[Philadelphia, PA/Dallas, TX/Berkeley, CA]: 1958-1959. Five groups of stapled mechanically reproduced typescripts totaling 48 pages of text + six loose leaves containing nine pages of handwritten notes + three loose leaves containing four pages of mechanically reproduced Mongolian text (all measuring 11” x 8½”) + photocopy of a map. Generally very good plus, with some toning and fading to pages.
This is a group of materials concerning the study of the history, language and culture of the Kalmyk people, an oppressed Mongol subgroup. While the political oppression of the Kalmyk people dates back centuries, these materials begin just after the Kalmyks were allowed to return home from a World War II-enforced Siberian exile in 1957. In June 1941, the German army invaded the Soviet Union, and gained partial control of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In December 1943, the Soviet government accused the Kalmyks of collaborating with the Germans and deported the entire population to Siberia and other parts of Central Asia. Around half of the approximately 98,000 Kalmyk people deported to Siberia died before they were allowed to return home in 1957.
The collection includes revised bylaws and the 1958 president's report of the Society for the Promotion of Kalmyk Cultures (SPKC), a nonprofit organization founded in Philadelphia in 1954. The main function of the SPKC was to promote the study of the history and culture of the Kalmyk people via an active library collection, publication of scholarly and literary materials, and the organization of activities such as lectures and seminars. The group also created a Kalmyk language and Buddhist religion Sunday school for children, and sponsored a scholarship fund to help Kalmyk students attain higher education.
The materials here also include SPKC member Dr. Arash Bormanshinov's report on his participation at the World Conference on Religion and Freedom which was held in Dallas, Texas in April 1959. The report conveyed that he was introduced to the conference as a Kalmyk “refugee from Soviet Asia, a victim of the Communist regime,” and discussed his meetings with various religious and political leaders, mostly on the subject of Tibetan freedom. At the time of the conference, Bormanshinov was an Assistant Professor of Modern Languages at RPI in Troy, New York. He was also the author of at least seven Kalmyk-related texts including a dictionary, and that he also taught at the University of Maryland.
The collection further includes two bibliographies of both Mongolian- and English-language books and journals relevant to the study of the Kalmyk as well as greater Mongolian and Asian histories. There are also handwritten notes in English and Mongolian, as well as what appear to be Mongolian stories, poems, and an alphabet and pronunciation guide. The notes may be in the hand of noted scholar and professor James Bosson who initially compiled these materials. Bosson taught Mongolian, Manchu, and Tibetan languages and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley from 1963 until the late 1990s. Throughout his career, Bosson researched and translated texts, and published multiple works, including a widely-used Mongolian textbook. In 2014, he was awarded the Order of the Polar Star Medal of Mongolia, the highest award given by the Mongolian government to a non-native, for his contributions to Mongolian studies in the United States.
Excellent resources for the study of the Kalmyk people and their efforts to preserve their culture and history in America. Very good +. Item #6390