Return to Kashgar – the Jarring Collection of Uyghur Manuscripts

NILSSON NYLANDER, Eva (2017) Return to Kashgar – the Jarring Collection of Uyghur Manuscripts. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 88 - Rare Books and Special Collections jointly with Indigenous Matters.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Return to Kashgar – the Jarring Collection of Uyghur Manuscripts

Kashgar was a major crossroads for trade and culture along the Eurasian Silk Route for thousands of years, a place where Turkic, Persian, Arab, Chinese and other groups interacted. The Lund University Library is privileged to hold some 600 handwritten books from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries from cities in this region like Kashgar, Urumchi and Yarkand. Containing about 1500 titles, presumably the largest collection in the world, this so-called Jarring Collection was mostly acquired in Kashgar in 1929-1930 by the Swedish philologist and career diplomat Gunnar Jarring (1907-2002), while doing research for his doctoral thesis on Turkic languages. (Ambassador Jarring served later as a UN peace negotiator in both the Palestine and the Kashmir conflict.) In an attempt to return, as it were, these books, this cultural heritage, to Kashgar, the Lund University Library has undertaken an ambitious ongoing digitization and cataloguing program; the digitized books are free to access and download from the library portal. There are, however, other borders to cross and different problems to solve to meet the demands of global research and the free transmission of knowledge. The paper will deal with some of these problems.

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