Manuscript copies of printed books

Manu Francis manufrancis at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 22 20:29:40 UTC 2012

Dear list,

I am currently working on a study of the manuscripts of the
Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai (a classical Tamil devotional text, datable maybe
to the 7th century) in a joint project of the University of Hamburg
and EFEO.
So far we have been able to collect copies of 44 palm-leaf manuscripts.
Interestingly, two of these manuscripts (and maybe a third one), are
each a copy of a different a printed edition of the middle of the 19th

Do you know of other cases of manuscripts (palm-leaf or paper) being
copies of printed books?
Is there any bibliographical reference about this practice?
One could think that the printed book was out of stock or not
available for sale, or even that a manuscript copy was cheaper than
buying the printed book.
I wonder however if other reasons (ritualistic use of the text,
conservatism towards the old form of books) might explain this

Thanks for any information.

With best wishes.

Emmanuel Francis
Researcher, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Culture, Universität Hamburg
Associate member, Centre d'étude de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud

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