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Oriental Manuscripts

Collection Details

Oriental Manuscripts held at University of Durham Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The contents are extremely varied, including literary manuscripts, religious, mathematical, astronomical, astrological and medical texts, grammatical and other linguistic material 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.

History and development

The collection has built up via gifts and purchases at different times from various sources.


The main strength of the collection lies in its sheer variety and in gathering together manuscripts which would otherwise be distributed throughout the Library's Archives and Special Collections.

General arrangement and access regulations

This collection is used to locate miscellaneous small accessions of manuscripts and papers of oriental interest received by the Library and not preserved as separate collections. Named collections of Oriental archives are arranged separately. The primary arrangement of this collection is by Language. (The identifying code for this archive is GB-0033-ORI).

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Central Asia and the Caucasus, East Asia, Near & Middle East and North Africa, South Asia.

Languages of material

Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, English, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Pali, Persian, Sanskrit, Telugu, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu.


History, Language, Literature, Medicine, Religion, Science and technology.

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Manuscripts.

Total size of collection

16 metres

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

0 to 0 AD

Collection Catalogue Information


A list of the contents of the collection is available in the Archives and Special Collections Section of the University Library.

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