Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- I -- GENERAL MATERIALS
- PART TWO
- 11 -- ORIENTAL DIVISION AND GENERAL ORIENTAL RESOURCES
- RESOURCES
- Manuscripts
- Oriental Division

Oriental Division

Although the Oriental Division does not have special facilities for the storage of manuscripts, 268 bound manuscripts are found on the general book shelves. The great majority of these are Arabic, with several Persian and Turkish items. Included are treatises on religion, medicine, law, and the sciences, ranging from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. With the exception of occasional diagrams, they are not illuminated. The earliest and perhaps the most precious manuscript is the "Al-mujmal fi al-lughat," by Ibn Faris, the first part of an Arabic dictionary copied in Medina in 1172.5

Chinese items housed in the Oriental Division include 12 manuscript concordances or indexes of Chinese characters and phrases used by James Legge in his translation of The Chinese Classics (Hong Kong and London, 1861-72). There are also certain texts prepared by the Chinese scholar Wang T'ao for Legge's use in the same work.6