[INDOLOGY] Manuscripts in India

Harry Spier hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 14:58:07 UTC 2015

Dear list members,

The Muktabodha Indological Research Institute ( www.muktabodha.org ) has
two Indian manuscript collections on-line with manuscripts downloadable
 (subject to the copyright restrictions described on the website) in both
PDF and DjVu formats for free .

These collections are:
1) The Paper Transcripts of the French Institute of Pondicherry (comprising
1044 manuscripts of about 4000 texts of mainly Saiva-Siddhanta texts.
2) The Vedic manuscripts of the Joglekar, Kodlekere and Samba-Diksita
families of Gokarna

In addition we have made searchable e-texts of selected manuscripts from
the following collections in South Asia.
1. Nepal German Manuscript Cataloguing Project:  45 selected manuscripts
2. French Institute in Pondicherry: 61 selected manuscripts
3. Research and Publications Dept. Jammu and Kashmir: 8 selected manuscripts
4. Oriental Research Library, University Campus, Hazarbal, Srinagar: 1
selected manuscripts

Harry Spier
Manager, Muktabodha Digital Library
Muktabodha Indological Research Institute

On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 5:32 AM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com> wrote:

> Like Patrick, I started collecting MSS in India in the 1970s (but only
> 1978, so you beat me there, Patrick :-).  I echo everything that has been
> said by Adheesh and others about tact, patience, and etiquette.  These,
> more than money, more than authority, are key elements in successful MS
> work.
> If you are able to take digital photos, always take a CD burner with you
> and give the librarian a copy of the photos you have taken.  If you publish
> a book or article using the MS, remember to send a copy to the library.
> Where I think I would differ a little from Patrick and Adheesh is in
> saying that there was an early golden age that has turned sour in the
> 2000s.  Even back in the day, there were intransigent libraries and
> librarians.  I remember in about 1980, a close colleague sitting in the
> library at Thanjavur, day after day for over two weeks, until the librarian
> asked, "when are you leaving?"  My colleague answered, "when I have read
> the manuscript."  It was produced the next day.
> A counter-example.  The largest MS library in the world is the Gyan Tirth
> at Koba <http://kobatirth.org/jainlibrary.aspx>, just on the outskirts of
> Ahmedabad. Yes, I mean it.  250k MSS, making it four times larger than the
> Vatican library or the BN in Paris.  I was there in late 2011.  The faculty
> and staff could not have been kinder or more helpful.  Everything
> computerized and efficient.  I was given PDFs on my data plug within half
> an hour of asking.  No money.  And I was told, "next time, no need to come
> so far; just send email, we'll send PDF as attachment."   Utterly amazing.
> So, it goes both ways.  Government institutions are commonly problematic:
> slow, rule-bound, often expensive (Baroda!).  Private institutions can go
> both ways - some are impossible (Bikaner) others are fabulous (Koba).  As
> the recent filming in J&K by Chetan Pandey
> <https://www.scribd.com/indicmanuscripts> demonstrates, local knowledge
> and language skills can be hugely enabling.
> Best,
> Dominik
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> http://listinfo.indology.info

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