MONGOLIAN STUDIES IN BRITAIN By Jantsan Bat-Ireedui The Institute for Mongolian Studies National University of Mongolia
Foreword• Mongolian Studies in Britain in modern times began with historical research and the translation and analysis of traditional Mongolian texts.• Professor Charles Bawden produced a translation and commentary of the Altan tovch for his PhD and this was published in 1955.
London, University of London• Charles Bawden was Professor of Mongolian Studies in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of London University many years until he retired in 1984.• He cooperated widely with other Mongolian specialists in Mongolia and all over the world and he has encouraged to many younger scholars in their interest and work on Mongolian studies.
London SOAS• Alan Sanders has become the greatest British authority on contemporary Mongolian politics and economics development. He has closely observed the development of my country since the 1960s and published many books and articles that are read not only by Mongolian studies specialists but also social scientists and the general public.• Although Alan Sanders worked for many years at the BBC, he also spent five years as lecturer in Mongolian Studies at SOAS.
LEEDS, University of Leeds• In 1961 a Department of Chinese Studies was set up under a government initiative to promote East Asian Studies,• A well-known American Scholar, Owen Lattimore was appointed professor and head of the department.• Owen Lattimore brought to Leeds Onin Urgunge, a Daur Mongol, and together they set up a Mongolian Studies programme.
Cambridge, University of Cambridge• The major centre for research in Mongolian studies in Britain is Cambridge as you will know.• The Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit (MIASU) in Cambridge was developed by Professor Caroline Humphrey, who is an anthropologist.• MIASU is now run by David Sneath, another anthropologist, who has done much valuable research on nomadic herding societies in Mongolian lands.
Cambridge• MIASU has attracted many young scholars, not only from Britain but from other countries too, who have gone on to graduate with PhDs. They include Uradiin Bulag, Christopher Kaplonski, Rachel Kempson, Dulam Bum-Ochir and many more.• They research topics range from shamanism and Buddhism to history and memory.
Library collections on Mongolian studies• SOAS library has a very good collection of Mongolian works and works about Mongolia and the Mongols which scholars from other universities are able to use.• In Cambridge there are three valuable collections: one in the University Library itself, Owen Lattimore’s personal collection of books and journals in the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Charles Bawden’s personal collection which has been deposited with the Ancient Indian and Iran Trust Library.• The Mongolian collection in the Leeds University libraries is smaller but it includes some useful materials for studiying the 20th century including a collection given by Owen Lattimore when he worked in Leeds.
Library• The collection of Mongolian books held in the British Library is more useful to Mongolists now that it is being properly catalogued in 2006.
Cambridge• One examined the de-collectivisation of herding economies in Mongol lands and the prospects for the rural economy for the future.• Another project aims to compile a database of oral accounts of modern Mongolian history.• A third project is helping to preserve manuscripts of the writings of Danzanravjaa held in Sainshand.