Sharing Chi-Writer-based texts

ZYSK at ACFcluster.NYU.EDU ZYSK at ACFcluster.NYU.EDU
Tue Jun 1 20:11:12 UTC 1993

Thank you for the information about Chiwrite and its current problems with
networking. Short of adopting an entirely new progam for my project, it
appears that conversion to Kyoto-Harvard scheme might be the best way
to go. Could someone give me more information about the Kyoto-Harvard 
scheme. How it works in my case and where to obtain a copy of it.
K.G. Zysk

> From mehta at 1 1993 Jun U 15:08:10
Date: 1 Jun 1993 15:08:10 U
From: "Mehta, Shailendra" <mehta at>
Subject: RE: Issues in the creation and dissemination of Sanskrit e-texts

In the context of the electronic inputting of texts, Dominik Wojastyk writes,

Many of these issues have long ago been worked out in the context of
the creation of the Thesaurus Linguae Grecae.  In that context, a great
deal of money was made available by the Packard foundation and other
sponsors, and each Greek text was typed twice by professional input
typists.  The two copies were then compared with eachother by computer,
to give a first elimination of non-duplicate input errors.  Then teams
of proof-readers worked through the texts, checking and correcting.
The resulting text was then added to the TLG CD Rom for distribution.

Clearly this is a big, expensive, team effort.

In the Sanskrit field, we don't have such central funding and the
possibilities that go with it.  The efforts to create e-texts are all
scattered and individual.  

In this context the following occurred to me. ( Forgive me, I think like an
economist because I am one, though with a strong interest in Indology.) 

The inputting of texts should occur in India, by typists who are familiar with
the Devanagari script and with Sanskrit. There should be many such typists in
the Hindi and Marathi speaking areas, and they should be willing to work for
(my guess) 10 rupees per page. Thus for a few thousand rupees (the equivalent
of a maximum of $100 per manuscript of 200 pages) one should be able to get the
job done. I am sure there are governmental and private philanthropic groups who
would be willing to fund such a project on a coordinated basis to reap
economies of scale, and to ensure standardization along the lines of the
Thesaurus Linguae Grecae. The important thing is approach them.  

I know an individual in Delhi, a good friend of mine, who while managing
something called the "Rock Art Collection" (!) has been instrumental in
creating a microfiche database  of some 3 million Sanskrit manuscripts hitherto
scattered worldwide. I am sure a similar effort is required to electronically
input the texts and to make them available on CD Rom. India is the logical
place to do this, in every sense of the term, because of the economics
involved, and on account of the proximity to data sources. Further, if a small
start is made to begin with, it can be built upon.

 I promise to look into this myself, when I am next in India. But that will not
be for another year. In the meantime this must be just a thought which I would
like to share with you.

Shailendra Raj Mehta
mehta at

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