[INDOLOGY] palm-leaf manuscripts Odisha State Museum

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 10 08:23:22 UTC 2013

Dear colleagues,

A friend of mine at the Odisha State Museum, who has for years been helping many Indologists visiting Bhubaneswar, has contacted me, saying that there was a Govt. approved plan to make available online and for free the entire collection of digital photographs of the 37,000 palm-leaf manuscripts in the Museum. Apparently a report was submitted to the Govt. after just 2 manuscripts were published online, and since then, there is no follow-up from the Govt. to ensure the complete execution of the project. My friend has asked me to write to the following individuals explaining how important the complete online publication of this enormous photographic record is, and urging them to do the needful so that the project will indeed be completed.

Secretary of Culture, Govt. of Odisha: <tripathyak at yahoo.com>
Private secretary to the Odisha Chief Minister: <cm-ps at ori.nic.in>
Odisha Chief Minister: <cmo at nic.in> 

Alas, I do not know more details, for instance where the mentioned 2 manuscripts are to be found. (It does not seem to be here <http://orissamuseum.nic.in/palmleafharitage.html>.) Nevertheless, I will write to the mentioned individuals, and would request those of you who support this cause to send messages too. For your convenience, I propose a text ready for copy/paste/edit below.


Arlo Griffiths


Dear Sir,

Allow me to contact you with regard to the plan to make available online all the digital photographs of the entire collection of 37,000 palm-leaf manuscripts in the Odisha State Museum. 

This is an extremely important initiative that will be of enormous value to the world of scholars, and will help to make the rich heritage of your state much more widely known than it is today. Indeed, getting access to the palm-leaf manuscripts of Odisha has always been quite difficult for scholars both Indian and foreign, and the initiative your Government has undertaken would at once remove this obstacle. I may point out that other institutions holding Indian palm-leaf manuscripts are at this time engaged in similar initiatives, for instance the Cambridge University Library (http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/sanskrit).

I have heard that there is some trouble in the execution of the project, and am not able at this time to find any other digitized manuscript than the one manuscript at <http://orissamuseum.nic.in/palmleafharitage.html>. I request you to do the needful so that the complete digital photographs of all manuscripts preserved at the Odisha State Museum indeed become available online.




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