Terjék József: Collection of Tibetan MSS and Xylographs of Alexander Csoma de Kőrös.

The History of the Collection

THE HISTORY OF THE COLLECTION Were it not for the enthusiasm of two outstanding scholars, the collection belonging to the stock of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 1885 might well have been consigned to oblivion. Both of them were admirers of Csoma: one was an Englishman, S. C. Malan, a contemporary and disciple of Csoma, and also his personal friend, the other a Hunga­rian T. Duke, a patriot and traditionalist from the next generation. It was through their fortunate meeting and joint efforts that about fifty years af­ter Csoma's death this small collection of Tibetan books, eloquent wit­nesses to the life and work of the founder of Tibetan studies, came into the possession of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Theodore Duka (1815-1908) was forced into emigration after the suppression cf the Hungarian war of independence. He went to live in London where he was soon busy learning to adapt liimseif to his chosen country. He was to become one of its worthy citizens. His adventurous life took him in 1854 to India, the land where his compatriot, Alexander Csoma de Kords had once worked under arduous conditions. Having learnt about Csoma he made it his aim in life to gain just acknowledgement and fame for this unfairly ignored Hungarian scholar. Even after his twenty years' stay in India he remained true to his resolve up to his death and did all he could to make Csoma's work known to succeeding generations. Without his devotion Csoma's biography would perhaps still be unknown as what we know about him comes from his research and presentation (T. Du­ka: Life and Works of Alexander Csoma de Korbs, London, 1885; the work was published in Hungarian: Duka Tivadar: Körösi Csoma Sándor dolgoza­tai, Budapest, 1885). His determination to find out as much as he could