Specialized Information Service for Central Asia


Johannes Reckel


Georg August Universität Göttingen

Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek


Library service, central Asian literature, Altaic languages


The State and University Library Goettingen houses the largest collection of printed literature from Central Asia and Siberia, especially in the languages of the indigenous nations. This includes Mongolian, Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and literature in most Turkic, Tungus, Mongolian and palaeoasiatic languages of Central Asia and Siberia. Specialists at the library can help with papers and handouts, to be sent electronically or on paper to scholars and students. Through the information given in handouts it is possible to search the catalogue online for literature in certain languages and topics and order the books or articles from journals as interlibrary loan or scans. Most literature from Central Asia is only available in printed form. Because of the many languages spoken in Central Asia it is difficult to buy literature in languages of small ethnic groups which are only printed in small numbers. Our highly specialized library staff is therefore spending many months each year in that region to buy books locally. This year it has not been possible to go to Central Asia personally yet, but through personal contacts many boxes of printed literature from Central Asia arrive at the library even now.

The library has funding by the German Research Foundation for a Specialized Information Service for Central Asia and Siberia concentrating on the literature about the autochthonous peoples of that region and their languages. The Service also includes a webarchive, at the moment cataloguing Uyghur webpages in the first place.

The staff working at the library has been reduced during the corona crisis, so that each office has only one person present at one time. Despite the corona crisis the library is open for most services like local loans, interlibrary loans, scans, etc. The reading rooms of the library are still closed. Scans of manuscripts and rare books etc. can be easily ordered though. These scans are free for members of Goettingen University.

Information and an individual service can be arranged by contacting the curator of the Central Asia Section of the library, PD Dr. Johannes Reckel and his team.


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