Some Current Research Projects in Manchu Studies

Source: PIAC Newsletter No. 15, May 1985, pp. 23–28

Hartmut Walravens

Some Current Research Projects in Manchu Studies

[This very useful survey was presented at the 27th meeting of the PIAC in June, 1984.]

This brief communication was originally announced as “Current Research Projects in Manchu Studies,” but I soon found out that it was really difficult to make any competent statements about the state of the art, even in a small country such as Germany. So the following remarks will be limited to my own interest and plans.

As a professional bibliographer I consider collecting data on existing collections of Manchu books as well as on work done in Manchu studies as essential. While some Manchu collections have been catalogued admirably, mainly owing to the efforts of Walter Fuchs and Walter Simon, there is still much to be done, and this insight led to the idea of building up a card file as a Union Catalogue of Manchu Books, which is now kept by Prof. M. Gimm in Cologne. In connection with this project, several checklists of individual collections were published by myself, namely a union list of Manchu books in the USA (1), lists of Manchu books in Australia (2), Paris (at the Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises) (3), Bochum (4), and Vienna (5), as well as a survey of Manchu rubbings in American collections (6), and supplementary notes on the London Union Catalogue (7). A catalogue of the holdings of the International Academy of Indian Culture came out in 1981 (8). This cataloguing work is being continued by a checklist of Manchu books in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, which will be published in the next issue of the Central Asiatic Journal; a list of the holdings of the Sinologisch Instituut in Leiden is to follow.

Much valuable research has been done in Manchu bibliography during the last two hundred years, but much of it is not widely known. For this reason a survey of bibliographies, catalogues, bookdealers’ lists, and auction catalogues containing Information on books in the Manchu language is in preparation now and will hopefully come out in the winter; it is based on a preliminary edition which was circulated in only a few copies in 1973 (9). Some items in this bibliography of bibliographies are either so rare or inaccessible to many students (for reasons of language) that it seems worthwhile republishing them, perhaps in German or English. The first item to come out is a German Version, faithful to the originals, but with corrections and indexes, of three Russian catalogues of Manchu books, namely those of the library of the Asiatic (Department of the Foreign Ministry, St. Petersburg, by Avvakum Čestnoj; of the Asiatic Museum of the Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, by Dorži Banzarov; and of the Institute of the Peoples of Asia (mss. only), by M. P. Volkova.

Further bibliographic contributions are a survey of Manchu anthologies, which also lists and identifies their contents, (10), and a German rearranged version, with some additions, of Gorcevskaja’s Očerk izučenija tunguso-man’dčžurskikh jazykov (11). As to Manchu literature, a paper on two Manchu Catholic catechisms was published some years ago (12); it is now followed by an article on predictions of eclipses in Manchu and Chinese, which, in addition to giving a catalogue of extant copies, translates and analyzes several texts (13). For a Companion to Chinese Literature, which is being prepared in Madison, Wisconsin, and Bloomington, Indiana, and which is expected to come out next year, an article on Manchu literature (fiction and belles-lettres) was contributed.

There have been several facsimiles of Manchu books during the last years, especially CMC’s editions of the Liao-chai chih-i, San-kuo chih yen-i, Chin-ping-mei (14), and, as a first printing, Emu tanggu orin sakda-i gisun sarkiyan. As it is doubtful that this reprint project can be continued, it is intended to publish a few Manchu manuscripts for the first time. This would enhance our knowledge of Manchu literature and provide students with new material for research. The first item to come out in facsimile consists of four fascicles from the Haenisch collection of the West Berlin State Library. It will contain poems in Manchu and Chinese, and “mixed” poems consisting of words in both languages.

Some time ago Kotwicz’s pioneering study of research on the oral literature of the Tungus, and especially the Goldi, was published in a German Version (15). It should be mentioned here that the Manchu-German dictionary which was edited a few years ago on the basis of an anonymous manuscript found among Berthold Laufer’s papers, has been identified, by means of another copy of the manuscript in the papers of Erich Haenisch, as the work of Wilhelm Grube (16).

It has been a desideratum for a long time to have a bibliography of secondary material, i. e., books and articles on Manchu language, history, and culture. Important contributions have been made in this field by Prof. Denis Sinor in his very useful Introduction, and, more recently, by Prof. Giovanni Stary in the appendix to his translation of the Emu tanggu orin sakda-i gisun sarkiyan. Somehow along the same lines goes a series of little bio-bibliographies of scholars in Manchu and Chinese studies. I would like to mention papers on Stepan Lipovcov, who translated the New Testament into Manchu (17); Joseph Rehmann (18), a member of the Golovkin expedition to China in 1805, who published a gynecological handbook translated from the Manchu; Anton Vladykin (19), author of a Manchu grammar; Z. F. Leont’evskij (20), to whom we owe the translation of a Manchu song; I. K. Rossochin (21), the first Russian Manchurist; Ivan Ili’ič Zacharov (22), author of the bulky Manchu-Russian Dictionary; Peter Schmidt (23), author of the pioneering study “Der Lautwandel im Mandschu und Mongolischen,” and the stupendous dictionary of Chinese loan words in the Manchu language, which will soon appear as reprints; A. I. Lopatin, who published extensively on the Amur Tungus (24); A. O. Ivanovskij (25), Compiler of the important Man’d’čžurskaja khrestomatija; Aleksej Agafonov (26) , who translated several Manchu texts in the second half of the 18th Century; A. V. Rudakov (27), author of a collection of Manchu conversational phrases and editor of a collection of Manchu letters; A. V. Grebenščikov (28), author of a famous sketch of Manchu literature; Władyslaw Kotwicz (29), author of an unpublished union catalogue of Manchu books in Russia; Wilhelm Grube (30), who translated several philosophical texts from the Manchu; Walter Fuchs (31), the bibliographer of Manchu studies; and Wolfgang Seuberlich (32), political scientist and librarian who wrote an important study on the administrative history of Manchuria. In this context I should also mention a German Version of B. K. Paskov’s Contribution of Russian Scholars to the Study of Manchu Language and Literature (33).

Among similar materials which are prepared for publication are papers on Aleksej Leont’ev, translator (with Rossochin) of the monograph of the Eight Banners (Jakûn gûsai tung j’i-i sucungga weilehe bithe); Aleksej Matveevič Pozdneev, the Mongolist, Compiler of a Manchu anthology; Julius Klaproth, critical “asiatologist” and author of the catalogue of Manchu and Chinese books of the Berlin Library; and Ferdinand Lessing, who also taught Manchu, though he is best known for his Textbook of Colloquial Chinese, his Mongolian-English Dictionary and his monograph on the Yungho-kung. The bio-bibliography of Wilhelm Alexander Unkrig (34), the specialist in lamaist medicine and in Mongolian, will be followed by a second volume to contain his correspondence with the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin and a few other scholars.

Last, but not least, I want to mention a new publication by Prof. Giovanni Stary (to which I made but a nominal contribution): a translation of Prof. Jin Qizong’s important monograph on the remains of Manchu culture in the Manchurian village of Sanjiazitun, “Geschichte und Leben der Mandschu,” which will be available in about three weeks (35).

Bibliographlcal references


CAJ – Central Asiatic Journal
MS – Monumenta Serica
MSN – Manchu Studies Newsletter
NOAG Nachrichten der Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens
ZAS – Zentralasiatische Studien

  1. Vorläufige Titelliste der Mandjurica in Bibliotheken der USA. ZAS 10.1976, 551–613
  2. Mandjurica in australischen Bibliotheken. ZAS 14,2. 1980, 221–235
  3. Übersicht über die Mandjurica im Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises. ZAS 10.1976, 615–624
  4. Mandjurische Bücher in der Abteilung für Ostasienwissenschaften der Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Bochumer Jahrbuch der Ostasienforschung.1980, 468–475
  5. Übersicht über die Mandjurica der österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Wien. ZAS 11.1977, 555–562
  6. Übersicht über chinesische Steinabklatsche mit mandjurischen Inschriften in amerikanischen Sammlungen. Tractata altaica [Sinor-Festschrift].Wiesbaden 1976, 743–753
    The items from the Läufer collection are also described in Catalogue of Chinese Rubbings from Field Museum. Chicago 1981. (Fieldiana.NS 3.)
  7. On a new Union Catalogue of Manchu Books.
    Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 41. 1978, 571–578
  8. Buddhist literature of the Manchus. A catalogue of the Manchu holdings in the Raghu Vira Collection at the International Academy of Indian Culture. New Delhi 1981. 280 pp. (Sata-Pitaka Series. 274.)
  9. Probleme bei der Erstellung eines Gesamtkataloges der mandjurischen Bücher und Handschriften. Köln 1973. 62 pp.
  10. Mandjurische Chrestomathien. Eine bibliographische Übersicht. In: Florilegia manjurica in memoriam Walter Fuchs. Wiesbaden 1983, 87–105
  11. Bibliographie zur Geschichte der Erforschung der tungusisch-mandjurischen Sprachen. Nach V.A.Gorcevskajas 0£erk izu£enija tunguso-maftSSurskich jazykov. MSN 3.1979/80, 41–90 2nd ed.: Hamburg 1982. 50 fol.
  12. Zu zwei katholischen Katechismen in mandjurischer Sprache. MS 31.1974/75,521-549
  13. Vorhersagen von Sonnen- und Mondfinsternissen in mandjurischer und chinesischer Sprache.
    MS 35.1981/83, [1–54]
  14. See reviews of these three reprints in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung (Leipzig).
  15. Wladyslaw Kotwicz: Materialien zur Erforschung der tungusischen Mundarten.[Deutsche Bearbeitung.] Anthropos.76.1981, 825–837
  16. Deutsch-mandjurisches Wörterverzeichnis (nach H. C. von der Gabelentz’ Mandschu-Deutschem Wörterbuch) [with M.Gimm] Wiesbaden 1978. IX, 612 pp.
  17. S. V. Lipovcov, a little known Russian Manchurist [1770–1841]. MSN 1/2.1978, 65–74
  18. Zum Werk des Arztes und Ostasienforschers Joseph Rehmann [1753–1831]. Sudhoffs Archiv. 67. 1983, 94–106
  19. Anton Vladykin [1761–1811]. Eine Bibliographie des russischen Mandjuristen und Sinologen.
    Ural-altaische Jahrbücher.NF 2.1982, 291–298
  20. Z. F. Leont’evskij (1799–1874). Eine Biobibliographie. CAJ 24.1980, 274–284
  21. V. P. Taranovič: Ilarion Rossochin [1717–1761] und seine sinologischen Arbeiten. Aus dem Russischen. NOAG 118.1975, 53–77
  22. Ivan Il’ič Zacharov (1814-1885), russischer Diplomat und Sinologe. Hamburg 1982. Ca. 100 fol.
  23. Peter Schmidt, Ostasienwissenschaftler, Linguist und Folklorist [1869-1938]. Eine vorläufige Bibliographie. Hamburg 1982. 86 fol. Preliminary Version in: Florilegia manjurica in memoriam Walter Fuchs. 1983, 106ff.
  24. Ivan A. Lopatin [1888–1970], Erforscher der tungusischen Amurstämme. Hamburg 1982. 14 fol.
  25. Aleksej Osipovič Ivanovskij [1863–1903], A biobibliographical sketch. Hamburg 1982. 42 fol.
    Preliminary Version in: MSN 4.1981/82, 33–44
  26. Aleksej Agafonov [1764–1794], ein unbekannter Ostasienwissenschaftler des 18.Jahrhunderts.
    Hamburg 1982. 3 fol.
  27. Zwei wenig bekannte russische Ostasienwissenschaftler:
  28. A. V. Rudakov [1871–1949] und A. V. Grebenščikov [1880-1941]. Hamburg 1983.34 fol.
  29. M. Lewicki, Maria Kotwicz: Władyslaw Kotwicz [1872–1944], Eine biobibliographische Skizze. Aus dem Polnischen. Hamburg 1984. V,43 fol.
  30. Verzeichnis der Schriften von Wilhelm Grube (17. 8. 1855—2. 7. 1908). Ural-altaische Jahrb. NF 1.1981, 241–254
  31. Walter Fuchs in memoriam [1902–1979], Ural-altaische Jahrb. NF 1.1981, 238–241
  32. Schriftenverzeichnis Wolfgang Seuberlich [geb. 1906]. NOAG 129.1981, 10–19
  33. Der Beitrag russischer Gelehrter zum Studium der mandjurischen Sprache und Literatur.
    Hamburg 1983.29, VI fol.
  34. Wilhelm Alexander Unkrig [1883–1956]. Mongolist, Theologe und Kenner lamaistischer Heilkunde. Mit bislang unveröff. Briefen Unkrigs. 2., bedeutend erweit. Aufl. Hamburg 1982. 80 fol., 1 fol.Add. Preliminary Version in ZAS 16.1982,251-291
  35. No. 4 of the series Ch’ing-wen tsung-hui.