The Schøyen Collection, which is based in London and Oslo, is one of the largest private collections in the world. It contains over 20,000 manuscripts spanning 5000 years of human culture and civilization. Scholars are welcome to visit by appointment, but it is also possible to view some of the already digitized material online. Many digitized items and manuscripts include translations and clarifying descriptions of the artefacts.


An example of digitized material is the inscriptions on oracle bone from Xiaotun stemming back from the 14-12. c. BC (see MS 2103/2). The text records the interpretation of the oracle and the date of its production. The oracle bones are so far the first preserved evidence of Chinese script in complete meaningful sentences. Find more interesting material in the China-section of the Schøyen Collection.

Material of special interest to scholars of Asia can be found under the following sections:

4.6 (Palaeography – Aramaic, Hebrew & Syriac)
9 (Mathematics)
10.7 (Magical Literature – Asian, African & American)
12 (Dead Sea Scrolls)
15.6 (Bindings & Bookboxes – Oriental Bindings)
16 (Seals)
17 (Apocryphal Literature)
19 (Dictionaries & Lexical Texts)
20 (China)
21 (Pre-Gutenberg Printing)
22 (Buddhism)
23 (Religions)
24 (Smaller Collections)

< Back to Special Collections