New catalogues from the Oriental Collection

Catalogue of Persian manuscripts

Codices Persici Arthur Christensiani, Codices Simonseniani Persici, Codices Persici Additamenta

By Irmeli Perho
NIAS Press-Det Kongelige Bibliotek 2014. 2 bind

A new printed catalogue of 207 Persian manuscripts and 60 lithographs acquired by The Royal Library, Copenhagen during the period 1857-2007 has just been published. The catalogue describes the physical features and content of each item. Information of provenance is given when available. Important pages containing information on titles, authors, commentators, editors, scribes and dating are illustrated. In all, there are 500 full-page illustrations, some of them in colours.

The manuscripts date from 1453 to 1913 and the lithographs have been published between 1829 and 1913. Some of the manuscripts are illustrated or have coloured geometric patterns. Some of the bindings are lacquered and decorated with colourful birds, flowers and plants. Also many of the lithographs contain illustrations, usually black and white but some are hand coloured. The texts deal with a variety of subjects, poetry and history being the major fields. More than half of the manuscripts and nearly all of the lithographs were purchased by Arthur Christensen (1875-1945), professor of Iranian Studies at the University of Copenhagen (1919-1945).

Catalogue of Chinese manuscripts and rare books

By Bent Lerbæk Pedersen
NIAS Press-Det Kongelige Bibliotek, 2014

A new printed catalogue of 335 Chinese manuscripts, rare books, documents and block prints in the Royal Library, Copenhagen has just been published. The catalogued works date from the early 15th to early 20th century and they have been selected to illustrate the Chinese culture of writing and book printing. 200 of the catalogued works are illustrated, 90 of them in colour. The texts represent a variety of subjects, the largest subject groups being history, religion, literature, philosophy and art.

The library has acquired the works both by purchase and through donations. Some of the elder manuscripts and printed books have originally been acquired by Danes, who have either visited China or they have studied or worked there. Subsequently the works have been donated to the library. One example of the donated texts is a small collection of petition letters written during a famine in Shandong province in 1921. The letters were brought to Denmark by a missionary, who was involved in the relief work.

Kinesiske butikskilte