[INDOLOGY] Suggestions for improving services of Asiatic Society, Kolkata

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Tue Feb 13 15:02:39 UTC 2018

When I visited about a decade ago they were entirely uncooperative and insisted that everything I was interested in was a "national treasure" that no foreigner was authorized to see, much less to obtain copies of.

So it is good learn of Mr. Chakraborty's initiative - I wish him all success!

Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago
From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Måns Broo via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 3:11:33 AM
To: indology at list.indology.info
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Suggestions for improving services of Asiatic Society, Kolkata

Dear Mr. Chakraborty and all,

I have received mss copies at the Asiatic Society, Kolkata, and know
many of the scholars working there. This is the procedure:

1. Write an application to the General Secretary (by hand is fine)
2. Wait until he is in his office on the third floor and present it to
him. He will sign it and forward it to the head Librarian on floor one
through a peon.
3. Get the signed application registered and stamped.
4. Meet the Librarian and get the application approved, though at
present they give only 30% of the pages.
5. Go to floor two and fill in a reproduction form.
6. Bring it back to the Librarian for her signature, then to the
reproduction office and get the cost calculated (30rs/ folio + 50 for
CD + 500 postage)
7. Pay the required cost in cash at the cashier, third floor. Save the
8. Submit the receipt and the two forms at the manuscript section, floor two.
9. Wait for a month or two (calling to check on the progress once a
week) until receiving quite good scans on a CD in the post.

In other words, it can be done but you will need time and patience --
especially if any of the persons above happen not to be present (very
common). The only real problem is that they don't give full copies
(well, I hear they sometimes do, but I have never received one). My
suggestion would be to change that.

Måns Broo

> Hello All,
> I was informally asked to give some suggestions for an upgrade of the
> services of the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. I never visited their library and
> did not have any experience of collecting copies of manuscript materials
> from this institute. Some of my friends who were looking for manuscripts in
> this institute had pathetic experiences.
> The conditions of these south Asian libraries are often similar. Therefore,
> some general suggestions would also be useful.
> If you have any suggestion for improving their services I would be glad to
> forward your message (it can be anonymous if you want) to the authority.
> Sincerely,
> Deepro Chakraborty
> PhD candidate
> Department of History and Classics,
> University of Alberta.

Dr. Måns Broo
Senior Lecturer of Comparative Religion
Editor of Temenos, Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion
Åbo Akademi University
Fabriksgatan 2
FI-20500 Åbo, Finland
phone: +358-2-2154398
fax: +358-2-2154902
mobile: +358-50-5695754

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