discussion track on manuscripts

Joel H. Tatelman jhtatelman at FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Thu Dec 4 16:45:39 UTC 1997

Regarding the thread on manuscripts:

It seems to me that from any point of view the NGMPP project has been a
rip-roaring success: over 100,000 manuscripts microfilmed, without any
being removed from Nepal.

Could not this be a model for other, similar projects?

The sad fact is that all over South and Southeast Asia (not to mention
all the Tibetan and Sanskrit MSS. the Chinese pillaged from Tibet)
manuscripts are disentegrating.

Surely what we need is more monied organizations like the German Oriental
Society to put up funds and form cooperative ventures with the
governments and/or institutions who own the MSS. to microfilm as many as

I won't deny that it is preferable to work with originals, but I have had
considerable success working with photocopies made from microfilms. In
some ways, this is the preferred method, for one can enlarge the copies
for easier reading and to aid identification of problematic ak.saras.

What is needed, it seems to me, is for the AAR or the AAS or the AOS or
any number of other learned societies to commit some funds are start
making open-handed overtures. I'm sure those involved in the NGMPP would
be more than happy to share their expertise. I for one would certainly
not object to paying an extra, say, $25.00 p.a. on top of my membership
fees as a contribution to such a project.

Regards to all,

Joel Tatelman.

Dr. Joel Tatelman,
Visiting Lecturer in Sanskrit,
Department of South Asian Studies,
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
1250 Van Hise Hall,
1220 Linden Drive,
Madison, WI 53706

Tel.: (608) 276-0447 or 262-2749.
Fax:  (608) 265-3538

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