The National Library of Finland is the oldest and largest scholarly library in Finland.
It is responsible for the collection, description, preservation and accessibility of Finland’s printed national heritage and the unique collections under its care.
The Collection of Oriental Manuscripts
The Collection of Oriental Manuscripts contains, for example, manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Turkish. The collection is based on the manuscripts acquired by the explorer G.A. Wallin (1811–1852) during his trips to Arabia. Wallin’s diaries, notes and other materials are included in personal archives. The collection also includes materials derived from G. J. Ramstedt (1873–1950), such as Mongolian manuscripts. The materials in the collection are varied ranging from papyri, parchments and palm leaves to writing on pieces of clay. In addition, the collection contains the manuscripts brought with C. G. E. Mannerheim (1867–1951) from his trip to Asia, which are deposited at the library of the Finno-Ugrian Society. These may only be studied with a permission of the society.
The Tibet Collection
The first part of the Tibet Collection was donated by Tibetan Lama Tsetul Pema Wangyal in 1993. Lhasa Kanjur is included in the donation. It is known as a printed edition under the name Zhol-Kanjur i.e. Zhol bka´gyur dpar ma literary collection, which was assembled into its current format in 1934. The collection includes text editions of wooden plates copied by photographing in the 1990s. The Lhasa-Kanjur Collection has a total of 100 volumes (1,359 texts): Vinaya (13 vol.); Prajñāpāramitā (21 vol.); Ratnakuta (6 vol.); Avatamsaka (6 vol.); Sūtra (30 vol.); Mahāparinirvanasūtra (2 vol.); Tantra (21 vol.); dKarchag (1 vol.).
The rest of the literature, around 200-300 volumes (3,458 texts) have been received as individual donations in the 21st century. The Tibet Collection thus consists of the following parts: Lhasa edition bka’ ‘gyur (= kanjur); bstan ‘ gyur (= tanjur); other Tibetan scientific literature; commentaries on the canon, and cut sheets.
The Japonica Collection
The Japonica Collection consists of several donations received in the 20th century. Finnish researchers of Japanology have played a central role in forming the collection. The collection has around 600 titles in 2,000 volumes.