The Gunnar Jarring Collection of Central Eurasia publications consists of almost 5000 volumes – mostly printed books from the 19th·and 20th·centuries but also manuscripts, catalogues and maps as well as more than 3000 offprints, most of which were signed by their authors with dedication inscriptions to their colleague and friend, Ambassador or Professor Jarring. Besides the travelogues and related literature, linguistic treatises and dictionaries for a great number of languages can be found in the collection, as well as books on history, religion, literature and several other disciplines.
The Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection is part of a digitization project with initial funding from the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (2011–2014). This project is conducted in cooperation with the Sven Hedin Foundation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and at a global level with the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) – a network for the coordination of databases for collections from the Eastern Silk Road. Rare and fragile manuscripts and printed matters as well as other objects, such as photos, maps and drawings in the Jarring Collection at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII) have been digitized for storage and presented on this website.
Parallel to his career as a top diplomat in the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) entertained a life-long academic career devoted to the Turkic world in general and Eastern Turkestan in particular. A large part of his own private library consisted of publications on Central Eurasia, both from the region itself and from other parts of the world, not least the former Soviet Union, where Jarring was Ambassador from 1964 to 1973. All of the most well-known accounts of expeditions to Inner Asia can be found in this collection along with a great number of less known accounts, some of which are very rare and accessible at just a few or perhaps even no other libraries in the world.
The Collection of Central Eurasia publications from Gunnar Jarring’s private library was eventually handed over to the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, which had the Ambassador among its fellows. In 2012, the year marking the 50th·anniversary of the SRII, a decision was taken by the Academy to the effect that the collection was to be donated to this Institute, where Jarring had been a most engaged member both as president of the board of trustees, 1974–1978, and as co-editor of the SRII annual, 1976–1996. This donation from the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities is of crucial significance for the promotion of SRII as an international multidisciplinary research forum operating in a broad Eurasian perspective.
So far the parts of the collection titled Prints from the Swedish Mission in Kashgar and Travel Literature have been digitized. These two sections are continuously being updated. By clicking on the options to the left you will access the digitized works in each section of the Jarring Collection.
Members of the Gunnar Jarring digitization project in Istanbul
Project Manager: Professor Birgit Schlyter
Technical Advisor: Jonas Lindh
Research assistants: Patrick Hällzon, M.A., Azize Güneş, B.A., Master student
For questions and/or suggestions, please, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to express our gratitude to the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for an initial grant 2011–2014, and to Stockholm University and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities for generous funding during our continued digitization and research work. We are also thankful to the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden’s archive in Stockholm (Equmeniakyrkan) for cooperation and technical support in the scanning process.