Southeast Asian languages

Overview

The Southeast Asian collection encompasses several thousand printed works and around 4,100 manuscripts in the languages Burmese, Batak, Javanese and Balinese, Cambodian, Lampung, Laotian, Malayan, Vietnamese, Thai and the languages of the Philippines.

Main focuses of content

A selection of secondary literature in Western European languages is acquired. The main focus of the content of the secondary literature is on humanities – philosophy, religion (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam in Asia), history, archaeology, linguistics and literature, ethnic studies, architecture and art and classic text editions.

Manuscripts

The Oriental and Asia Department manages the Southeast Asian manuscripts technically (acquisition, subject information, guided tours, exhibitions), while the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books administrates them and is in charge of their use. The Southeast Asian manuscripts can be consulted in the Reading Room for Manuscripts and Rare Books. At present, the acquisition policy for Southeast Asian manuscripts is determined by the scholarly relevance of texts and their aesthetic-museological aspect.

The 4,100 Southeast Asian manuscripts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek are subdivided into the following languages: Indonesian languages (2,650), Burmese (900), Thai (500), etc. The materials used for writing on are unusually varied: paper, palm leaves, dluwang, bamboo, wood, textile fabric, ivory, bone, stone, gold, silver and other metals. The Southeast Asian manuscripts are categorised in line with the language.

Burmese manuscripts

The collection of Burmese manuscripts includes writings of Buddhism, astrology (horoscopes, etc.), numerous forms of orders (kammavācās) of different designs, apotropaic and divinatory objects and a number of manuscripts of the minority people of the Shan.

Important manuscripts
Gold sheet from a votive pagoda  (Cod.birm. 632)
Illuminated manuscript on the Buddhist mythology of Myanmar  (Cod.birm. 286)
Illustrated plough ceremony  (Cod.birm. 285)
Two ivory kammavācās  (Cod.birm. 89 and Cod.birm. 90)

Thai manuscripts

The Thai manuscripts include writings of Buddhism, among them kammavācās and jataka cycles, medicine, astrology, cat typologies and literary texts.

Important manuscripts

Red-gold kammavācā from northern Thailand  (Cod.siam 27)
Poetology  (Cod.siam. 98)
Jataka cycles  (Cod.siam. 19 and Cod.siam. 35)
Cat typologies  (Cod.siam. 105 and Cod.siam. 121)
Astrological manual  (Cod.siam. 176)

Javanese manuscripts

The 2,600 Javanese manuscripts, most of them palm leaf manuscripts, include texts of Hinduism, medicine, to a limited extent also with Islamic or Buddhist content.

Manuscripts from other Southeast Asian countries

Smaller groups are formed by Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Malayan and Philippine manuscripts. Manuscripts of Vietnamese provenance can be found under the classification marks Cod.sin. 82 – 84 and 214 – 255. There are 24 Batak and 11 Lampung manuscripts from Sumatra.

Overview of manuscript groups and classification marks

Southeast Asia
BurmeseCod.birm
BatakCod.Batak
Javanese, BalineseCod.jav.
CambodianCod.kamb.
LampungCod.Lamp.
LaotianCod.laot.
MalayanCod.malai.
PhilippinesCod.philipp.
Thai (Siamese)Cod.siam

Catalogues

F.) Southeast Asian manuscripts

[Cod.birm., Cod.Batak, Cod.jav., Cod.kamb., Cod.Lamp., Cod.laot., Cod.malai, Cod.philipp., Cod.siam.]

FA. Cod.birm. = Codices birmanici

  • [Cod.birm. 4]
    Burmese manuscripts. Part 1
    compiled by Heinz Bechert, Khin Khin Su and Daw Tin Tin Myint
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 2000. p. 181.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 23,1.)
  • [Cod.birm. 1, 5 – 9, 12 – 29, 33 – 47, 67 – 72, 76, 82 – 87, 89 – 94, 98 – 100, 103, 104, 147 – 151, 156 – 158, 291 – 321]
    Burmese manuscripts. Part 4: catalogue numbers 736 – 900
    compiled by Anne Peters, edited by Heinz Bechert
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 2000. passim.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 23,4.)
  • [Cod.birm. 154, 155, 168, 180, 203 – 205, 214, 236, 284 – 288, 290, 322 – 382, 390, 398 – 405, 414 – 417, 419 – 421, 430 – 436, 443, 445, 446, 456, 461 – 464, 466, 478, 481 – 484, 486, 487, 505, 520]
    Birmanische Handschriften. Part 5: Die Katalognummern 901 – 1015
    compiled by Anne Peters, edited by Heinz Bechert
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 2004. passim.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 23,5.)
  • [Cod.birm. 10, 11, 31, 32, 50, 51, 55 – 63, 66, 73, 74, 77 – 81, 85, 88, 97, 102, 105 – 114, 116, 120 – 145, 152, 161 – 167, 169 – 179, 181 – 196, 198 – 202, 207 – 213, 215 – 231, 237, 239 – 241, 243 – 245, 247 – 249, 251, 252, 256 – 272, 274 – 283, 289, 375, 379, 383, 387, 389, 394, 396, 397, 412, 418, 422, 423, 426, 429, 437 – 440, 442, 449, 450, 452, 455, 458, 467, 470, 476, 477, 488, 490, 491, 495, 496, 498, 499, 501, 503, 504, 511 – 515, 517, 521 – 542, 544 – 554, 557 – 585, 587]
    Shan manuscripts. Part 1
    compiled and edited by Berend Jan Terwiel, with the assistance of Chaichuen Khamdaengyodtai
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 2003. p. 51-335.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 39,1.)

FB. Cod.Batak

  • [Cod.Batak 1 – 5]
    Batak-Handschriften
    described by Liberty Manik
    Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1973. p. 177-183.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 28,1.)
  • [Cod.Batak 6 – 13]
    Handschriften aus Indonesien
    described by Theodore G. Pigeaud and P. Voorhoeve
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985. p. 14-17.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 28,2.)

FC. Cod.jav. = Codices javanici

  • [Cod.jav. 1 – 12]
    Javanese and Balinese manuscripts and some codices written in related idioms spoken in Java and Bali
    descriptive catalogue by Theodore G. Th. Pigeaud
    Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1985. p. 303-307.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 31.)
  • [Cod.jav. 13 – 30]
    Handschriften aus Indonesien
    described by Theodore G. Pigeaud and P. Voorhoeve
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985. p. 61-65.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 28,2.)

FD. Cod.kamb. = Codices kambojanici

FE. Cod.Lamp. = Codices Lampung

  • [Cod.Lamp. 1 – 11]
    Handschriften aus Indonesien
    described by Theodore G. Pigeaud and P. Voorhoeve
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985. p. 40-46.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 28,2.)

FF. Cod.laot. = Codices laotici

FG. Cod.malai. = Codices malaiici

  • [Cod.malai. 4]
    Javanese and Balinese manuscripts and some codices written in related idioms spokenin Java and Bali
    descriptive catalogue by Theodore G. Th. Pigeaud
    Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1985. p. 302 f.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 31.)

FH. Cod.philipp. = Codices philippinici

FI. Cod.siam. = Codices siamesici 

  • [Cod.siam. 1, 2, 4, 7]
    Thai-Handschriften
    described by Klaus Wenk
    Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1963. passim.
    (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 9,1.)

G. Oriental polyglot

[Cod.or.polygl.]


New acquisitions as of 2008 can be searched in the OPACplus/ BSB catalogue.

OPACplus/BSB catalogue

Literature on individual manuscripts can be found in the "Forschungsdokumentation Handschriften" (research documentation manuscripts).

Forschungsdokumentation Handschriften

History

While the catalogues of the 19th century have entries of a small number of Southeast Asian manuscripts, the majority of these manuscripts was acquired only as of the 1970s. Since 1973, the number of Oriental and Asian manuscripts has quintupled from 3,300 to 18,400 today. In the process, particular emphasis was laid on expanding valuable and extensive source collections from Southeast Asia. Up to this time, the library held only a small number of items from these regions. Partly by consistently purchasing individual items and small groups of items, partly by purchasing complete, large collections, extensive collections of manuscripts from Myanmar and Thailand in particular could be established since 1976.

The next great purchases, not only in view of high quality, but also large quantity, have taken place in the form of the acquisition of palm leaf manuscripts from Java and Bali since 1984. A very noteworthy collection of works from the Yao people native to southern China and various Southeast Asian states, has been added step by step since 1989. (Further information on the Yao manuscripts) Smaller groups of Southeast Asian manuscripts in the languages Batak, Cambodian, Lampung, Laotian, Philippine have also been expanded systematically.

One important collection emphasis is on manuscripts of the Buddhist canon in various languages of Southeast Asia and Buddhist order forms of diverse origin and design.

App

The app "Famous Books – Treasures of the Bavarian State Library" for iPads and iPhones presents the most precious, outstanding specimens from the collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Using the app, you can browse the poetology (Cod.siam. 98) virtually, among other things.

App "Famous Books – Treasures of the Bavarian State Library"

Literature

Grönbold, Günter: Die orientalischen Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 9 (1981), p. 68-84.

Grönbold, Günter: Knochen, Stein und Elfenbein: ungewöhnliche Textträger in Bibliotheken. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 14 (1986), p. 122-136.

Rebhan, Helga: Ausstellungen orientalischer und asiatischer Bestände der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Griebel, Rolf; Ceynowa, Klaus (ed.): Information, Innovation, Inspiration: 450 Jahre Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. München: Saur, 2008. p. 639-665.

Rebhan, Helga: Asian Manuscripts in the Bavarian State Library, Munich. In: IIAS Newsletter 46 (2008), p. 38.

Rebhan, Helga: Liebe, Götter und Dämonen: wertvolle asiatische Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 1 (2008), p. 23-27.

Tabery, Thomas: Hoher Besuch: Prinzessin Maha Chakra Sirindhorn in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksmagazin (2009) 3, p. 18-21.

Rebhan, Helga: Orientalische und asiatische Handschriften und seltene Drucke der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Ceynowa, Klaus; Hermann, Martin (ed.): Bibliotheken: Innovation aus Tradition: Rolf Griebel zum 65. Geburtstag. Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2014. p. 322-333. Available on: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9783110310511 [Last access 21.03.2016].

Exhibitions

Dachs, Karl (ed.): Erwerbungen aus drei Jahrzehnten: 1948 – 1978: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: abendländische und orientalische Handschriften, Inkunabeln und seltene Drucke, Noten und Landkarten: Ausstellung April – Juli 1978. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1978.

Dachs, Karl (ed.): Das Buch im Orient: Handschriften und kostbare Drucke aus zwei Jahrtausenden: Ausstellung, 16. November 1982 – 5. Februar 1983. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1982.

Dachs, Karl (ed.): Thesaurus librorum: 425 Jahre Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Ausstellung München 18. August – 1. Oktober 1983 = 425 years Bavarian State Library: exhibition. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1983.

Höllmann, Thomas O. (ed.): Botschaften an die Götter: religiöse Handschriften der Yao: Südchina, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar: Ausstellung 4. November – 22. Dezember 1999. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999.

Noichl, Elisabeth (ed.): Schrift-Stücke: Informationsträger aus fünf Jahrtausenden: eine Ausstellung der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek und des Bayerischen Hauptstaatsarchivs: München, 19. Juli – 20. September 2000. München: Generaldirektion der Staatlichen Archive Bayerns; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2000.

Grönbold, Günter: Die Worte des Buddha in den Sprachen der Welt = The words of the Buddha in the languages of the world: Tipitaka – Tripitaka – Dazangjing – Kanjur: eine Ausstellung aus dem Bestand der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, München, 27. Januar – 20. März 2005. With a contribution by Renate Stephan. München: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2005.

Rebhan, Helga (ed.): Liebe, Götter und Dämonen: wertvolle asiatische Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek: Ausstellung 2. – 27. Januar 2008. München: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2007.

Top