Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Thu Nov 27 10:53:48 UTC 1997

About a year ago I joined the German Oriental Society (DMG) specifically
so that I could qualify to receive copies of microfilms from the NGMPP
project in Berlin.  (My library already gets the journal.)  Several
members of this list (Harry, Michael) insisted that membership of the DMG
was sufficient for this purpose even though I am not a German national.

Well, my first test of this procedure has failed.

Last week I wrote to Dr Feistel requesting a copy of a particular item.  I
was excited about the possibility of getting this copy, since it is an
important and very early MS of an unknown medical work.  The text is short
(fewer than 30 leaves).

Today I receved a polite but formal letter from Dr Feistel saying, in bold

  I regret that according to the treaty between the DMG and the Kingdom of
  Nepal MEMBERSHIP in the DMG does not give rights of access to NGMPP

(the word "membership" is underlined in the original).

Dr Feistel has politely refused my request for a microfilm copy, and
refers me to the Director of the National Archives in Kathmandu.  Dr
Feistel has forwarded a copy of his letter to Prof. Wezler, so I hope to
hear more in due course.

May I ask for reactions from members of INDOLOGY who have more intimate
connections with this project than I do myself?  What *is* the position?
Is it truly, as it currently appears, a matter of sheer nationality?  Must
I become a German citizen in order to have the right to copies of these
precious Sanskrit materials in Berlin?

It is my understanding that getting copies from the National Archives in
Kathmandu is difficult for reasons of bureaucracy, though of course I
shall now try this route.

All the best,

Dominik Wujastyk            Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
email: d.wujastyk at       183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, England
<URL:>                 FAX: 44 171 611 8545
"To vacillate or not to vacillate, that is the question ... or is it?"

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