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2002 articles 1976 articles

Oriental material in the reference division of the British Library

Albertine Gaur

Abstract

THE Oriental material housed in the three Library Departments of the old British Museum and the Science Reference Library which now constitute the Reference Division of the British Library is much larger and more comprehensive than is generally realized. It is by no means limited to printed books only but includes extensive collections of manuscripts, maps, charts, personal papers, and objects as diverse as oracle bones, palm leaves, copper plates, and ivory boards. Taking a wider view one can divide it into material written in Oriental languages (not necessarily connected with the Orient) and material about the Orient written in Western languages. Both have their place in the field of Oriental studies, but they require an entirely difFerent kind of attention - the second may be dealt with by librarians, the first can only be handled by appropriately trained scholars.

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