[INDOLOGY] Manuscripts in India

dhaval patel drdhaval2785 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 03:30:37 UTC 2015

Many important points have been raised in the present topic.

As pointed out by a member - Koba is exceptionally user friendly
repository. It served me PDF within a record time of 1 day. They have some
MSS scanned. If a scholar places a request they scan the MSS out of turn.
Contact details are gyanmandir at kobatirth.org and kobatirth at gmail.com. They
have MSS from their centre as well as scanned photocopies of MSS from
Patan, Jesalmer and BORI among other MSSs. So if you fail in securing from
Patan, Jesalmer or BORI, this source should help you out. They also have a
large collection of digitized Indology related books and journal articles
with well maintained database. For searching especially jainist sources,
this place is wonderful.

As regards the other private repositories, my experience has been very

As regards the digitization program, one good cataloguing exercise by GOI
is online at http://namami.org/.
Their report says that they will be launching an online digital manuscript
library, but it has not yet materialized.
In the meantime I have prefferred an appeal under Right to Information act,
2005 to the National Manuscript Mission seeking all digitized MSS. Their
response in appeal is a bit encouraging. Find the response attached to the
mail. Couldn't scan, so just took photo from mobile. If the appeal
succeeds, we may get all the MSS digitized by National Manuscript Mission
in free domain. (Will need to arrange for funding then :) )

I also sincerely urge the members to use Right to Information act to the
fullest. (http://rti.gov.in/rti-act.pdf). This makes it mandatory for any
Government Institution to provide copies of records to the information
seeker, with punitive action for failure. Of course, this right is given to
only Indian citizens, but I guess we can arrange a local Indian scholar of
our acquaintance to do the application on our behalf. The fees are also
very nominal. Application fees INR 10 - 50 depending on the state. Copying
fees - 2 rs/ page mostly. DVD charges - 50 rs / DVD.
Appeals are without fee. So you can continue your battle as long as you
win. Currently my appeal is pending in court of Information Commission
against the order of National Manuscript Mission. So, if your efforts have
not succeeded in securing a manuscript from a Govt repository, you may like
to give this legal right a try.

As regards the Ayurveda corpus,
Gujarat Ayurveda Uni has put its resources online here -
http://www.ayurvedamanuscripts.com/advance_search.php. Very difficult to
navigate kind of website, but quite good resource.

On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 2:02 AM, Elliot M. Stern <emstern at verizon.net> wrote:

> http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2007/05/google-to-scan-800000-manuscripts-books-from-indian-university/
> If this is the right reference, it is the University of Mysore.
> Sent from my iPhone:
> 267-240-8418
> Elliot Stern
> On Jan 8, 2015, at 10:15, Harry Spier <hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com> wrote:
> I vaguely recall seeing some article a few years back (maybe on the
> Indology list) that Google or Microsoft were partnering with a large
> manuscript library in India to digitize their collection.  Does anyone
> remember which institute this was and what became of the project.
> Harry Spier
> On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 10:53 PM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
> wrote:
>> Friends,
>> Though I have had many of the same types of frustrations some of you have
>> had in
>> accessing manuscripts in India, I do not by any means regard this as a
>> particularly Indian problem.
>> Take my recent experience with the Société Asiatique in Paris:
>> In March last year, I approached the librarians to request access to the
>> collection of Tibetan
>> manuscripts acquired in the early 20th century by Jacques Bacot. I was
>> told that the collection
>> was off-limits, except to one Parisian scholar who had been engaged by
>> the Société to catalogue it.
>> The sole way to access the Bacot materials, they said, was through that
>> person.
>> After several months, the individual in question and I succeeded in
>> fixing a time to visit the Bacot collection
>> together. All seemed fine. However, the evening before our appointment, I
>> received a message from
>> that person stating that the board of the Société had decided to exclude
>> me personally because I am
>> not a member of the Société! And the person who delivered this message,
>> who has access to the
>> Bacot collection, is not, it turns out, a member.
>> When I then complained directly to the board of the SA, I received a
>> rather insulting message to the
>> effect that, because the collection will have to be closed in 2016, owing
>> to planned renovations, they
>> thought it best to exclude me now (!!!)
>> I could add stories about a number of other European collections, not to
>> mention conditions for
>> accessing manuscripts in China.
>> All in all, though far from perfect, the situation in India seems not
>> half bad.
>> Matthew Kapstein
>> Directeur d'études,
>> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
>> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
>> The University of Chicago
>> _
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Dr. Dhaval Patel, I.A.S
District Development Officer, Rajkot

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