Fri Dec 5 20:53:54 UTC 1997

      Q. IGNCA

 It is heartening to hear the good news of microfilming manuscripts.
I am eager to know the titles of Tamil manuscripts that have been filmed
so far.

Especially the Tamil manuscripts from European libraries. Even the great
U. V. Swaminathaiyar did not have a chance to see them. European missionaries
were working in South India from 1600s onwards. Many manuscripts
would have reached the great libraries of Europe. But not enough competent
scholars would have looked at them. The microfilms and photocopies have to
reach the scholar-pulavar-vidhvans of Tamil to be read. Many times European
libraries have listed them as Malabar. It could be tamil or malayalam.

Once we have a list, then I can pass them on. I know K. Arunachala KavuNTar,
Kamparaaman, Chitrakavi ila. Pazanisaami, S. Raju well and they can read
the manuscripts. These are among the best in a fast vanishing tiny tribe.
Once the IGNCA catalog is known, I can pay to get copies made for atleast
few of important works. I can enlist American Tamil friends to do the
job as well (as far as financial support).

In Mysore, Epigraphical Survey of India office, many many Tamil inscriptions
are waiting to be published. These thousands of inscriptions must be

Incidentally, Institute of Asian studies, Madras is publishing several
volumes on Tamil palm leaf catalogs. Many Tamil books published decades ago
are easily available at Univ. of Koeln. When I give photocopies of rare
published works to Tamil vidhvans, literally tears run down (aananda bhashpam).
Many Roja Muttaiya libray and Saiva siddhanta kazakam collections' microfilms
will be available from Chicago.

I agree with Dominik. The charges on books from British library are way high.

I think it is easier to get copies from a Western library than from Indian
libraries. So, the dissemination of microfilms will save the Indian language
books and manuscripts and is a very good thing to do.

I can help to track new, unknown mss. holdings, get competent pulavars
to read any mss., or finance these projects as far as Tamil is concerned.

N. Ganesan

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