Homescreen image archive

Gujin tushu jicheng
Palace edition of the Chinese imperial encyclopedia Gujin tushu jicheng (1728-1728), printed with moveable type (shelfmark PS. 1). Part of the collection is housed here in Berlin, part in Kraców (see Berlin-Krakau-Projekt)
Mukujokokyo Jishin’in darani
Segment of Mukujokokyo Jishin’in darani 無垢浄光経自心印陀羅尼, which as part of the "Million-Dharani-Pagoda" project was realized to commemorate the second accession to the throne of empress Shotoku in 764. Printed in Nara, Japan, between 764 and 770. Shelfmark: 558000 ROA.
(Link to digitized object)
Peking Ansichten (1864)
Peking: Östliches Thor in der Südmauer der Tartarenstadt (Eastern gate in the southern wall of the tartar city), from: Ansichten aus Japan, China und Siam : die preussische Expedition nach Ost-Asien. Berlin : Verlag der Kgl. Geheimen Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei, 1864. Signatur: Libri impr. rari 617
(Link to digitized book)
Libri sinici
[Translate to Englisch:] LibriSin ...
Wal: Abbildung eines Pazifischen Nordkapers (Eubalaena japonica)
[Translate to Englisch:] Porträt des Großen Kurfürsten (Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg. 1620-1688)
Shiki hyakuzuchou zukan Autumn Winter Owl
Seoul, aus Daedong yeojido Landkarte von Korea (大東輿地圖 대동여지도) von 1861.
Detail from Gzer-mig
Illustrated page from a Tibetan manuscript entitled Bkav-vdus-pa rin-po-chevi rgyud gzer-mig containing the biography of the legendary founder of Bon, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. Undated manuscript. Call number: Waddell 1 (Link zum Digitalisat )
Zôhyô uma no osaekata
On the picture scroll with the provisional title Zôhyô uma no osaekata (雑兵馬のおさえかた (仮題)) is shown how soldiers on foot are supposed to lead the horses of warriors mounted on horseback, manuscript without year, call number: 562181 ROA
(Link to digitized scroll )
Huayi yiyu
Huayi yiyu 華夷譯語 (Sino-Barbarian vocabulary), 1579, Ms, originally 24 thread-sewn booklets in now six european books. This manuscript has been purchased as part of the Friedrich Hirth collection by the at this time Royal Library in 1890. There are existing only a few not completely identic copies of the glossary worldwide. Call number: Libri sin. Hirth Ms. 1
Link to digitized book
Noneo eonhae
Noneo eonhae 論語諺觧 논어언해 (Korean Translation of the „Analects of Confucius“), Woodblock printing without year. Call number: Libri cor. 12. This title is available in Krakow and was digitized as part of the Berlin-Krakow Project.
Shiki hyakuchô zukan
Detail of the autumn scene in the 2nd scroll of the "Illustrations of One Hundred Birds in the Four Seasons", manuscript of the Genroku period (1688-1704), call number: Libri japon. 448
Link to digitized scroll
Illustrierte Schiffsbaukunde
Minsheng shuishi gebiaozhen xieying zhanshao chuanzhi tushuo 閩省水師各標鎮協營戰哨船隻圖說 (Illustrated manual on shipbuilding designated for the use of the provincial government of Foochow), 1730-1800, four trhead-bound volumes (Libri sin. Hirth ms. 5)
Probably a manual for the officials of Fujian 福建 dealing with the construction and administration of the government fleet. The book contains sixty illustrations of parts of five kinds of ships. It offers many terms relating to shipbuilding.
(Link to digitized book )
Dynastie de Beydjapour (Visapour)
"Dynastie de Beydjapour (Visapour)". Illustration frim: Langlès, Louis Mathieu: Monuments anciens et modernes de l'Hindoustan décrits sous le double rapport archeologique et pittoresque (...). Paris, 1821.
Link to digitized book
Murasaki shikibu genji karuta
The picture album Murasaki shikibu genji karuta (紫式部源氏かるた) contains illustrations by Utagawa Kunisada (1823-1180) of the 54 chapters of a parody of the Genji novel, the Nise murasaki inaka genji, colour print 1857, call number: 37647 ROA
(Link to digitized book )
archive of Fritz Weiss
The photograph is part of the archive of Fritz Weiss, German consul in China, and his wife Hedwig Weiss-Sonnenburg (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, online photo exhibition “Travels in Southwest China, 1899-1917” )
Diwan Alisher Nawa’i
Illustration from the manuscript Diwan Alisher Nawa’i in Chagatai language, a collection of poems by the famous poet Mir Alisher Nawa’i (1441-1501), manuscript of the 19th century, illustration of the 20th centruy, call number: Ms. or. quart. 1570, f. 105v. (Link zum Digitalisat )
One of the "Eight Views of Itsukushima": "Snow on Mikasa Beach" (御笠浜暮雪) from an early description of the island of Miyajima (Hiroshima Prefecture), the Itsukushima zue printed in 1842 (this copy 1843), call number: 5 B 75023 ROA
(Link to digitized book )
Illustration from: Kāśīmāhātmya, jisameṃ Śrīmahādevajīkī purī Śrīkāśījīkā uttamottama māhātmya varṇana kiyāgayā hai. Lakhanaū: Navalakiśora, 1906. The text is part of the Padma-purāṇa and describes Kāśī, the important centre of pilgrimage for Hindus.
(Link to digitized book with OCR-full text in Devanagari and transliteration)
Mirabilitum. Ill. from the Chinese pharmacopoeia 本草品彙精要 (Ms.), compiled A.D. 1506 by the Imperial Medical College. This very rare work has been purchased as part of the Friedrich Hirth collection by the at this time Royal Library in 1890. Call number: Libri sin. Hirth Ms. 2 (Link)
Opening illustration from the Jaran Sari (also known as: Jaran Purnama) romance in macapat metre, West-Javanese tale of two rival brothers. The illustration in the so called wayang-style on f. 2r shows the brothers (one with diadem, one with common head-dress), in a wood full of snakes and birds. The manuscript was probably written in the first half of the 19th century. Call number: Schoemann II 14, f. 1v-2r (Link)
Detail from the Bankoku kishô zufu (萬國旗章圖譜). Handwritten copy of the book of the same title with drawings of foreign ships’ flags, emblems and banners mounted on a scroll (after 1852). Call number: 562180 ROA (Link)
Peking Imperial Examination Halls
Peking. Imperial Examination Halls. Ill. From: Alfons von Mumm, Tagebuch in Bildern, meinen Mitarbeitern in Peking zur freundlichen Erinnerung an ihren Chef …Berlin, 1902. Call number: 4° Un 3661
[Translate to Englisch:] Chuta Suna Masjid
"The Inside of the Chuta Suna Masjid". Illustration from: Creighton, Henry: The ruins of Gour: described and represented in eighteen views. London, 1817.
Link zum Digitalisat
Title page of a wood block print from the collection Pander from Beijing. The title is given in three languages, in Sanskrit in Ranjana script, in Tibetan and in classical Mongolian: Ālikāli, Dbyangs-gsal, Agasig vuisug gigat gajigulugci vuisug ut (Эгшиг үсэг хийгээд гийгүүлэгч үсгүүд). The work lectures on the "vowels and consonants" of the Sanskrit alphabet. Shelfmark: Pander B 100
Illustrated malayan paper scroll on astrology
Astrological Talisman. This manuscript contains a text about astrology. The text explains and illustrates the relation between one’s time of birth and one’s character and fortune through symbols of certain animals (like a fish, alligator, mouse, deer, cat). In Arabic script (Jawi), call number: Schoemann XI 3, 22, f. 1r (Link)
The "Herbarium Chinese" proves Mentzels (1622-1701) plan to translate the complete Bencao gangmuof Li Shizhen. But only four pages bear any traces. The title page points to Libri sin.102/107; the ginseng illustrations also appear in his small booklet on this medical root (Ms. sin. 18). Shelfmark: Ms. sin. 15
Ill. from the Tsukiô otohime monogatari (月王乙姫物語). This painted handscroll from the Enpô period (1673-1681) came into the possession of the then Royal Library via the diplomat Max von Brandt (1835-1920). Call number: Libri japon. 458 Link
Detail of Tibetan dbyangs-yig from the collection Pander (1854-1894). The lines describe tone sequences for the recitation of the prayer. They are comparable to medieval neumes used in Europe for notating tone patterns in chorales and sacred melodies. (Pander B 263)
The brothers Schlagintweit traveled on behalf of the East India Company to large parts of Asia in order to advance the science of cartography. Their research led them mainly to the Himalayan region, but they also toured the south of the country and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Link
Eclipses were significant for the fortune of the Chinese emperor and the empire. They were a threat when they happened unpredicted. Libri sin. 22-2 shows how the Imperial Astronomical Office 欽 天 監 announced time and extent of the solar eclipse on April 4th 1669.
Ill. from the Kôshikizu (耕織図), a Japanese reprint (1676) of an edition from the Song period of the Gengzhi tu with pictures and songs of farming and weaving. Call number: Libri japon. 300
Illustration in the so called wayang-style from the Asmarasupi, an Islamic romance in macapat metre with extensive text, up to the hero’s accession to the throne of the kingdom of Sam (Syria). At the end (p. 368) the year 1814 A.J.=Anno Javanico (i.e. 1884 A.D.) is mentioned as the date of the copying of the book. call number: Ms. or. oct. 4033, p. 15+16.
Link zur Digitalen Bibliothek
The allegoric novel “Seom dong ji jeon” (蟾同知傳 둑겁젼) tells the story of a feast of the animals at which the toad was made their leader succeeding over its competitor the fox because of its abilities (Libri cor. 54-15-06); the volume was digitized as part of theBerlin-Kraków projects)
The Kangxi emperor ordered 300 copies of this “open letter” to be distributed among the foreigners in his empire informing them about his politics concerning the “Rites Controversy”. For more details see blog entries by Helliwell and CrossAsia. (Libri sin. 165)
The illustration is part of the book Bhaktamāla by Nābhādāsa (17th c.), a description of vaiṣṇavite mystics from the perspective of the Rāmānandī sect. (
The thunder god appears in the picture scroll called Gangōji engi (元興寺縁起, Kanbun period (1661-1673), Nara emaki). His miraculously born son Tatsunosuke later slays the devil that had haunted the temple Gangōji. Call number: Libri japon. 484
(Link zum Digitalisat)
The Ten Bamboo Studio Manual of Calligraphy and Painting 十竹斎書画譜 by Hu Zhengyan (1582 - 1672), originally printed in 1633, was the first Chinese woodblock print in colour. The images shows a reprint of 1879. Like the original, it features the so-called butterfly-binding 蝴蝶裝.
Shelfmark: Libri sin. N.S. 9491
This Kanjur was printed in 1606 during the reign of Wanli (1563-1620). Particularly outstanding are the coloured book cuts, here that of volume 41 decorated with lotus blossoms. (Shelfmark: Pantheon 41 )
The work Gakō senran (画巧潜覧, 1740 (Genbun 5)) is a compendium of the works and painters of the Kanōs school that was compiled by one their pupils, Ōoka Shunboku (大岡春朴, 1680-1763). This details is from the copy of a scroll with horses and cranes by Kanō Tan’yū (狩野探幽, 1602-1674). Call number: Libri japon. 94 (Digital image)
In the highly illustrated work Hokuetsu seppu (北越雪譜, 1836/1842) the customs and life style in a region in the Echigo Province (Niigata Prefecture) that was known for deep snow are introduced. The title was a bestseller in its day. Call number: Libri japon. 667
Alexander v. Humboldt donated this souvenir from his voyage 1829 through Russia and to the northern border of China to the Königliche Bibliothek zu Berlin, which his brother Wilhelm helped develop into a central cultural institution of Prussia. Libri sin. 234
Tibetische Zeitung der Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde
Published by the Moravian Church in Kyelang under the editorship of Walter Asboe (1895-1965), the newspaper appeared under the title Kye-lang xag-bvar (ཀྱེ་ལང་ཨག་བཱར) between 1927 and 1935. The content covered religious as well as secular topics. Shelfmark: Libri tibetici 13 (here vol. 74)
Cambodian manuscript on skán, a disease in newborns and its treatment with traditional medicine. Cambodians used to believe that the mother from a previous life (mday daoem) wants to take her child back and causes this disease. Link zum Digitalisat
The original version of this map by Adam Schall v. Bell and Xu Guangqi was done on silk but is lost today. Handed down are a few printed copies, of which some are coloured (e.g. Beijing). The copy housed at SBB consists of only the 4 paper sheets depicting the southern hemisphere and a snippet of sheet 1. (shelfmark: Libri sin. 21)
The book Oranda mochiwatari chōrui zuchō (オランダ持ち渡り鳥類図帖) in leporello style contains illustrations of birds and plants (here peococks and peonies), many of which are not native to Japan. The work is probably based on a model from the Netherlands. Call number: Libri japon. 440 (Link)
This primer for reading instruction in Chinese elementary schools extols the versatility of wood but also the climate and soil benefits that forests provide. The lesson’s illustration shows the grain, leaves, and bark of Chinese tree species. The volume is part of the Haenisch collection purchased by the Berlin State Library in 1961. (Shelfmark: 34891)
Protectors of Buddhism
Depiction of wrathful Buddhist deities on a book cover of the འཕགས་པ་ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་བརྒྱད་སྟོང་པ , a "Sublime Sutra on the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Verses". The text is from the Waddell collection. Signature Wadd 39 a (Link zum Digitalisat)
The work Shinji andon (神事行燈, 1829-1847) in five volumes contains humorous poems (senryū) with illustrations. The page shown here is from the first volume. The pictures of this volume were designed by the artist Ōishi Matora (大石真虎, 1792-1833). Call number: Libri japon. 257. Find the digitized version here.
Balinese illustration of a scene from the Indian national epic Ramayana: Ape king Sugriva fights against the Rakshasa Kumbhakarna. From: Pleyte, Cornelis Marinus: Indonesian art : selected specimens of ancient and modern art ... , 1901.
Link to the digitized version
Illustrations from an export album probably made in a Canton studio (Picturae Sinicae in 5 Bden, 2nd half 19th century). Link to the digitized book
The „I La Galigo“ epic is a UNESCO world heritage und one of the longest literary works. The Buginese alphabet used is also called Lontara. (Ms. or. fol. 403, Folio 2v). Link to the digitized book
The Japanese handscroll Nanden shōji mozu – kensei no zu 南殿障子模圖・賢聖之圖 dating from the second half of the Edo period before 1865 shows motifs of the sliding doors of a palace in Kyoto (Libri japon. 483)
Extract from a Thai manuscript on the prediction of the future by means of the year of birth (sign of the zodiac), the element and the month, probably 19th century
(Hs. or. 6568)
The map is part of an A6 writing pad with together 15 leaves with drawings and note by Albert Grünwedels about the first German expedition to Turfan (1902-1903) with the shelfmark TA 6876-24. The original is at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst. On the collection and the projekt see here.
Military regulations for drill, signalling and commands. Manuscript in Manchu and Chinese. The colophon reads: Drawings of the left camp of the right wing of the infantry regiment, final copy by regimental soldier Fushou 福壽 and officer Yongxiang 永祥. Shelfmark: Libri sin. N. S. 1913