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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: E-30Last update of repository: 18 November 2017
Institut vostochnykh rukopisei RAN (IVR)
The Asiatic Museum (Aziatskii muzei) was founded in 1818 on the basis of the so-called Oriental Cabinet under the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and the collections of Oriental provenance from the Kunstkammer. It gradually became one of the world’s richest collections of books, manuscripts, coins, and epigraphical monuments relating to cultures of peoples of the Orient. In 1930, the Institute of Oriental Studies was organized on the basis of the Asiatic Museum, the Institute of Buddhist Culture, the Turkological Cabinet, and the Collegium of Orientalists of the Academy.
The headquarters of the Institute was moved to Moscow in 1950, while the Sector (former museum) of Oriental Manuscripts remained in Leningrad. In 1956, the Sector was reorganized as the Leningrad Division of the Institute (LOIV), which in 1960 was renamed the Institute of the Peoples of Asia. The former name was restored in 1969. In 1991, it became the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. For holdings of the Institute in Moscow, see E–7. The Institute, together with the Institute of Material Culture (earlier of Archeology) (E–26) occupies the elegant New Michael Palace (Novomikhailovskii dvorets), built in 1857–1861 on the Neva embankment by the architect A.I. Stakenschneider (Shtakenshneider) for emperor’s uncle Michael (Mikhail) Nikolaevich.
Before the Revolution, Orientalia comprised the Third Division of the Asiatic Museum (1819–1918). In 1918, as a result of the reorganization of the Asiatic Museum, its Third Division was renamed the Asiatic Archive (Aziatskii arkhiv), which collected both manuscripts in Oriental languages and materials relating to Oriental studies. Archival materials and Oriental manuscripts were divided into two divisions—the Archive of Orientalists and the Manuscript Division, which in 1937 were known respectively as the Collection of Oriental Manuscripts and the Archive of Orientalists. With the current organization, the rich manuscript collections are held by the Sector for Oriental Manuscripts and Documents itself, while the Archive of Orientalists constitute a separate division under this Sector.
In 2007 the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies was reorganized as the independent Institute of Oriental Manuscripts.
N.B. The records of the Asiatic Museum and its successor LOIV AN for the period 1817–1967 have been formally transferred to the St. Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SPbF ARAN—E–25, fond 152), although for an extensive period, they have remained on temporary deposit in the Institute itself.