Digital Resources for Buddhist Studies

manuscripts of buddhist texts

Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2009/11/16

The International Dunhuang Project at the British Library is well-known as a clearing house for manuscripts from Central Asia, especially along the silk-road.  However, researchers looking for manuscript witnesses of Indian and Tibetan texts have another excellent resource at their disposal:  The Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project (NGMCP). The Nepalese manuscripts are generally younger than the Central Asian mss, but represent a large and important corpus of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, which are not available elsewhere. The NGMCP was started in 2002 in order to catalog more than than 180,000 Nepalese manuscripts microfilmed under the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (1970–2002). The NGMCP also publishes an excellent newsletter, which should be of interest to all working with Asian manuscripts.

After a simple registration one can search for catalog information of Indian and Tibetan manuscripts. To get hold of scans of the actual manuscripts however one has to contact the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, where the one set of the microfilms are kept. The other is in National Library of Nepal in Kathmandu.

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