[INDOLOGY] ACSAM and 42500 South Asian manuscripts in North America

Bill Mak bill.m.mak at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 00:16:29 UTC 2017

Dear colleagues,

Many thanks for the many offline responses to my earlier inquiry. As some of you appear to be just as keen as I am to find out more, I include here some references, with the hope that the scholars on the list who are more qualified than me would shed more light on this subject:

- Poleman, Horace Irvin. 1938. A Census of Indic Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society. (Available on hathitrust.org)

- Peter Scharf’s Sanskrit Library, with catalogues of Sanskrit Manuscripts from Brown, Havard and U Penn:

- Special collection:
Pingree, David. 2007. A Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts at Columbia University. New York: American Institute of Buddhist Studies.

- A number of catalogue updates (also as part of his grant application) are kept in Pingree’s archive at the American Philosophical Society. I was surprised to learn for example that my Alma Mater McGill University has a handful of jyotiṣa manuscripts!

- The ACSAM project Pingree proposed followed the model of his “Census of the Exact Sciences in Sanskrit” (CESS, A1-5 [by author], five volumes, 1970-1994). Pingree was unable to finished A6 [Ś-H] and the B-Series [by title]. At the moment, myself and a number of scholars are launching a project to digitalize CESS. Naturally, CESS include manuscripts from US and Canada.

Best regards,

Bill Mak

> On Feb 10, 2017, at 7:39 AM, Bill Mak <bill.m.mak at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> I was going through the late David Pingree’s archive at the American Philosophical Society and came across the documentation of his ambitious manuscript cataloguing project for the American Committee for South Asian Manuscript (ACSAM) as part his unsuccessful application of the NEH grant in the 1990s. Pingree envisioned the project to take 20 years to complete and gave an overview of the 42500 manuscripts in North America (22,500 in Arabic, 12,000 in Persian and more than 8,000 in Sanskrit and others Indian languages).
> I am aware of Peter Scharf’s NEH cataloguing project of the 1700 Sanskrit mss at Havard (2009-2013) and his work in "From Mulberry Leaves to Silk Scrolls” (2015). But there also seems to be an ACSAM webpage on the Brown server which no longer exists. Before I reach out to specific colleagues, I thought I should tap into the collective wisdom of the list and wonder if anyone on the list could share with me more information on the background and future of the ACSAM and these manuscripts in various institutions in North America.
> Best wishes
> Bill Mak
> -- 
> Bill M. Mak, PhD
> Visiting research scholar
> Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW)
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