Reviews

This Uzbek-language publication is a full-length edition of the fihrist or catalogue of the library of the Khan of Khiva Muhammad-Rahim Khan II, also known under his penname of Firuz (1864-1910). This catalogue has been compiled by an anonymous author after the khan’s death, in 1911 or in 1912. At present, its manuscript is preserved in the Biruni Institute of Oriental Studies of Uzbekistan (Fund 3, No. 269). This volume offers a precious source for the history of book circulation in the Khanate under Russia’s dominance. After capitulation to the Russian Empire in 1873, Muhammad-Rahim Khan II devoted the rest of his life to the patronising of court literature and arts, with particular interest in the copying of manuscripts and translation of books from Arabic and Persian languages. The present catalogue of the palace library reflects the palette of cultural life under this ruler. The compilers’ introduction features cultural life in Khiva briefly describes the history of libraries and librarianship in the Khwarezm Oasis. As to the catalogue properly said, it provides for each identified manuscript work indexed the following data: its title, its author’s name, its language, the intellectual discipline represented, plus the manuscript’s size, the name of the copyist, the year of the copying, the entry (mention) in the catalogue, as well as the inventory number of the Biruni Institute (since most of the manuscript indexed here are now preserved in the Institute’s collection). The compilers have also provided a facsimile of the catalogue.

Bobur B. Aminov, Biruni Institute of Oriental Studies, Tashkent
CER: II-1.1.A-2