Chagatai manuscripts


Chagatai manuscripts

The Berlin State Library contains more than 190 manuscripts in the Chagatai (Old Uzbek) language.

Chagatai manuscripts came to the library in a variety of ways. Since 1817, they were bought by travelers, scientists, booksellers or second-hand book dealers.

As of today no comprehensive catalogue has been published covering the entire Chagatai holdings. Pertsch’s catalogue (1889) records 22 Chagatai manuscripts, six of which are works of Navoi. In Manfred Götz’s catalogue (1979) there are 31 Chagatai manuscripts listed, six of which are works of Navoi. To date a total of 21 manuscripts have been digitized from the entire Chagatai collection. Only three of these are works of Navoi.

The Chagatai manuscripts from the library have been somewhat less researched in comparison with other oriental manuscripts. Only a few of the manuscripts receive mention in scholarly articles. Nevertheless interest in researching Chagatai manuscripts has grown in past years.

At present all Chagatai holdings are gradually being made available on the Internet in the database of oriental manuscripts (Orient-Digital). This process will still require some time, though, due to the collection’s large range and size.

You can learn more about the topic in the book-album "Collections of the Federal Republic of Germany" (volume XI) in the series "Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan in the World Collections".

The main sponsor of the project is the oilfield services company Eriell-Group.

Chagatai manuscripts