Re: [INDOLOGY] John and Mary Brockington Rāmāyaṇa archive

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Wed Jan 27 14:00:23 UTC 2016

Thank you so much, John, for this wonderful gift to Sanskrit scholarship.

Madhav Deshpande

On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 7:16 AM, John Brockington <
John.Brockington at> wrote:

> Dear  Colleagues,
> We are pleased to announce that we have just deposited on the Oxford
> Research Archive our material relating to the development and spread of the
> Rāma narrative (pre-modern), so that it can be available for others to
> consult even in its present, unfinished state.  It can be accessed at
> <>
> <>
> (or
> you can find it via the Bodleian Libraries website, under ORA, by looking
> for its title).
> Here is a description of it adapted from the abstract mounted on the
> website:
> This material is part of our continuing attempt to survey presentations of
> the Rāma story as it has been developed from its origin in the so-called *Vālmīki
> Rāmāyaṇa*, through transformations in all genres, media, languages,
> religions and geographical areas, until roughly the end of the eighteenth
> century.  However, later material has also been used if it preserves
> motifs or records trends relevant to the earlier period, though not where
> it introduces new developments.  In order to explore the crucial role
> played by sculpture and paintings in the transmission and development of
> the narrative, we have placed visual material side-by-side with verbal
> (narratives presented in words, whether written or spoken).
> The basis for the survey is: a Bibliographic Inventory providing
> references to everything of value consulted (and a list of our own
> publications); a detailed tabulation of the Narrative Elements employed and
> modified by successive tellers to build up the story; Background Notes and
> photographs; and unpublished Drafts surveying the material or arising  from
> it.  Guidance Notes give detailed instructions for use.
> The material is a joint project: John has compiled the Bibliographies,
> composed the Draft on Development and many of the notes, and taken the
> photographs; Mary has identified and tabulated the Narrative Elements, and
> supplied some of the Drafts and other notes.
> The material is far from complete, and we hope to be able to update it
> from time to time, and to produce further analyses and syntheses of the
> material.  From the nature of its wide scope, much of the compilation has
> had to be made from translations into the major European languages, or from
> summaries found in secondary literature, resulting in the omission of
> material inaccessible by these means;  regrettably, we also have no way
> of knowing whether the translation or summary used has been totally
> reliable.  Where possible, always check carefully before placing too much
> reliance on it.  We will warmly welcome any corrections or supplementary
> information from other scholars specialising in individual fields.  With
> all its deficiencies, we offer this inventory as a tool to facilitate
> further research, not as a substitute for such research, and we will be
> pleased to learn of any use to which our work is put.
> Because of the nature of our own contacts this message is being sent
> primarily to other Indologists but, if any of you are aware of colleagues
> in other fields (for example Southeast Asian languages or visual culture)
> who might be interested, do please pass the information on to them – and
> similarly, if anyone has access to academic lists on which it could be
> posted, we would be grateful for its being sent to them.  We shall
> ourselves be sending it to the INDOLOGY and RISA lists.
> With all good wishes
> John and Mary
> John Brockington
> Emeritus Professor of Sanskrit, University of Edinburgh
> Vice President, International Association of Sanskrit Studies
> Mary Brockington
> Research Fellow, International Association of Sanskrit Studies
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Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608, USA

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