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Manchu and Mongolian books and manuscripts collection

Identifier: ubl212

Scope and Contents

The Manchu section contains 32 printed books, 8 manuscripts, and 4 Imperial Decrees; the Mongolian section contains 5 printed books and one Presidential Decree. About half of the Manchu books are Manchu-Chinese dictionaries and language textbooks; the rest are mainly translations of Chinese classics and fiction, including Jin Ping Mei. Other special books are the large (but incomplete) collections of Imperial admonishments by the Qianlong and Jiaqing Emperors. Mongolian books are mainly Christian tracts and a New Testament translation. The distinction between the Manchu and Mongolian sections is not strict: one Manchu book also has a Mongolian translation, and there are some Manchu-Mongolian(-Chinese) dictionaries. The Decrees were conferred on parents of distinguished Manchu or Mongolian military officers and one Chinese civil officer.


  • Creation: 1646-1918
  • Creation: Bulk 1699-1848

Language of Materials

Manchu, Mongolian, Chinese

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.


50 items (8.3 metre)

Abstract in Dutch

Deze verzameling van 40 Mandsjoe boeken en handschriften, 5 Mongoolse boeken en 5 Keizerlijke of Presidentiele decreten voor verdienstelijke ambtenaren is afkomstig van zeven negentiende eeuwse geleerden. De helft van de Mandsjoe boeken betreft taalkundige werken; verder zijn er veel vertalingen van Chinese klassieken en fictie. Vooral bijzonder zijn de Mandsjoe vertaling van de roman Jin Ping Mei en de raadgevingen van de Qianlong en Jiaqing Keizers.

Abstract in English

This collection of 40 Manchu books and manuscripts, 5 Mongolian books and 5 Imperial or Presidential Decrees for distinguished officials originates mostly from seven nineteenth-century scholars. Half of the Manchu books are linguistic works; there are also many translations of Chinese classics and fiction. Special mention deserve the Manchu translation of the Jin Ping Mei and the admonitions of the Qianglong and Jiaqing emperors.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

An introduction and catalogue are available. All books and manuscripts (but not the Decrees) can be found in the Catalogue as well, by searching for title or call number Sinol. VGK 5806.? or Sinol. VGK 5805.7?

Custodial History

Two items were collected by Ph.F.von Siebold (1796-1866) in Japan in the 1820s. Four items belonged to the sinologist and japanologist J.J. Hoffmann (1805-1878) and were acquired by the library in 1878 – two of these were gifts from the sinologist Stanislas Julien (1797-1873). Three items that had been bought in Peking, were acquired via Brill in 1880. Ten or more items were probably acquired in Peking by the sinologist Maurice Jametel (1856-1889) and acquired by the library around 1890. Twelve items were collected by the banker and geographer F.G. Kramp (1848-1918) – including one manuscript by J. Klaproth (1783-1835) – and acquired in the 1910s. One item was acquired from the family of sinologist Emil Krebs (1867-1930) in 1951. The Decrees were given to the library by mrs. G.A. Vixseboxse-Besier (ca. 1919- ) in 2008. Other items are of unknown origin.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 2016 the collections of the East Asian Library were transferred to Leiden University Library.


Future additions are not to be excluded.

Existence and Location of Copies

Some items from this collection have been digitised.


  • Walravens, H., Mandjurische Bücher im Sinologisch Instituut, Leiden, in: Central Asiatic Journal, 30:3-4 (1986) pp. 275-284.
  • Kuiper, K., Old Manchu and Mongolian books and manuscripts, Introduction and catalogue. Leiden 2013.


The material can be requested in the online catalogue. It can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. See also Alternative form available.

Processing Information

The books and manuscripts got the call numbers Sinol. VGK 5806.13 to 59 and Sinol. VGK 5805.70 to 74.

Collection guide of the Manchu and Mongolian books and manuscripts collection (1646-1918)
Collectie Mandsjoe en Mongoolse boeken en handschriften
Koos Kuiper, 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Revision Statements

  • 17 June 2020: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857