[INDOLOGY] Manuscripts in India
manufrancis at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 10:40:10 EST 2015
I was recently in Chennai and it appears that it is easier to have access
to the MSS of the GOML than to obtain a book published by OUP!
At the GOML, I was able to get 5 MSS within 15 minutes and to photograph
As for OUP, on Anna Salai, this is now a show-room only. You can see the
books. You can touch them. You can smell them. But ... you cannot buy them!
A new regulation has been in force for the last 8 months preventing OUP to
directly sell its books. You now have to go to a bookshop or a distributor.
If the book is not there, they might be able to order it for you to OUP.
Good to know also, the TNSDA (Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology)
has started to upload pdfs of its own publications and pictures/scans of
paper and palm-leaf MSS on a dedicated website:
The website is not really user-friendly. The scans are not always good, but
some are excellent. The focus is on Tamil texts for the moment, but MSS in
Sanskrit and other languages might appear in the future.
This is in any case an excellent initiative!
With very best wishes.
Chargé de recherche CNRS, Centre d'étude de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (UMR
8564, EHESS-CNRS, Paris)
Associate member, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Culture (SFB 950,
2015-02-25 21:46 GMT+01:00 Martin Gansten <martin.gansten at pbhome.se>:
> I'd like to confirm the positive report shared by Dominik earlier this
> year (below). His post encouraged me to contact Koba Tirth by email, and I
> found everone involved extremely helpful. It took them a few weeks to find
> the manuscripts of the texts I was looking for, but then I had given them
> several alternative titles. All in all I received PDFs containing nearly
> 600 pages of high-quality scans. Unlike Dominik, I also received a bill,
> for Rs. 600, but I was more than happy to pay. The only problem turned out
> to be that the amount was too small (!) to be handled by the transfer
> service I used, so I had to top it up with a minor donation; but again, I
> was happy to do so.
> Martin Gansten
> Dominik Wujastyk wrote:
> A counter-example. The largest MS library in the world is the Gyan Tirth
> at Koba <http://kobatirth.org/jainlibrary.aspx>, just on the outskirts of
> Ahmedabad. Yes, I mean it. 250k MSS, making it four times larger than the
> Vatican library or the BN in Paris. I was there in late 2011. The faculty
> and staff could not have been kinder or more helpful. Everything
> computerized and efficient. I was given PDFs on my data plug within half
> an hour of asking. No money. And I was told, "next time, no need to come
> so far; just send email, we'll send PDF as attachment." Utterly amazing.
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