04th Meeting Cambridge, 1961

(Originally in: pp. 2–3, Aspects of Altaic Civilization. Edited by Denis Sinor. Indiana University Uralic and Altaic Series vol. 23 (1963), 263 pp. Reprinted by Curzon Press, London.)

The fourth meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference was held in Cambridge at St. Edmund’s House, from June 12 to 16, 1961. As there is no permanent record of this Conference it may not be useless to give the following relevant information.

Thanks to the efforts of Professor Philips, Director of the London School of Oriental and African Studies, a grant was received which made it possible to pay, partly or wholly, for the expenses of a good number of the participants.

Among these we were lucky enough to greet for the first time a representative of Hungary (Professor Czeglédy). Although no Soviet Scholar attended the Conference, for the first time we could register active Russian participation: Dr. Scerbak from Leningrad sent an interesting and much appreciated contribution.

This was the first time that the Conference was being held in the United Kingdom. The greater distance from the Continent put down the number of German participants, whilst the westward movement was not marked enough to bring the Conference appreciably nearer to America. It can only be deplored that American representation was minimal.

The following scholars took part in the Conference:

The idea of having an Altaistic Conference in the United States was tentatively mentioned in 1960, and put forward again, in a much more concrete form, at the 1961 Cambridge Conference, where it was unanimously agreed that the next, i. e. , the 1962 Conference be held in the U. S. A. (the choice of the location being left to the discretion of the Secretary-General) provided however, that the round-trip fares of about fifteen to twenty participants be paid by the PIAC.

The topics agreed upon to be discussed at the fifth meeting were as follows:
(a) The dwellings (houses, tents, etc. ) of the Altaic peoples.
(b) Forms of cultural and musical expression.
(c) The diffusion of writing in the Altaic world.
(d) Dress and ornament in the Altaic world.