Fiftieth Anniversary of the Sinological Library

Author: A. Ipatova, O. Popova

Today it is difficult to imagine Russian Sinology without this unique specialized library, our "Sinologichka," as its readers endearingly call it.

There has been experience of creating this kind of specialized library in the past. Oriental study libraries were opened in Russia at different times, which also contained books on China. But the true predecessor of our Sinological Library, its prototype, can be considered the no less unique Sinological library of the Russian religious mission in Beijing founded in 1795, part of the funds of which was transferred to the Sinological Library.

A group of prestigious academic Sinologists initiated its establishment: future academician, at that time corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, N. Konrad; D.Sc. (Philology), later corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences N. Fedorenko; D.Sc. (Philology), Professor I. Oshanin; D.Sc. (History), and current academician S. Tikhvinsky. On 9 December, 1957, they published an open letter in Pravda entitled "We Need a Central Sinological Library," and asked the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences to consider establishing such a library at the USSR Academy of Sciences' Institute of Sinology formed in October 1956. On 6 March, 1958, the Academy of Sciences' Presidium issued instructions to set up a special Sinological Library at the USSR Academy of Sciences' Institute of Sinology.1

Sinologist D. Zilberg, PhD. (History) was appointed the head of the library and held this position at different times for twenty years. Sinologists came to work at the Sinological Library: E. Voskresenskaya, E. Geniatulina, K. Denisova, M. Dobracheva, V. Zhuravleva, A. Kozorovitskaya, A. Kostyaeva, L. Kuvshinnikova, and V. Liubimova. The library's employees, recent graduates from Moscow State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, and Leningrad State University, had superb Sinological training, which was necessary for working in a library where most of the fund comprises books in Chinese, but they had to ...

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