IDP News Issue No. 7
Ye Changchi Pioneer of Dunhuang Studies
Drawing of Ye Changchi
In the history of 'Dunhuangology', the names Stein, Pelliot, Luo Zhenyu and Wang Guowei usually come to mind as pioneers in this field. Yet the first to acknowledge the value of the manuscripts and paintings from the library cave at the Mogao Grottos near Dunhuang was none of these but the famous late Qing bibliophile and epigrapher, Ye Changchi.
Ye Changchi, zi name Lanshang, was also called Jushang, Juchang, Qiong Jushi, Xiehou Weng and, in later years, took the appellation 'The Master of Yuandu Lu'. Born in 1849 in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, he was later registered as resident in Changzhou, Jiangsu. His family had lost their wealth in the Taiping Rebellion. In his early years he studied in the Zhengyi Academy established by Feng Guifen and there helped in the compilation of Suzhou fu zhi (Records of Suzhou Prefecture). In 1889 he passed the examination and became a Junior Compiler in the Hanlin Academy in Beijing. After this he had various posts in the capital, including in the Historiographical Institute and the Office of Collected Regulations. In 1902 he was appointed Provincial Education Commissioner for Gansu. When the Qing court abolished the imperial examination system in 1906 he was discharged from his post. Because his three sons and daughter had died and the Qing government was in decline, he retired to his home to read, edit and write. He also made a collection of rubbings from inscribed steles. His 'Zhiqiang Room' book collection consisted of about 1000 works, and he also had 8000 stele rubbings in the 'Room of Five Hundred Sutra Scrolls': he might therefore be said to have been well-off. His own works include Cangshu jishi shi (Poems to record incidents of book collecting), Yushi (On stone inscriptions), Binzhou shishi lu (Record of the rock room at Binzhou), Qigu qing wenji (Qigu qing collected prose works), Pangxi Zhai zanshu ji (Notes on the book collection of Pangxi Zhai) and Yuandu Lu riji (Yuandu Lu's diary).
In the first month of the lunar year 1902 Ye Changchi received a letter of appointment as Provincial Education Commissioner of Gansu and in the fifth month he received the seals of office in Lanzhou. He held this post until 1906 when the imperial examination system was abolished, and spent the four years travelling around the prefectures and counties of Gansu checking the examinations of students and teaching staff. In his diary (Yuandu Lu riji) there are entries concerning the library cave at Dunhuang. His diary was kept for 48 years from 1870 to 1917 and also contains much information on the scholarly world in the late Qing and early Republican eras. In 1931, Wang Jilie and others of his students compiled about a quarter of the original manuscript and it was published under the title Yuandu Lu riji chao. In November 1990, Jiangsu Guangling Old Books Publishing House published a facsimile copy of the original manuscript of the diaries held in Suzhou Library, the original 43 ce being separated into 48 ce in 6 slipcases. All references in this article are to the facsimile edition.
Before Ye Changchi was sent to Gansu he had just completed his book Yushi, a discussion of all aspects of stone inscriptions, and it had not yet been gone to the printers. As soon as he arrived in Gansu, therefore, he started to search out material on stone inscriptions kept at Hexi and Longyou. Although as Education Commissioner his tours of duty did not extend as far as Dunhuang, he made a detailed record of what other people told him about the library cave at Dunhuang and the scrolls and paintings found therein.
His diary entry for the twelfth of the eleventh month of Guangxu 29 (30 December 1903) notes:
'The District Magistrate Wang Li'an sent me some Tang-Yuan period rubbings from Dunhuang...There were six copies for everyone including: 'Tang Su gong bei' (Stele in Honour of Suo of the Tang Dynasty') and its verso, 'Yang gong bei' (Stele in Honour of Yang); 'Li Dabin zaoxiang' (Record of a statue by Li Dabin) and its verso, 'Qianning zai xiu gong de ji' (Record of Merit accrued in Repairing a Statue during the Qianning Period); and 'Dazhong bei' (Stele with Dazhong Period name) from the sutra [library] cave. He also sent four copies of the 'Yuan Statue of the Mogao caves' , and two pieces of 'Huangqing si bei' (Stele of Huangqing Monastery) which I had received previously. ...In addition there was an old Buddhist scroll painting depicting a sermon at the Festival for Water and Land.... Also four manuscript scrolls all of the Dabanniebanjing Sutra (Mahaparanirvana Sutra). ...Dunhuang is hidden in the western wastes, among remote mountains and ancient Buddhist temples, and it is not therefore surprising that it has such progeny. I have heard that these sutras come from a rock cell in the Thousand Buddha Caves and that the door of the cave had been sealed with molten lead and not opened since ancient times. It was only a few years ago that it was discovered and opened. Inside were stone tables and ledges piled high with several hundred scrolls, and the sutras I have received are from among these. At the time the monks and laymen did not realise their value and so divided them among themselves. ... 'Stele with Dazhong Period name' is also from this cave.'
Wang Li'an was the Magistrate of Dunhuang County, namely Wang Zonghan. On his first visit to Dunhuang (1907), Stein had dealings with Magistrate Wang and included a photograph of the family in his personal narrative of his expedition, Ruins of Desert Cathay (Dover Publications, New York 1987, vol. II, p. 247, fig. 209: see below). Apart from rubbings from steles both inside and outside the caves, Ye Changchi also obtained Buddhist paintings, scrolls and a rubbing of a stele (namely 'Stele of Hong Bian') from the library cave itself through Wang.
Left: Magistrate Wang and his family
©1997, The British Library Board
But even more noteworthy is his diary entry on the circumstances of the opening of the cave. It is a pity that the account given by Wang Zonghan is imprecise: he says that there are only several hundred scrolls in the cave, making it seem as if the division of the manuscripts was already complete. The diary entry for 20th of eighth month of Guangxu 30 (29 September 1904) records:
'Two letters — one official and the other personal — arrived from Wang Li'an. ... Also a Song painting on silk entitled 'Shuiyue Guanyin xiang' (Water-Moon Guanyin). Recorded at the bottom are the merits and achievements of the Bodhisattva Guanyin written from left to right, the colophon of which reads: "Written on a Dingyou day, the fifteenth day of the 5th month, of which the first day is Guiwei, of year Qiande six, which is the cyclical year Wuchen." ... Also 31 leaves of a manuscript sutra ... all in Sanskrit. The painting was obtained by Li'an from the Thousand Buddha Caves.'
This time Wang had bestowed paintings and Sanskrit manuscripts. Ye Changchi was in the position of an imperial envoy from the capital and it was not only Magistrate Wang who sought his favour by these means. On the fifth day of the ninth month of the same year (13 October 1904) the diary reads:
'friendship from a fellow graduate, but I have received two Tang manuscript scrolls and one painting, all from the Mogao Caves. One of the scrolls contained juan 101 of Dabanruojing (Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra), the other a fragment of Kaiyijing [Siyijing?] (?Visesacinti-brahma-pariprccha Sutra). The style of brushwork on the painting is older than on that presented by Li'an. Above the image of Buddha is a pattra tree. The cartouche on the top right reads 'Nan wu Dizang pusa' (Homage to the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha), followed by 'dai ri hua shi' (Granting the greatest favours on the anniversary of death). The cartouche next to it has the characters, 'Wudao Jiangjun' (General of the Five Ways), with an image of a standing armed and helmeted man, the eponymous general. The left cartouche reads 'Daoming heshang' (Priest Daoming) and below is the monk's image. At the bottom is a female figure holding a flower with the cartouche: 'gu ren chao Yutian jin yu guo tian gong zhu Li shi gongyang' (Offered by the former royal princess of the Li family of the great dynasty of Khotan, the kingdom of gold and jade). Many early Yuan steles contain the two characters for 'great dynasty', but this does not tally with the fact that she is surnamed 'Li'. This is therefore a Tang object and the princess is an imperial daughter. Information as to which court she was sent can perhaps be obtained from a study of the biographies of the barbarians in the Old and New Tang Histories.'
Wang Zonghai preserved the earliest objects discovered in the library cave and his collection at least equalled that of Magistrate Wang. He once called on Ye Changchi himself. The diary entry for two days later (15 October 1904) reads:
'In the evening, Wang Guangwen of Dunhuang came and spoke of the opening of the Mogao Cave in Guangxu 26 (1900). There was just one ball of mud left when suddenly the catch holding shut the door opened by itself. How could this not be a case of brightness and darkness having their own times?'
Ye Changchi here leaves a record of the exact year of the opening of the library cave as reported by a local Dunhuang man. After this, Ye makes no record in his diary of having visited the cave himself during his travels in Gansu and it is not until four years after returning home on the 16th of the tenth month of Xuantong one (28 December 1909) that there is another relevant entry:
'In the afternoon Zhang Yinru came and spoke of another newly opened rock room at Dunhuang in which there were very many Tang-Song manuscripts and paintings. A Frenchman had taken all the bundles using two hundred yuan. This is a pity. The local official and the people on the borders do not know how to appreciate ancient objects and I was reminded of Wang Li'an.'
We can see that at this time Ye Changchi's knowledge of the library cave still followed Wang Zonghan's account and he therefore believed that Pelliot had obtained his scrolls from a separate, even larger cave which had to be different from the one described by Wang containing only several hundred manuscript scrolls. He only then remembered Magistrate Wang and certainly believed that Wang Li'an continued to hold many manuscripts and paintings from the 'other cave' . In fact, in the second year after he had left Gansu, namely 1907, Stein had arrived in Dunhuang and had obtained a large number of manuscripts and paintings from the hands of the Thousand Buddha Caves guardian, Wang Daoshi. In a diary entry for the 13th of the twelfth month of Xuantong one (23 January 1910), Ye Changchi writes:
'In the afternoon, Zhang Yinru came. He presented me with the work Mingsha shan shishi milu (The unknown records of the rock room in Mingsha Mountains), concerning the Mogao Caves at the Thousand Buddha Mountains in Dunhuang. Classics, steles and works from the Buddhist canon were all deposited there in the Tang-Song period. The Frenchman Pelliot acquired most of the choice examples to place in the Paris Library, and an Englishman also obtained some odd lots. The Chinese local officials turned a blind eye. My circuit took me to Jiuquan but I did not go beyond Jiayu Pass which is not more than 1000 li from Dunhuang. By this time I had heard of the discovery of this cave and had also received two Buddhist paintings and five manuscripts. Was it really not possible for its contents to be emptied? What was my role as imperial envoy? I am ashamed and full of remorse that I dared to blame others.
The previous year (1909), a certain number of fine objects acquired by Pelliot, who had arrived at the caves in the year after Stein, were taken to Beijing and referred to in Luo Zhenyu's book Mingsha shan shishi milu . Only then did the Chinese literati and offialdom realise the real extent of the Dunhuang treasures. Yet still they did not know that Stein had obtained even finer pieces than Pelliot. This is revealed by the fact that Ye Changchi had heard of the objects obtained by the Frenchman yet only of the Englishman getting some 'odd lots'. It was probably also only at this time that Ye Changchi realised that the two paintings and five manuscripts in his possession were from the very same cave. He ceased to hold dear the memory of Wang Zonghan and deeply reproved himself.
The region of Dunhuang in the early years of the Republican era was extremely remote with inconvenient transportation. Ye Changchi went as far as Jiuquan but did not leave the pass; possibly the information he had received was inaccurate. Yet in 1909 a whole group of Beijing literati had seen the objects brought by Pelliot and yet not one of them was willing to travel west. The Chinese scholars were locked in a three hundred year old tradition of Qing dynasty study and could not compare in enterprising spirit shown by Western archaeologists and sinologists. Moreover, if the Qing government of the time was unable to preserve the imperial palace of Yuanmingyuan, how much less a tiny cave of manuscripts in far-off Dunhuang. From the point of view of the history of scholarship in China, the loss of the Dunhuang manuscripts to foreign countries is a regret to each and every Chinese scholar, but this, unfortunately, was the course history took. There are many who deserve to feel more ashamed that Ye Changchi.
Ye Changchi's Diary cannot compare with Stein's Serindia for a detailed record of Dunhuang, but since the diary is the earliest account of the manuscripts and paintings from Dunhuang it is interesting from an historical point of view. Although Ye Changchi never visited Dunhuang himself, his position is undoubtedly that of the pioneer of Dunhuang studies because of his early knowledge and investigation of the cave treasures.
Silk painting of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha
©The Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Ye Changchi had no descendants and in 1914 he sold his stele rubbings. They were acquired by Liu Chenghan's 'Jaiye Tang' and the 'Juxue Xuan' of Liu Shiheng. As for the silk paintings, his diary entry for the 24th of the second month of the yimao year (8 April 1915) records that they are in a poor state of preservation and already tattered. It is not possible to get any firm information about their situation thereafter, but it is probable that after Ye Changchi's death these two paintings went to the 'Chuanshu Tang' of Jiang Ruzao in Wuxing, Zhejiang Province. In 1919 when Wang Guowei was employed to compile a bibliography of the 'Chuanshu Tang' he saw both of them and gave a brief account in letters sent to Luo Zhenyu on the tenth and 16th of the ninth month in the same year (Wang Guowei quanji shu xin, Zhonghua shuju, Beijing 1984, pp. 293–4). Thereafter he also wrote two postscripts published in Guan tang ji lin (volume 20). According to his postscripts, the colophon of the painting dated Qiande six was in a fragmentary condition and therefore his record is not as complete as that in Ye's diary. In 1925 because of business losses, Jiang Ruzao started to sell his library and the greater part — having passed through many hands — ended up in Beijing Library and the Commercial Press. It is said that the two Dunhuang scroll paintings were sent to a Shanghai bookstore. They were bought in 1930 by a Japanese from Jin Songqing, the owner of the Shanghai Chinese Bookstore (Lanzhou xuekan no. 2 (1990), p. 72). What happened to the other five manuscripts is not clear.
The 1957 publication by Dietrich Seckel, Buddhistische Kunst ostasiens (Stuttgart, fig. 111) and Thomas Lawton's work, Chinese Figure Painting (Washington D.C. No. 16), both carried the reproductions of a silk painting entitled 'Water-Moon Guanyin' in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA. Professor Zhang Guangda and I have previously discussed, from research of Wang Guowei's postscripts, the Khotanese princess found in the other painting (Contributions aux études de Touen-houang, III, Paris 1984, p. 31), but remained puzzled as to its whereabouts. On 22 February 1997 I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Freer Gallery and, with the help of Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, I eventually found an item in the storerooms with the same panel as the 'Water-Moon Guanyin'. It was apparent that this was the 'Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha' presented by the Khotanese princess (right).
Amazingly, the princess has remained unscathed and the colours are as new. According to the Freer Gallery archives, these two paintings were acquired separately in 1930 and 1935 from a New York dealer and, after mounting, remained hidden in the storerooms because they seemed to be newly painted, especially the Bodhisattava Ksitigarbha. The Freer Gallery's good conservation conditions and the fact that they are a public gallery and willing to help international scholarship, has led to the 're-discovery' of this painting. This must be some consolation to the soul of the original collector, Ye Changchi.
(This article is available in its original Chinese version in the printed newsletter)
Rong Xinjiang is a professor in the History Department at Peking University.
Towards a New Understanding of Huahujing (The scripture of transforming the barbarians) from Dunhuang
The Huahujing, also called Laozi Huahujing, is a Daoist text which describes the journey of Laozi out of China to the Western Regions and India where his Daoist teachings formed the basis of Buddhism. The legend that Laozi went to the Western regions appears in the 2nd century BC but traditionally the first part of this text is thought to have been composed by the Daoist Wang Fou in ca. 300 AD after he had been repeatedly defeated in debate by the Chinese Buddhist monk Bo Yuan. The text is therefore an anti-Buddhist polemic. The earliest text seems only to have consisted of one juan but by the beginning of the eighth century it had expanded into ten or eleven juan. In this short note, Liu Yi, a graduate student in the History Department at the Capital Normal University in Beijing, discusses the evolution of the text and argues for a later origin than that generally accepted.
Beginning of Or.8210/S.1857
a copy of juan 1 and preface of Huahujing
©1997, The British Library Board
From an examination of the phrase 'Yutian huahu shuo' (the transformation of the barbarians in Yutian (Khotan)) found in juan one on manuscripts S.1857 (see above) and P.2007 from Dunhuang we can reach a new understanding of the complete text Huahujing in ten juan, also found at Dunhuang. From this it can be seen that the group of places mentioned in the text, such as Tianlan (India), Jibin (Kashmir), and Yutian (Khotan), in fact represent different historical periods in the evolution of the text, emerging in turn to form the central arena of the huahu story. The story of the transformation of the barbarians in Khotan probably only appeared at the beginning of the Tang dynasty.
Moreover, its appearance is almost certainly linked to the Khotan king paying tribute to the Tang court in the Zhenguan era (627–649). In juan 8 the words, 'Text of imperial order to rectify and confirm', was very probably was a result of the 'duiding' (to rectify and confirm) — the judgement that the Huahujing was true following a debate during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian. From this it is seen that it is essential to examine carefully the attitude of the Tang imperial family to the Huahujing.
Establishing a connection between the switching of the main locale in the text and the evolution of the huahu story leads to some uncertainty about the usual dating of the earliest parts of the text to the late 3rd/early 4th centuries.
The earliest reference to Huahujing in Buddhist sources is in the Liu Song period (420–477) and it is only in the Liang dynasty (502–555) that there are records of its production by the Wang Fou of the Western Jin (265–313). In these several records the 'explanation of the transformation of the barbarians in Jibin' is dominant. The production of these huahu stories was probably not earlier than the period between the end of the Eastern Jin and start of the Southern Dynasties (early 5th century) since it is not until this time that many monks entered China from Jibin. In Daoist scriptures, the 'explanation of Jibin' also only appears in the Liu Song period. Historical sources therefore suggest that the Huahujing only appeared at the end of the 4th or early 5th centuries and therefore could not have been compiled by the Wang Fou but was rather a work of his Liang dynasty disciples.
In summary, examining Dunhuang Daoist manuscripts by historical methods will produce new findings both for the manuscripts themselves and also for the history of Chinese Daoism, and may well challenge opinions widely held in the academic community.
(This article is available in its original Chinese version in the printed newsletter)
Ivolga Fortress: Edition covering the main archaeological site of the Xiongnu.
Ivolga Cemetery: There are 216 tombs in the cemetery in which clothes, jewellery, bronze plaques in the 'Ordos' style and other artefacts have been preserved. The Russian text is supplemented with an English summary (30 pages), illustrations and a detailed description of all the objects in English.
The St Petersburg Asiatic Fund has recently published the above works in the series 'Archaeological Sites of the Hsiung-nu'. Both are available for US$20 plus postage from the Asiatic Fund (free to members). Contact Serguei Minjaev, President, for further details (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Petroglyphs of Central Asia, Vladimir D. Kubarev and Esther Jacobsen (Repertoire des Petroglyphes D'Asie Centrale, fasc. no. 3; Siberie du Sud 3: Kalbak-Tash I (Republique de l'Altai; Memoires de la Mission Archeologique Francaise en Asie Centrale, Tome V.3)), Paris 1996.
ISSN: 0989-5817; ISBN 2-907431-08-01, Price 200FF
This publication in English concerns one of the most important sites of the Altay Mountains in South Siberia. The book contains approximately 200 rock images, 20 pages of commentary, 13 photographic plates, 45 pages of catalogue text and 210 plates of original drawings. Available from: Librarie de Boccard, 11 rue de Medicis, 75006 Paris, France. Contact Henri-Paul Francfort for further details (email@example.com).
Die Felsbildstation Shatial, G. Fussman and D. Koenig, with contributions by O. von Hinueber, Th.O. Hoellmann, K. Jettmar and N. Sims-Williams in collab. with M. Bemmann. Mainz (Verlag Philipp von Zabern) 1997. (Materialien zur Archaeologie der Nordgebiete Pakistans 2)
427 pages and 136 plates, hb., price <200 DM.
The second volume in this series concerns the petroglyph site Shatial, 60km west of Chilas in the upper Indus valley of Pakistan.
Apologies to Professor Roderick Whitfield who was mistakenly credited with the editorship of The Art of Central Asia: The Stein Collection in the British Museum in the last newsletter. He is, of course, the author.
4th International Conference on Manichaeism
Berlin, 14–18 July, 1997
For further details contact:
Werner Sundermann, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften,Akademienvorhaben Turfanforschung, Unter den Linden 8, D-10109 Berlin. Tel: +49 30 203 70 472; fax: +49 30 203 70 467; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Databases and Information Models for Oriental Historical Sources
Oriental Information Centre Symposium
ICANAS, Budapest, 5–11 July 1997
The contact name and address for the Oriental Information Centre, mentioned in the last newsletter, were unfortunately omitted. Further details about OIC and about the above symposium can be obtained from Alexander A. Stolyarov, email: email@example.com.
2nd International Conference on Terminology, Standardization and and Techonology Transfer
Beijing, August 1997
Further details from Ms. Yu Xinli: fax: +86 10 6492 1032
'Forgeries of Dunhuang Manuscripts in the Early Twentieth Century'
Oriental and India Office Collections,
The British Library, London
Monday, 30 June – Wednesday, 2 July 1997
With the generous support of The European Science Foundation, Asia Committee
The British Academy, Humanities Research Board
This will be the first international discussion devoted to the issue of Dunhuang manuscript forgeries and will bring together scientists, conservators, curators and Dunhuang scholars to provide a truly multi-disciplinary approach to this question.
The workshop is for invited scholars only and is now full but there will be a public lecture to discuss the findings on Thursday, 3 July at SOAS in London (details below).
Circle of Inner Asian Art (CIAA) and IDP
Public Lecture and Discussion
SOAS Lecture Theatre, London
Thursday 3rd July, 1997, 5pm
Professor Fujieda Akira (Japan), Professor Lewis Lancaster (University of California at Berkeley) and Professor Rong Xinjiang (Peking University) will discuss the findings of the forgeries conference. There will be time for discussion and the lecture will be followed by drinks.
Further details about CIAA and their lecture series can be obtained from (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
35th ICANAS: Budapest, 5–11 July 1997
This symposium will concentrate on the archaeology of the Silk Road, particularly on the manuscript finds from Dunhuang and Turfan and recent research and initiatives. The main topics and a draft list of speakers is given below. Further details are available from the organisers.
A. Silk Road Archaeology in the Twentieth Century
1. 1900–1930: Sir Aurel Stein and the great discoveries at the start of the century
- Monique Cohen: Paul Pelliot, archéologue, 1906–08
- J. Harmatta: On Stein
- Jens-Peter Laut: Find sites of manuscripts from the Turfan Area
- Denis Sinor: Paul Pelliot
- Wang Jiqing: Stein's 4th expedition
- Gabrielle Zeller: Stein correspondence
2. 1930–1997: Art and archaeology on the Silk Road
- Chao Huashan: New discovery of Manichaean cave temples in Turfan
- Sarah Fraser: Problems of interpretation in Dunhuang financial documents: payments to artists
- Sergej G. Kljashtornyj: Die Erforschung der Runendenkmäler in Dunhuang und Turfan
- Lilla Russell-Smith: 10th century paintings from Dunhuang in the Stein collection
- Lore Sander: On the dating of a wall painting from Bezeklik
B. International Scholarship on the Discoveries
1. Conservation, co-operation and access in the future
- Nadia Brovenko: Problems of conservation in the St. Petersburg collection
- Thomas Schmieder-Jappe: The Berlin database new developments
2. The textual tradition
- Larry Clark: On the dating of Uighur manuscripts
- Juten Oda: Characteristics of the Buddhist apocryphal Uighur texts
- Säkiz yükmäk and Säkiz törlügin
- Mehmet ölmez: The Uighur version of the Xuanzang biography
- Georges-Jean Pinault: Tokharian documents from the Taklamakan Desert
- Christiane Reck: 84,000 divine maids in a Manichaean Sogdian tale?
- Rong Xinjiang: Chinese documents from Turfan after 1957
- Tsuneki Nishiwaki: Vinaya-monk Xuanfan on manuscript Ch. 57 in the Berlin Turfan collection
- Marc Kalinowski: On Divination at Dunhuang
Other speakers: title of papers not yet confirmed Abdurishit Yakup; Cheng A-tsai; Jens-Uwe Hartman; Livia Kohn; Lev N. Menshikov; Simone-Christiane Rashmann; Magarita I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya; Roderick Whitfield
For further details contact:
Dr Simone-Christiane Raschmann, Katalogisierung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland Arbeitsstelle Berlin II: Turfanforschung, Unter den Linden 8, D-10117 BERLIN, Germany: fax: +49 30 20370 467 or Dr Susan Whitfield (address below)
Research on Turkic Manichaean Texts
Professor Peter Zieme (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Germany) is preparing a facsimile edition of all Turkic Manichaean fragments preserved in the Turfan and Dunhuang collections worldwide, while Professor Larry V. Clark (Indiana University, Bloomington) and Professor Aloïs van Tongerloo (Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven) are completing a full text edition of these fragments. They have been able to identify about 400 fragments. All the volumes will be published by Brepols from Turnhout, Belgium. The first volume is expected at the end of this year.
Jens Wilkens is preparing a catalogue of all Turkic Manichaean fragments preserved in the Berlin Turfan collection within the project 'Katalogiserung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland', The Academy of Sciences, Göttintgen, Germany. The catalogue will be published in the series Verzeichnis Orientalischer Handschriften in Deutschland (VOHD) by Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart.
Gu Jun and Zhang Ping, Chinese conservators from the National Library of China, have recently been working at the British Library encapsulating material from Stein's 3rd expedition into Melinex. Their visit is generously funded by the Sino-British Fellowship Trust.
The IDP computer database at the British Library is now available to staff on a server machine and will be made available to readers and on the Internet later in the year. It currently contains over 10,000 records of Stein manuscripts in several languages. Digitised images will start to be added in the near future.
Silk Road Directory
The first draft of the Directory of all those with an interest — amateur and professional in both the humanities and sciences — will be mailed with this newsletter to all those who have completed questionnaires. The information will be added to the Internet later this year. Questionnaires and further information are available from IDP (address below)
Visitors to the British Library
Among the many visitors to the British Library in 1997 to work on the Dunhuang manuscripts have been Professor J-P Drège (école pratique des Hautes études, Paris), Mr Masahiro Tsuji (Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan), Mr Kogaku Kirino (Institute for Sogo Studies, Tokyo), and Professor Hiroichi Nakamura (Mukogawa Women's University, Japan).