Campus Gotha, Gotha Research Library

Selling Manuscripts to Soviet Orientalism: The Book Trade of Sabir 'Alimov (1872-1942)

22. Mar 2023, 6.15 pm
Gotha Manuscript Talks: Local Manuscript Brokers: Between Preserving and Selling Literary Heritage
Gotha Research Library (FBG)
Dr. Alfrid Bustanov (University of Amsterdam), Prof. Dr. Konrad Hirschler (Hamburg) and Dr. Feras Krimsti (FB Gotha)
Event type

Talk with Dr. Alfrid Bustanov (University of Amsterdam) as part of the online series Gotha Manuscript Talks. The event takes place in cooperation with the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg.

Über die Veranstaltung

The book trade was an important source for assembling manuscripts at the Orientalist institutions in early Soviet Russia. In the course of the 1930s, the newly established Leningrad Institute of Oriental Studies enlarged its collections of Islamic manuscripts by acquiring items from multiple individuals in the Muslim regions of Inner Russia. The al-Azhar graduate Sabir 'Alimov (1872-1942) was part of this process and over several years shipped a significant number of Islamic books from Astrakhan to Leningrad. This case of book trade exemplifies the transformation of Islamic knowledge into the body of manuscripts meant for Orientalist preservation and research. On the basis of 'Alimov’s private archive, we will explore the expectations of a Muslim scholar and Soviet Orientalists in regards of the quality of the collected material and the global purposes of the trade.

Dr. Alfrid Bustanov is assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam and PI of the ERC Starting Grant The Muslim Individual in Imperial and Soviet Russia. He has published widely on the history of Islam in Russia past and present. His current book project examines the history of Muslim book collections in Soviet Russia.


The event will take place online via Webex. To participate, click on the following link for the Research Library's Webex room.

zum Webex-Raum
Curator of the Oriental Manuscript Collection
(Gotha Research Library)
Gotha Research Library (Gotha, Schlossplatz 1)