Manchu Books Online: HYL

Manchu Books Online: HYL

As previously announced, the Harvard-Yenching Library is currently digitizing many of the rare books in its Manchu and Mongolian collections. A few interesting books are already available. Of these eleven texts, one highlight is the heavily annotated copy of the 1792 Ilan hacin-i gisun kamcibuha tuwara de ja obuha bithe, otherwise known by its Chinese title, Sanhe bianlan 三合便覽 (A Trilingual Glossary for Convenient Browsing) by Ging-jai (Jing-zhai 敬齋).  The preface, by his son Fugiyūn 富俊, is dated 1780.  The Mongolian title is γurban jüyil-ün üge qadamal üjeküi-tür kilbar bolγaγsan bičig.  

The reason this particular text (there are three versions online, the one discussed here is TMO 5805.01 3624) is especially exciting is because of its copious notes. With annotations on almost every page, it almost seems as though the owner, whose identity is unknown to us, was interested in compiling his own dictionary! In any case, it is an indication of the many treasures that the library is laboring to make available to the scholarly public. We are truly fortunate to live in an age when private annotations from the early nineteenth century (?) are available for everyone to explore.

Sanhe 2


  1. This is great news !

    The Staadtsbibliothek zu Berlin also has put some Manchu books online ( I don’t know for how long they have been there (the site is still a beta version) so maybe you already know about it.

  2. I had no idea! Thank you for this lead. If you know of anything else, please don’t hesitate to share. I’ll add this to our digital resources right away.

  3. A belated addition to the site. Now it’s all in one place. If anyone else has leads on collections, let me know.

  4. Guyome

    The Münchener Bibliothek has 5 Manchu documents online :
    – Cod. Mandschu 4 (
    – Cod. Sin. 97, 117, 141 and 212 (
    But, unless I missed something, the quality of the images is not so good.

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