Prints from the Swedish Mission in Kashgar

The following bibliography is a list of literature produced by Swedish missionaries in Xinjiang, China, between the years 1892 and 1938. In those days it was common to denote the region as Eastern Turkestan. The Swedish missionaries, too, used this name. They called the region Östturkestan (Eastern Turkestan) and referred to the Turkic language spoken by the oasis dwellers in this region östturkiska/ostturkiska (Eastern Turki), which later developed into what is today known as modern Uyghur. Missionary work among the Turkic-speaking Muslim people was conducted at three missionary stations set up in Kashgar, Yarkand and Yengi-Hisar. Efforts focused on the Chinese population took place at a station established in Hancheng, the “China-town” of Kashgar. The missionary activities included orphanages, schools, hospitals and, finally, also a printing office set up in Kashgar in 1912. In those days, the printing press at the Swedish printing office in Kashgar was the only place in southern Xinjiang where books were printed by means of modern equipment. The printing office continued with its activities until 1938, when the Swedish missionaries were forced to abandon their work and leave the area.

Most commonly the publications from Kashgar are referred to as Prints from Kashghar, which also is the title of a publication from 1991 by the prominent Swedish scholar Gunnar Jarring. In recent years the so-called Kashgar prints have gained recognition as a source of valuable and in many respects unique information about this region. While most of the books have a religious content, many publications also deal with other matters. From a scholarly point of view, the missionary publications contain important source material for those interested in linguistics, history, geography, and social matters. From a linguistic point of view, the publications provide important clues to the development of Eastern Turki into modern Uyghur.

As a result of a digitization project conducted at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, a selected corpus of Kashgar prints from The Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection at this Institute has been digitized and will gradually be made available online. See also: Complete list of Kashgar prints to be found in the present collection.

Books related to the Swedish Mission in Kashgar

Kashgar prints at SRII