Rare Manuscripts and Books from 18th-20th Centuries Discovered in Kyzylorda Region

ASTANA — Researchers from the National Center of Manuscripts and Rare Books discovered valuable artifacts spanning the 18th to 20th centuries during a recent expedition to the Kyzylorda Region on April 3, reported the Ministry of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan. 

Valuable artifacts spanning the 18th to 20th centuries found during an expedition to the Kyzylorda region. Photo credit: Ministry of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan. Click to see the map in full size. The map is designed by The Astana Times

Alongside a collection of rare books, the team uncovered remarkable finds of manuscripts dating back to the late 18th century, shedding light on Sharia law. Among these discoveries were copies of Ahmed Yassawi’s “Divan-i Hikmet,” originally published by the esteemed Kazan publishing house in 1904 and 1912.

The researchers also found significant works, including copies of the Quran with Turkic commentary, “Jami al-Rumuz” published in Egypt between 1909 and 1910, and the sixth volume of “Sharh Kanz ad Dakaik” from 1898. Many of these works were part of the “Kanz ad Dakaik” collection, along with a book on Sufism titled “Nur al-Ghashiqin.”

Photo credit: Ministry of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan

Unfortunately, the condition of these discoveries was poor, as they had been stored away in chests and attics by residents of the region. Some require restoration, prompting specialists to undertake disinfection and insecticide treatment in the restoration-conservation laboratory. After these initial steps, restoration efforts will commence, alongside a meticulous process of creating copies to ensure their preservation for future generations.

Looking ahead, the researchers plan to expand their search to include national heritage artifacts stored in private collections. The expedition team also visited state libraries, museums, and archival institutions to further their research and deepen their understanding of the material they are studying.

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