Asian Museum in 1818.  Manuscripts are classified by disciplines, with a particularly rich representation of history (Nr. 1-159), geography (160-206), linguistic (835-909), literature (937-1859), “folklore” (1924-2168), didactical literature (2169-2200), and above all of “religious matters” (387-653) and hagiography (654-834).  Rubrics like astrology, ethics, literary theory, oral tradition and magical literature (notably from the Volga region) have been experimented in this volume for the first time, as far as the present collection is concerned.  Beside a great amount of often luxurious Ottoman manuscripts, specialists of Central Eurasia will be interested, in particular, in craftsmen’s treatises (risalas) and in local chronicles from Transoxiana and Altishahr, as well as in local half-legendary history and abundant religious didactical literature from the Volga–Ural region.  Given the exceptionally wide range of geographical origins of the manuscripts introduced here, a geographical index would have shown useful.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-1.1.B-11