[INDOLOGY] Sanskrit manuscript collections at the Internet Archive

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Sun May 1 04:29:22 UTC 2022

In a small way, I've been keeping collection-level links here:
https://indology.info/external-resources/   , i.e., identifiably individual
collections living at archive.org.  But there's a tremendous amount more
than what I've noted.

The metadata (=catalogue data) at archive.org is notoriously bad, for
perfectly understandable reasons.  Many people have thought about this
issue, obviously, but it would be a very expensive undertaking to catalogue
even a part of what's there and even at a minimal cataloguing record
level.  The Archive.org people take the "Google search" approach, i.e., you
find what you need by searching using carefully-constructed keywords.  This
is surprisingly effective, but lots falls through the cracks, as we all
know from personal experience.

My personal approach has been twofold:

   1. When I can, I add proper metadata in the "review" field.  And a
   permalink URL pointing to worldcat.org.
   2. Specifically for manuscripts, when I can, I add a link from
   PanditProject.org and vice-versa.

What I do is purely opportunistic and just a drop in the ocean, but it
helps me in the long run, and may help others.

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