John Nemec jwn3y at cms.mail.virginia.edu
Fri Aug 2 17:37:20 UTC 2013

Dear Jean-Michel Delire,

I worked at RORI in Jodhpur over a somewhat long visit--in 2006, if memory serves.  The library staff members I met there were genial and knowledgeable.  (It can be useful to know Hindi.)  The institute launched its website during my stay, and I thought they had intended to digitize some materials.  The building has a nice room with a long table surrounded by books, and other rooms.  They seemed well equipped, and it is overall a nice place to work.

I had none of the official documents you have--letters from the embassy and home institution--, and a number of state holidays broke up my work there (they closed for Nanak Jayanti, and so on); but RORI overlooked my bureaucratic shortcomings and in the end made physical copies of the manuscripts I requested.  (Digital photography was prohibited.)  There was no mention of the need for a formal affiliation with an Indian University, as I remember it, but it is possible things have changed

You probably already know at least as well as I that the library itself holds an incredibly rich collection.  There are whole academic careers' worth of materials there, and if I am not mistaken it is one of the largest, if not the largest, collection of manuscripts in India.  (Many tantric texts are housed there, but also very many other items.)  I have long thought someone should spend a year or two there looking at the collection, thinking about how it perhaps reflects the Maharajas’ influence, medieval bhakti and tantric traditions, and the like: that is, the collection itself is worthy of study, apart from the many individual treasures that it houses.

Good luck there, and I hope many others use this excellent library (and have a look also at the other manuscript library in Jodhpur, in the Mehrangarh Fort itself, which is also a very interesting place).  


On Fri, 02 Aug 2013 10:58:29 +0200
 Jean-Michel Delire <jmdelire at ulb.ac.be> wrote:
>Dear members,
>I am going to Jodhpur next week in order to consult manuscripts at the RORI. According to the rules, foreign scholars have to be affiliated to an Indian university in order to be authorized to see and copy manuscripts. I have with me an official letter from my university (Brussels) and a letter from my Embassy in Delhi, kindly requesting to allow me access to all documents, museums and observatories in order to make progress in my research about Jai Singh II astronomical achievements. Can anybody with some experience in Jodhpur's RORI give me some advise about this ?
>Dr J.M.Delire,
>Lecturer on "Science and Civilization in India - Sanskrit Texts", University of Brussels
>INDOLOGY mailing list
>INDOLOGY at list.indology.info

John Nemec, Ph.D.
Director of The South Asia Center and
Associate Professor, Indian Religions and South Asian Studies
Department of Religious Studies
University of Virginia
323 Gibson Hall / 1540 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22904 (USA)
nemec at virginia.edu

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