A selection of rare Orthodox Christian texts in the State library of Irkutsk is currently being scanned, mostly in classical Chinese, and some in traditional Uighur script — a vertical script used by the last Qing Dynasty for the Manchu language and variations of the script is still in use for a dialect of the Manchu language by the Xibe people of Liaoning province of northeast China and in far western part of Xinjiang autonomous region of China. It was also the traditional script for the Mongolian language which is still in use in Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China. Most of the Chinese texts comes from the 1880s and translated by Archimandrite Flavian, head of the Russian Mission in Beijing at the time. St Mitrophan, who was later martyred, was his assistant proofreader.
Included in the collection is a New Testament that was a much later translation than that of Archimandrite Gury of 1864. Also being scanned from the 1884 Festal Menaion are the office of the Dormition, office of the Meeting of the Lord, office of the Annunciation, and office of the Transfiguration. Another title being made available is the Synopsis of the Divine Liturgy (1884) which outlines the order of service for the Liturgy. Also being made available is the Sunday Oktoechos (1884) in two volumes which is the same translation that was found elsewhere but whose authorship was unknown until now. In traditional Manchu/Mongolian script, there will be made available a portion of the New Testament.
Volunteers are need to transcribe or OCR the images into electronic text which allows it to be searchable. Many of these texts will be made available online for the first time in pdf and other formats and will serve as a reference for a modern Chinese Orthodox translation.
Fr Dionisy Pozdnyaev of the Orthodox Brotherhood of Sts Peter & Paul in Hong Kong was able to negotiate the asking price of US $10,000 for the scanning of these invaluable texts down to US $2,000. We are told that there are around 15 texts in all, so the scanning cost averages out to about $133 per Orthodox text. Sponsors are needed to help subsidize the cost of scanning and making these texts freely distributable. You can also request to sponsor with the name of your loved ones for any special occasions noted on the bottom of the web page for the scanning of a specific Orthodox text that has not been sponsored yet. If interested in making a U.S. tax-deductible donation or sponsoring a particular Orthodox text, please contact Mitrophan Chin of the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China at firstname.lastname@example.org.