Asian Museum

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Asian Museum


a scientific and research institution dealing with oriental studies; it has a collection of manuscripts in many oriental languages and an oriental studies library. The Asian Museum was founded in St. Petersburg in November 1818 under the Academy of Sciences. Its collection started with oriental coins, manuscripts, and other materials gathered in the Kunstkammer from the time of Peter I. Thanks to the work of its first director, Kh. D. Fren, it became Russia’s biggest depository of manuscripts and books of the East. In 1917 the Asian Museum became a combination museum and library, the only such institution of its kind. B. A. Dorn, S. F. Ol’denburg, V. V. Bartol’d, I. Iu. Krachkovskii, V. M. Alekseev, and other prominent orientalists have worked at the museum. When the Collegium of Orientalists was set up under the Asian Museum in 1921, the museum became a center uniting all the orientalists of Leningrad. In 1930 the Institute of Eastern Studies, under the USSR Academy of Sciences, was set up on the basis of the Collegium of Orientalists of the Asian Museum and several other institutions of oriental studies.


Livotova, O. E. “Osnovnaia literatura ob Aziatskom muzee—Institut vostokovedeniia AN SSSR (1776–1954).” In Ocherki po istorii russkogo vostokovedeniia, collection 2. Moscow, 1956. Pages 469–511.
Dantsig, B. M. Izuchenie Bl. Vostoka v Rossii. Moscow, 1968. Chapter 2.
Baziants, A., N. Kuznetsova, and L. Kulagina. Aziatskii muzei—Institut vostokovedeniia AN SSSR (1818–1968). Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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