Past Activities

Past Activities

Major research efforts undertaken by the RIFIAS have included projects that produced the Modern Mongolian-English Dictionary, edited by John G. Hangin; John R. Krueger’s Tuvan Manual (both works are published in the Uralic and Altaic Series); and Yuri Bregel’s edition and English translation of the 19th-century Khivan chronicle in Chaghatay Turkic, Firdaws al-Iqbal (published by Brill in 1988 [text] and 1999 [translation]).

By far the largest project undertaken through the RIFIAS to date has been the Bibliography of Islamic Central Asia, edited by Yuri Bregel. The project, funded initially by the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, involved the efforts of scholars at Indiana University and at cooperating institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Russia. Parallel with the compilation of the bibliography, the RIFIAS acquired and cataloged a massive collection of microfilms and photocopies of publications and manuscripts, the Central Asian Archives. The three-volume bibliography, published in 1995, comprises over 30,000 entries on the history and civilization of Islamic Central Asia down to 1917, arranged by subject.

In the 1990s, Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellows resided in Bloomington and used the RIFIAS to undertake substantial study of previously unpublished, and in many cases previously unknown, source material on Inner Asia’s history and culture. Publications resulting from these projects include The Life of ‘Alimqul: A Native Chronicle of Nineteenth Century Central Asia, edited and translated into English by Timur K. Beisembiev (RoutledgeCurzon 2003).

The RIFIAS Library continually acqu`ires and makes available publications and other research materials on Inner Asia, both new and out-of-print. The Library’s catalog became available on line in 2003. Currently the RIFIAS is participating in a major project to digitize and post on-line copies of the bulk of its Central Asian Archives holdings, with financial and technical support form the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center and the Digital Library Program. The RIFIAS also organizes conferences, lectures, and other activities connected with Inner Asian studies on an on-going basis.