The Extinct and Living Religions Collection was significantly expanded in the last few years, but until recently had two significant omissions. ‘For many years, it was impossible to find any manuscripts representing Shintoism, the native religion of Japan with roots in animism, and the Bahai faith, a world relgion that arose in Persia in the nineteenth century. In 2006, however, block printed books with manuscript addtions, and manuscripts relating to both religions emerged," explained Martin Schøyen, founder of the collection.
Shintoism is now represented in the collection by Nihon-Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), one of the two most sacred books of Shinto, and Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), the other most sacred book of Shinto and the oldest surviving book about Japan's history, orginally written in 712.
The Bahai Faith is now represented by a manuscript written in 1889 by Adb al-Baha'Allah, the son and successor of the founder of the faith (known as the 'Bab' or the Gate).
There is also an addition to the Islamic range in the collection, with the inclusion of manuscripts about mysticism, Kabbalah and Sharia, the last with an 11th century Maliki practical law book on contract slaves.