De Jong Collection - Special Collections - Library - University of Canterbury

De Jong Collection

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Willem de Jong | Content of Collection | Browse the Catalogue | Enquiries

Jan Willem de Jong

Professor Jan Willem de Jong was a distinguished scholar in Buddhist Studies and founder of South Asian and Buddhist Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. He died in January 2000. During his career, he was able to gather a vast collection of books in a variety of fields, with a focus on Central Asian and South East Asian religions and history. At the beginning of the year 2000 the University of Canterbury Library acquired the De Jong Collection, estimated to consist of approximately 12,000 items. The project of sorting and cataloguing the books started in June 2000.

Content of the Collection

The core of the De Jong Collection is represented by material on Hinduism and Buddhism. Among the many reference books, there are various indexes of Tripitakas and descriptive catalogues of manuscripts in Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan. Two examples of some important reference titles now catalogued and shelved are the inventory of Tibetan manuscripts from Tun-huang: Inventaire des manuscrits tibétains de Touen-houang, conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale (Fonds Pelliot tibétain), edited by Marcelle Lalou, and published in Paris,1939-<1961>. There is also Sutain [Stein], Perio [Pelliot] shushu Tonko Hokkekyo mokuroku, edited by Kabutogi Shoko, Tokyo, 1978, which is a descriptive catalogue of the Miao-fa-lien-hua-ching from Tunhuang collected by Aurel Stein and Paul Pelliot.

De Jong PictureWith the acquisition of the De Jong Collection, the University of Canterbury Library has also added some rare items to the Rare Books Collection, such as: Systema Brahmanicum liturgicum, mythologicum, civile, by fr. Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo, published in Rome, 1791. The author's name Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo is the pseudonym of the Austrian missionary Philip Wesdin (1748-1806), who spent more than a decade in India. After his return to Rome he wrote some of the very first books published in Europe on Indian literature and customs. Other titles added to the Rare Books Collection include the first English translation from Sanskrit of a Hindu sacred book, by Charles Wilkins: The Bhagvat-geeta, or, Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon ... London, 1785, and Fables choisies, mises en vers, by Jean de La Fontaine, Amsterdam, 1705. 

The literature of Buddhism in Japanese represents a large portion of the De Jong Collection, and includes the most important critical studies edited in Japan, many of which are now out of print.

The Collection also includes many monographs on Asian history. Works on India and Tibet figure prominently among these items, together with some historical accounts on Central Asia. One seminal work can be identified in the English translation of a travel account by the explorer Carl Gustaf Mannerheim: Across Asia from West to East in 1906-1908, Helsinki, 1940. Another title worth mentioning is Kintei Seiiki dobunshi, Tokyo, 1961-1964, which is a polyglot gazetteer on Central Asia in Chinese, Kalmyk, Manchu, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Uighur.

De Jong PictureWith the acquisition of the De Jong Collection, the University of Canterbury Library can be considered one of the largest resources in New Zealand for the study of Asia in general, and of South East Asian religions and history in particular.

As a person of wide knowledge, Professor de Jong owned many books on other subjects, including Western philosophy, literature and classics. Consequently, the acquisition of the De Jong Collection has enabled the University of Canterbury Library to expand in those fields as well.

Browse the Catalogue

A search for De Jong Collection in the Author alphabetical index will find the entire collection of works. To restrict your search to items in the De Jong Collection, use the Global keyword index and enter a keyword, eg 'Buddhism', followed by: 'De Jong'.


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