Many important points have been raised in the present topic.

As pointed out by a member - Koba is exceptionally user friendly repository. It served me PDF within a record time of 1 day. They have some MSS scanned. If a scholar places a request they scan the MSS out of turn. Contact details are and They have MSS from their centre as well as scanned photocopies of MSS from Patan, Jesalmer and BORI among other MSSs. So if you fail in securing from Patan, Jesalmer or BORI, this source should help you out. They also have a large collection of digitized Indology related books and journal articles with well maintained database. For searching especially jainist sources, this place is wonderful.

As regards the other private repositories, my experience has been very lukewarm.

As regards the digitization program, one good cataloguing exercise by GOI is online at
Their report says that they will be launching an online digital manuscript library, but it has not yet materialized.
In the meantime I have prefferred an appeal under Right to Information act, 2005 to the National Manuscript Mission seeking all digitized MSS. Their response in appeal is a bit encouraging. Find the response attached to the mail. Couldn't scan, so just took photo from mobile. If the appeal succeeds, we may get all the MSS digitized by National Manuscript Mission in free domain. (Will need to arrange for funding then :) )

I also sincerely urge the members to use Right to Information act to the fullest. ( This makes it mandatory for any Government Institution to provide copies of records to the information seeker, with punitive action for failure. Of course, this right is given to only Indian citizens, but I guess we can arrange a local Indian scholar of our acquaintance to do the application on our behalf. The fees are also very nominal. Application fees INR 10 - 50 depending on the state. Copying fees - 2 rs/ page mostly. DVD charges - 50 rs / DVD.
Appeals are without fee. So you can continue your battle as long as you win. Currently my appeal is pending in court of Information Commission against the order of National Manuscript Mission. So, if your efforts have not succeeded in securing a manuscript from a Govt repository, you may like to give this legal right a try.

As regards the Ayurveda corpus,
Gujarat Ayurveda Uni has put its resources online here - Very difficult to navigate kind of website, but quite good resource.

On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 2:02 AM, Elliot M. Stern <> wrote:

If this is the right reference, it is the University of Mysore.  

Sent from my iPhone:

Elliot Stern

On Jan 8, 2015, at 10:15, Harry Spier <> wrote:

I vaguely recall seeing some article a few years back (maybe on the Indology list) that Google or Microsoft were partnering with a large manuscript library in India to digitize their collection.  Does anyone remember which institute this was and what became of the project.

Harry Spier

On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 10:53 PM, Matthew Kapstein <> wrote:

Though I have had many of the same types of frustrations some of you have had in
accessing manuscripts in India, I do not by any means regard this as a particularly Indian problem.
Take my recent experience with the Société Asiatique in Paris:

In March last year, I approached the librarians to request access to the collection of Tibetan
manuscripts acquired in the early 20th century by Jacques Bacot. I was told that the collection
was off-limits, except to one Parisian scholar who had been engaged by the Société to catalogue it.
The sole way to access the Bacot materials, they said, was through that person.

After several months, the individual in question and I succeeded in fixing a time to visit the Bacot collection
together. All seemed fine. However, the evening before our appointment, I received a message from
that person stating that the board of the Société had decided to exclude me personally because I am
not a member of the Société! And the person who delivered this message, who has access to the
Bacot collection, is not, it turns out, a member.

When I then complained directly to the board of the SA, I received a rather insulting message to the
effect that, because the collection will have to be closed in 2016, owing to planned renovations, they
thought it best to exclude me now (!!!)

I could add stories about a number of other European collections, not to mention conditions for
accessing manuscripts in China.

All in all, though far from perfect, the situation in India seems not half bad.

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

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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Dr. Dhaval Patel, I.A.S
District Development Officer, Rajkot