A pitiful story

Paul Kiparsky kiparsky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Jul 28 21:02:53 UTC 2003

Re http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2001275153_sanskrit28.html:

The story of the Deccan College Sanskrit dictionary is even more
alarming than this article indicates.  The dictionary is based on a
huge database of citations from all branches of Sanskrit literature,
excerpted and annotated by some very great scholars.  It is stored on
brittle paper slips in the "Scriptorium" at Deccan College under less
than ideal conditions.  The paper is crumbling and it is said that
some of the slips have disappeared.

To safeguard this irreplaceable resource and to make it available to
the scholarly community, it should be digitized and published in CD
form.  A resolution to this effect was just passed unanimously at the
World Sanskrit Conference in Helsinki.

This should be seen as an emergency measure and not as a substitute
for the publication of the dictionary itself.  Funding for it should
be sought from UNESCO, and surely private donors can be found to
contribute money, equipment, and expertise.

Paul Kiparsky

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