Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

05/2014manuscript of the month

A Multi-volume Manuscript of the Mongolian Buddhist Canon

The Mongolian Kanjur manuscript. Fol. 1v of the volume “pa”, Eldeb (Sūtra) section. © St Petersburg State University

The first edition of the Kanjur (the Mongolian Buddhist canon) to have survived to this day includes a total of 883 works and was prepared in manuscript form in 1628–1629 under the last khan of Mongolia, Ligdan (1588–1634). Nowadays, the only complete, 113-volume manuscript of Ligdan’s Kanjur is kept at the library of St Petersburg University in Russia. Despite its long history of research, this voluminous manuscript still leaves some questions unanswered. When and where was it written? Why is its structure so different from the blockprint edition of Mongolian Buddhist canon compiled in the 18th century?



Assistant Professorship for Dr. Mauro Nobili

The CSMC congratulates the first Petra Kappert Fellow of the CSMC, Dr Mauro Nobili, on his appointment in the History Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Dr Nobili is taking up a position as Assistant Professor for the history of West Africa and remains closely associated with the CSMC.

Andreas Janke receives the “Hamburg Teaching Award” 2014

The CSMC congratulates Andreas Janke, member of the CSMC Graduate School, for receiving the “Hamburg Teaching Award” 2013 on 7 July 2014. He received the award together with Prof Dr Friedrich Geiger for a course in musicology they had given in summer 2013.

Dr Antonella Brita receives the “Giorgio Maria Sangiorgi” prize

The CSMC congratulates Dr Antonella Brita for receiving the prestigious “Giorgio Maria Sangiorgi” prize 2014 of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. The biennial prize is awarded to scholars working on history and ethnology in Africa and was presented to Dr Brita by the President of the Italian Republic, Mr. Giorgio Napolitano on June, 26th in Rome.

New Ph.D. Students at the CSMC Graduate School

The CSMC Graduate School has accepted nine new Ph.D. students at the beginning of the summer semester. There are now 35 Ph.D. students from 18 different field of research working on their theses at the graduate school.

Project for Safeguarding the Manuscripts from Timbuktu

Gerda Henkel Stiftung and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs started funding, on 1 August 2013, a one-year project in Mali aiming at the implementation of measures for safeguarding the manuscripts rescued from Timbuktu. An estimated number of 285,000 manuscripts had been brought from Timbuktu, a city struck by severe civil unrest, to the Malian capital Bamako where they are now stored in different locations under extremely bad conditions. Restorer and paper specialist Eva Brozowsky will carry out immediate urgent measures in situ, for example dehumidification and ensuring a constant climate, and will also train her Malian colleagues; Dmitry Bondarev, a specialist for West African manuscripts from Hamburg will assist the project, which is associated with the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC), by contributing his expertise; once the safeguarding measures have been completed he will continue to advance the digitizing and scholarly investigation of the manuscripts in collaboration with his Malian colleagues.

Report on the fact-finding mission in April 2013


29 September - 03 October 2014 |
NETamil Workshop
Approaches to Codicology and Manuscript Lab"

The 2nd NETamil workshop is open to the public from Tuesday, 30 September, 3pm until the end on 3 October.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

16 October 2014 6pm | Lecture
Prof Dr Christian Benne
Syddansk Universitet
What is a manuscript? A comparative perspective.
This talk will discuss the epistemological, aesthetic and material status of manuscripts and their place in the study of literature and philology. Grounded in the analysis of modern, literary autographs, it will invite a contrasting view of ancient and medieval manuscripts as well.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, Room 0001

21-23 October 2014 | Conference
Research on Hebrew Manuscripts: Status quaestionis
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

23 October 2014 6pm | Lecture on
Hebrew Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

31 October - 01 November 2014 | Workshop
Iconicity of Script
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

06 November 2014 6pm | Lecture
Dr Annabel Teh Gallop
British Library
The Art of the Qur’an in Southeast Asia
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

07-08 November 2014 | Workshop
Changing Praxis in the 19th-century Malay Manuscript Ecology
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, Room 2002

11 November 2014, 6pm | Lecture Series
China Time 2014
Prof Dr Lothar Ledderose
Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg
China - die Welt der Zeichen
Writing as Art - Calligraphy in China and in the West
House of Photography, Deichtorstraße 1-2

18 November 2014, 6pm | Lecture Series
China Time 2014
Dr Uta Lauer
University of Hamburg
„Mit einem Strich – Die Ästhetik chinesischer Kalligraphie“
Writing as Art - Calligraphy in China and in the West
House of Photography, Deichtorstraße 1-2