history of Kavyamala series

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Thu Oct 20 10:03:26 EDT 2005


Has anyone published a history of the Kavyamala series, or does anyone on the list feel confident they understand it?  I am trying to put together the information for the sake of correcting my library's cataloging of it (and possibly some of other libraries' records on OCLC).  

There is an article on the series by Albrecht Weber drawing the attention of Western indologists to it, which unfortunately was published in the middle of the series: Weber, Albrecht. Ueber [sic] die K*vyam*l*. Giornale della Societá Asiatica Italiana 7 (1893, 158-172.

It appears to me that the basic story is this.

It was first published by Niranaya Sagar Press as a monthly. 1886-19?? , each issue containing parts of larger works and/or complete short works.
The larger works were promptly republished each separately in a monographic series of the same name, numbered 1-95 (1886-1913).
The shorter works were likewise promptly published in compilations called gucchakas (title page mostly identical to that of the monthly, except for numbering), v. 1-14 (1886-1911).
A 2nd ed. and a 3rd, revised, ed. were published by Nirnaya Sagar.
Various publishers later at varioius dates republished items from the monographic series.
The Gucchaka series was reprinted 1988 by Chowkhamba Bharati Akadami.

The OCLC records are confusing and I suspect in some cases erroneous.  Shaw and Quaraishi's Bibliography of South Asia Periodicals and the BL catalog show no copy of the initial monthly version.

There is an article on the series by Albrecht Weber drawing the attention of Western indologists to it, which unfortunately was published in the middle of the series: Weber, Albrecht. Ueber [sic] die K*vyam*l*. Giornale della Societá Asiatica Italiana 7 (1893, 158-172.

I am particularly interested in any person on the list or their institution has a really complete set of the initial monthly.  LC has nos. 1-156 (microfiched and then bound and microfiched), plus 157 and 200 (April 1900) (the last mislaid at the time 1-156 was dealt with).  But issue 200 has works that end in the middle of the text and with no colophon, thus incomplete, and a publisher both committed and thriving like NSP would have to reason to terminate the project in this way.  I would like to know when the monthly ended and perhaps even to acquire microfilm or photocopies of the missing issues, since I think the format has some historical importance for the history of Skt. publishing.

BY THE WAY, LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO STUDY, OR ENCOURAGE TO STUDY, OR ORDER A GRAD STUDENT TO STUDY, THE HISTORY OF SANSKRIT PUBLISHING.  It clearly was important not only to our world but even commercially.  As I recall when Jim Nye of Chicago was first taking over Maureen Patterson's Sanskrit Series Project, the decision was made to confine it to the one thousand most important _series_.  Skt. publishing was clearly not a tiny niche market.  It would also be interesting to see how it got into an international market, since it seems (at least to me) that of S. Asian publishing only those in English and in Sanskrit got into international commerce until very recently.  (Including Pali and Prakrit with Sanskrit, of course.)

Maybe some of the extant old publishers could be persuaded to open their archives.

Allen



Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D., Senior Reference Librarian
South Asia Team, Asian Division
Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at loc.gov
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.



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