The Al-Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies of Uzbekistan of Academy of Sciences has a collection of oriental manuscripts which can well match with any treasury of its kind of the world both in its scientific value and wealth. Primarily, with the aim of comprehensive study of rich collections of manuscripts the Institute on the Study of Oriental Manuscripts under the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences was established in 1943. All manuscript copies kept in the Eastern Department of the State Public Library of the Uzbek SSR were turned over to the newly organized Institute.

At first, the Institute had only one section – on the Study of oriental Manuscripts. However, with the expansion of the Institute’s researches also grew the number of these sections, including sessions on primary processing and classification, scientific description and cataloguing, research and publication of manuscript and publication of manuscript and documents, as well as the section on studying of political, economic and cultural life of neighboring foreign states and their relations with Central Asia. The Institute itself changed its name. Now it is known as the Abu Raikhan Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies of Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

At present the depository of the Institute of Oriental Studies contains over 25 000 volumes of manuscripts. Many of these are collections with several works bound into one volume. These works were written in Uzbek, Arabic, Persian, Tajik, Urdu, Pushtu, Azerbaijanian, Turkish, Tatar, Turkmenian, Uighur and other languages of the Eastern peoples. They cover a wide range of subjects: history, history of literature, philosophy, law, astronomy, physics, chemistry, medicine, languages, pharmacology, geography, music, mathematics, mineralogy, rural economy, fine arts, etc. These are all of great significance for the study of history and culture of the peoples of Central Asia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Arab countries, Iran and other Eastern countries, with the aim of tracking back political, economic, diplomatic and cultural relations among them.

The most ancient works deposited at the Institute boast of their history more than one thousand years. Among them is the work by the prominent scholar of the East Ibn Sallam (died in 222 of the Hijra/837 A.D.) “Garib al-hadith” (Rare Dicta in Hadith). The latest works are dated by the early twentieth century.

We can get information from the compiled catalogues about the themes, quantity and even the condition of the manuscripts in the Libraries of the World. In other words the catalogue serve us a guide for searching for manuscripts. 11 volumes of the Catalogue of eastern Manuscripts “Cобрание восточных рукописей” (СВР) have already been compiled and printed. But these volumes include the descriptions of 7500 copies only.

It should be noted, that in the second half of 90es the Institute changed the principals in cataloguing and began the compiling of thematic catalogues. As result, the Catalogue of historical Compositions (CBP «История». Составители: Юсупова Д., Джалилова Р. Ташкент. 1998.); the Catalogue of Compositions on Natural Sciences (СВР «Естественные науки». Составитель: Вильданова А. Ташкент. 1998.); the Catalogue of Compositions on Medicine (CВР «Медицина». Составитель: Каримова С. Ташкент. 2000.); the Handlist of Sufi compositions (Handlist of Sufi manuscripts (18th – 20th centuries) in the holdings of the Oriental Institute, Academy of Sciences, Republic of Uzbekistan (Biruni)). Berlin: Das Arabische Buch, 2000.); Catalogue of Sufi Compositions (Katalog sufischer Handschriften aus der Bibliothek des Instituts fuer Orientalistik der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Republik Uzbekistan. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland; Suppl.-Bd. 37. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2002.) and Catalogue of Letters Patents of Central Asian Khanates (Каталог среднеазиатских жалованных грамот из фонда рукописей Института им. Абу Райхана Беруни.(Catalogue of Letters Patents of Central Asian Rulers from Manuscript fund of the al-Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies) Herausgeber: Orientwissenschaftliches Zentrum der Martin-Luter Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg Orientwissenschaftliche Hefte. Mitteilungen des SFB | 10. Heft 23/2007.), the catalogue of composition written in Persian language (Fekhrest-e nosah-e hatti-ye farsi-ye Anstitu-ye Sharqishenosi-ye Farhangestan-e Olum-e Ozbakeston. Bakhsh-e I az Jeld-e I: Tarih. Tehran. 1998; Jeld-e I: Tarih. Tehran. 2000; Jeld-e II: Tasawwuf. Tehran. 2007. Compilers: Urunbayev A., Musoev Sh., Moujani S., Bakhramiyan A.), Catalogue of judicial documents from Khiva (Каталог хивинских казийских документов XIX –начала XX вв. Составители: Урунбаев А., Хорикава Т., Файзиев Т., Джураева Г., Исогаи К. Ташкент-Киото 2001), Сatalogue of miniatures (Oriental Miniatures. Vol. I: 14th-17th centuries. Tashkent 2001; vol. II: 18th-19th centuries. Tashkent.2003; vol. III: 19-20 centuries. Tashkent. 2004. Compilers: Musoev Sh., Madraimov A.) were published.