Manuscript copies of printed books

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 23 10:26:34 UTC 2012

Dear Emmanuel, dear list,

I am aware of a couple of manuscript transcriptions of editions of Śaiva Sanskrit works that were printed a century or so ago in Grantha script.
The e-text of the Kriyākramadyotikā of Aghoraśiva, for example, that is downloadable from the Muktabodha site records that it was copied from an incomplete Devanāgari transcript (kindly furnished by Richard Davis) of the Grantha edition of the 1920s.  There is a similarly partial (but still huge) Devanāgarī transcription of the Grantha-script edition of the Pauṣkaravṛtti of Umāpatiśiva (of which I have somewhere a photocopy thanks to the kindness of Juergen Hanneder and Jayandra Soni).

In these cases too, I suppose, the editions could not be purchased, but the desire to have Grantha transcribed into Devanāgarī was probably a factor too.

Dominic Goodall
École française d'Extrême-Orient

On 22-Mar-2012, at 9:29 PM, Manu Francis wrote:

> 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
> century.
> 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
> practice.
> 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
> (EHESS-CNRS), Paris

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