[INDOLOGY] Private Indic manuscript libraries

Clemency Montelle clemency.montelle at canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Oct 30 09:59:05 UTC 2017

Dear colleagues,

As part of work Kim Plofker and I are doing on manuscripts of numerical tables in Sanskrit, in addition to considering those examples that can be found in manuscript collections from libraries and universities, we found ourselves faced with those that originate from private collections or through dealers.

We realised that we are unfamiliar with research more generally on Indic private manuscript collections, their origins, the extent of them, their circumstances, and what happens to them over time (if indeed such research exists).  There is of course quite a bit of media surrounding the sale of antiquities and art treasures privately and various legal issues surrounding this.

But has anyone done any research on private manuscript libraries on the Indian subcontinent?  Or on related (and possibly more delicate) questions on where private dealers get their manuscripts from?

Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

with best wishes,

Dr. Clemency Montelle
Associate Professor
School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140

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