[INDOLOGY] Harvard Sanskrit manuscript cataloguing project

George Hart glhart at berkeley.edu
Mon May 20 18:15:52 UTC 2013

I think it's worth remarking that "Indic" and "Sanskrit" are not synonyms.  Materials in Tamil, Telugu and other languages are as important for Indic studies -- even premodern Indic studies -- as those in Sanskrit.  The projects Peter describes are certainly worthwhile and significant.  At the same time, we should be mindful that there are large stashes of manuscripts in languages other than Sanskrit that have never been scanned or digitized and that are slowly falling apart in libraries and other places in India.  Scholars have done a pretty good job with Sanskrit.  Other important languages have not had the same degree of care.  George Hart

On May 20, 2013, at 8:29 AM, Peter Scharf <scharfpm7 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> 	The Sanskrit Library is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a two-year project entitled, "Enhancing Access to Primary Cultural Heritage Materials of India: Cataloging, digitizing, and integrating the Houghton Library's Indic Manuscript collection with intelligent digital resources."
> 	The proposed project is one of a few projects of the Sanskrit Library thai aim to enhance access to primary cultural heritage materials of India housed in American libraries by integrating them with digital texts, lexical resources, and linguistic software in a digital library of Sanskrit.  Integrating primary cultural materials with the Sanskrit Library will enable broad use of Indic collections for research and education.  The first such project catalogued the Sanskrit manuscripts at Brown University, most of which are concerned with the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana, and related manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania.  The manuscripts were digitized and aligned with the corresponding text in the Pune critical edition so that one can search the critical edition text for passages of interest and link to image files of manuscript pages that contain the corresponding passage in each of the manuscripts in the project.  Please see details here.
> 	A second project beginning in June and running for two years develops automated image-text alignment software.  The project includes a sub-award to IIT Bombay where we have just hired two post-doctoral associates.
> 	The project I announce now catalogs all the Sanskrit manuscripts in the Houghton Library at Harvard University as the first phase of a larger project to catalogue, digitize and integrate them with corresponding digital texts in the Sanskrit Library.  The result serves as a model for collections of Indic materials throughout the U.S. and the world.  We are eager to cooperate with other institutions that house collections of Sanskrit manuscripts to digitize, catalogue and integrate them with corresponding texts.
> Sincerely,
> Peter M. Scharf, President
> The Sanskrit Library
> scharf at sanskritlibrary.org
> *************************************************
> Peter M. Scharf, Ph.D.
> Université Paris Diderot
> Laboratoire d'Histoire des Théories Linguistiques
> 5 rue Thomas Mann, Case 7034
> Cedex 13
> 75205 Paris
> France
> 33-1-5727-5742 (phone)
> peter.scharf at univ-paris-diderot.fr
> *************************************************
> peter.scharf at inria.fr
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