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Full text: Bibliotheksdienst (Rights reserved) Issue 45.2011 (Rights reserved)

Ausland Themen Bibliotheksdienst 45. Jg. (2011), H. 1 21 Tradition and Development of Mongolian Bibliography Tsezen Jigdengombo Since ancient times, the Mongols have been communicating with foreign coun- tries, and this practice became the origin of the development of documents and books and the beginning of documenting valuable information not only in books, but also on wood, stone, skin, leather, as well as on cotton materials. The Mongolians have a long tradition of their own scripts from the Khunnu period onwards (3rd–1st centuries B.C.). Under the Kidan dynasty, special printing houses existed where books were printed from wooden printing plates, both from manu- scripts and translated works.1 During the time of the Toba aimag (province) (4–6th century), thirteen lists of books including textbooks, a collection of songs, and a dictionary of the Syanbi language were published in the Nangiad history (“Sui Shu” or “Chronological document of the Sui state”).2 From the 224-volume “History of the Yuan Dynasty”, it is possible to get informa- tion about some books originating in the 13th. Century, for example, the books “The State of Altan” (vol. IV ), “Achlalt Nom” (vol. XXII)3 and the titles of other books are mentioned in this history. The publishing of books in many copies was important from the point of view of respect and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Mongols and for passing on their contents to the younger generation, making them suitable to the readers and increasing their numbers and titles. Therefore, it was necessary to register books and inform about them. This practice was not only the basis for contem- porary bibliography, but it is also of historical importance in searching for valu- able books and studying in them the remarkable spiritual heritage of the Mon- gols. Since the time when manuscripts were used, the Mongols have developed their bibliography. The modern term “bibliography” in Mongolian contains the meaning of the words bicheech (scribe) and bichigch (writer), and there are differ- ent kinds of bibliographical items called dans (book), burtgel (registration), garchig (title), tses (list of titles), ners (titles), lavlakh (reference), toli (dictionary) and devter (book). Bibliographical information considerably developed during the 17th–19th centuries when the Buddhist religion was widely introduced into Mongolia. Here are, for ex- ample, some of the titles of the books printed by different Mongolian blocks: “Ti- 1 Shuger, Ts.: The Mongolian method of book printing, Ulaanbaatar 1976: 25. 2 Ligeti, L.: The Tabgach language becomes one of dialects of Syanbi, Studies of Language and Literature. Ulaanbaatar 1970, vol. VII: 227. 3 Books of Mongolian xylography. Ulaanbaatar 1991: 64.
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