A Study of the Manuscripts of the Woolner Collection, Lahore

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 23 16:06:57 UTC 2010

On behalf of the Woolner Project team at the University of Vienna, I am
pleased to announce the public release of a new database of information
about the manuscripts of the Woolner Collection in Lahore.

Many of you will already be aware of the 9000 or so Indic MSS owned by the
Punjab University Library, that were collected from 1913 onwards by Prof.
Banarsi Das (lecturer in Hindi at the Oriental College, Lahore) and his
colleagues, to form a memorial library for the Principal of the Oriental
College, Prof. A. C. Woolner.  Two volumes of a catalogue were published
(1932, 1941).   Since that time, more manuscripts were added, and the
collection has been kept in good condition.  A small number of scholars have
visited the collection in Lahore over the years.  However, the Punjab
University Library has not routinely employed a specialist librarian with
skills in Devanagari, Sanskrit, and related languages, so the collection has
remained hard to access for those unable to visit in person.  It also became
difficult, with the passage of years, to match the catalogue numbers with
the accession numbers and shelf numbers of the manuscripts.

Three years ago, a joint project was begun between the University of the
Punjab, the University of Vienna, and Geumgang University, S. Korea.  The
goal was to study and digitally preserve the philosophical manuscripts in
the Woolner Collection, and to bring access and information about the
collection up to date.  The project was initiated and led by Prof. Karin
Preisendanz, of the University of Vienna.   Two major goals of that project
were to photograph the manuscripts digitally, and to create a database of
up-to-date information about the manuscripts, with a strong prosopographical

The Woolner manuscript database has been under intensive development, and
yesterday, the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies of
the University of Vienna was pleased to be able to launch the database
publicly, at this address:


Due to copyright restrictions, the digital images of the manuscripts cannot
be shared at this time.  We hope that negotiations with the University of
the Punjab on this matter may be fruitful in the future.  At the present
time, only registered users with a login ID and password may see the images
(approximately 6500 images, covering beginnings and endings of manuscripts).

For further background information about the project, and contact details,
see also:

   - http://www.istb.univie.ac.at/woolner/
   (= http://woolnerproject.org)

All enquiries, please, to

   - woolnerproject at gmail.com

Season's greetings,

Dr Dominik Wujastyk
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 2, Eingang 2.1
A-1090 Vienna

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