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Submitted by
G Anandaraj
Ph.D. Coursework Assignment

A manuscript is to be decked like ones beloved child! to be guarded
from others like ones virtuous wife! to be carefully treated like an
injured limb of ones body! to be looked up everyday like a real
friend! to be tied strongly like a prisoner and to be always
remembered like "ods name# $hen only the manuscript will not
perish# $hese are the instructions of our forefathers#
Manuscriptology is a branch of study in
archaeology about history or literature
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
by )eans of +ery old pal)leaf
)anuscripts, rare paper )anuscripts,
epigraphy and underwater archaeology-
Manuscriptology is actually for
process of listening
the pulse of our past-
Definition of Manuscriptology
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
A wide variety of writing materials
Manuscript: Etymology
Towards a definition
lluminated Manuscripts
llustrated Manuscripts
!ealth of Manuscripts
Manuscript Survey
A Short note on Manuscript collection in ndia
o The Indian pre-eminence
o Historic Indian manuscript libraries
o Chambers Collection etc.
o Post-independence era
#lace of storage
Cataloguing of Manuscripts
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M'D%$N()odule *
Descriptive Catalogue
Descriptive Cataloguing
Catalogus Catalogorum %CC&
New Catalogus Catalogorum %NCC&
Te'tual Criticism and edition
Te'tual Criticism
(ower Criticism
o Heuristics
o Restoration
o Emendation
)igher Criticism
Critical Edition in ndia
Contemporary Studies on Manuscripts
* MAN+SC$#T,(,-. / AN NT$,D+CT,N
%anuscripts are available in almost all written languages of the world#
Ancient languages like &anskrit! "reek! 'atin! (ebrew! Persian etc#! have
treasures of manuscripts which are of gigantic historical importance#
%anuscripts of other languages of medieval and modern origin are also no less
important# %anuscriptology which is the scientific study of manuscripts is!
therefore! relevant worldwide# )t is an important component of the discipline of
*ultural &tudies of the present day#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
%anuscriptology is important from the standpoint of the cultural history of
mankind# %anuscripts represent an advanced stage in the history of language#
%an without language! the progress of mankind has been rapid# )t was correctly
observed by +a in,

( ..!
%eaning, -(ere the progress of the world is maintained by the
grace of words which have been recommended by authoritative
writers# $hese three worlds would become entirely dark and blind if
the light called -word. does not shine as long as the world exists#.
Definition of Manuscriptology
%anuscriptology is the science of manuscripts# )t can otherwise be called
manuscript studies# )t is the branch of learning concerned with the searching!
collecting! cataloguing! preserving! transcribing! reading! collating! editing and
publishing of manuscripts# /ith the emergence of 0ew %anuscriptology one
has to redefine %anuscriptology as the study pertaining to or with the help of
manuscript# %anuscript studies have to be carried out against the background of
the cultural history of mankind as well as the history of language in general and
writing in particular#
$he nature of %anuscriptology is such that it depends on expertise in the
language as well as the subject of the manuscript# )t is somewhat similar to the
specialized activity of translation# &ound knowledge of the source and target
languages as well as the subject of the source material is necessary for
translating# &imilarly! sound knowledge of the language as well as the subject of
the concerned manuscript or manuscripts is necessary for working with them#
An expert manuscriptologist should be an expert in the language as well as the
subject of the manuscript# )n short! %anuscriptology is a specialized branch of
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
learning by its very nature# )ts boundaries border on other specialized branches
like $extology and *onservation &cience#
$he scope of %anuscriptology as seen above does not confine to mere
reading or transcribing or editing of manuscripts# 1f course! among the different
types of manuscripts! manuscripts of antique value are of more concern to
%anuscriptology# 2ut! a manuscriptologist cannot confine him to manuscript
studies alone# $he scope of %anuscriptology extends to literary science!
conservation science and cultural criticism# $he emergence of 0ew
%anuscriptology! in recent years! as a trend in literary criticism! especially
genetic criticism! enlarges the scope of %anuscriptology# $he possibilities of
utilizing %anuscriptology in such branches of studies like *riminology!
Psychology and certain paramedical sciences also have to be enquired into#
$he branches of %anuscriptology such as cataloguing! preservation and
textual criticism are specialized ones# *ataloguing is part of library science#
Preservation is within the purview of conservation science# $extual criticism
extends to literary criticism and cultural criticism# 1f late! a modern
development of %anuscriptology known as 0ew %anuscriptology also has
come into existence#
&ometimes! the term deciphering of scripts is used in %anuscriptology#
Actually! the deciphering of scripts is not within the scope of %anuscriptology#
%anuscripts dealt with in %anuscriptology are in some script already
deciphered# 3eading and interpreting the material available in the script are
important in %anuscriptology#
%anuscripts with which %anuscriptology is concerned pertain mainly to the
period prior to the invention and wide prevalence of printing# %anuscriptology
aims at bringing out those manuscript materials to the use of the modern reader#
$hough manuscripts available at present are not older than a thousand years! the
content of many manuscripts relate! often! to much earlier periods# As such! the
study of manuscripts is inevitable for historiography# $he data supplied by
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
manuscripts to historiography are primarily literary and documentary# (istory
cannot be reconstructed solely depending on manuscript evidence# 2ut! in
finalizing the results obtained through other sources! manuscript evidence can
serve a lot#
%anuscripts in abundance are found in )ndia# 1f the manuscripts available in
other countries also! a large number pertain to )ndia either directly or indirectly#
%ay be because of this! in )ndia! %anuscriptology has been developing as a
branch of )ndological studies# *ataloguing of manuscripts has been regularly
undertaken# As a result! now! we have descriptive catalogues of manuscripts of
almost all libraries# 0ew scientific methods have been adopted for preserving
the manuscripts# +ifficulties in reading various scripts have been much reduced
as a result of the successful studies carried out in paleography and other related
fields# $extual criticism has grown to higher levels# 4diting and publishing of
manuscripts have been undertaken to a large extent# %icrofiche and %icrofilm
have been in use in manuscripts libraries# 1f late! computer! scanner etc# also
have been utilized in the field of manuscript studies# $hus! at present!
%anuscriptology has every right to establish itself as a separate branch of
learning# $his assignment is mainly concerned with %anuscriptology in )ndian
* NAT+$E ,0 MAN+SC$#TS: !$TN-

- What is called a book/a!"sc#i$t
is ade o%
"d& 'ood& te(tile& ski!& etal o# )es*
A wide variety of writing materials
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
1ver the last six millennia! a wide variety of materials have been used by
mankind in various parts of the world for writing# &tone of different kinds!
metals like gold! silver! copper! lead etc#! animal skin! bones! shells! leather!
clay! was! pottery! ostraca! silk! cotton! wooden plank! bamboo! ivory! bark!
leaves! linen! papyrus! paper and what not# $ortoise5shell seems to be the oldest
known material on which characters are recorded#
$he type of material used for writing has in influenced the form of script# $he
direction of writing and the shape of manuscript are even influenced by the type
of material# $he availability of material was the principal reason behind the use#
$he *hinese used bamboo and shells# $he %esopotamians used clay and
4gyptians used papyrus#
)n )ndia! the oldest evidence of material used for writing as well as the oldest
record of writing are the )ndus seals discovered as the )ndus site# Pottery and
metal have been in use in the period of the )ndus 6alley *ivilization! probably
from 7899 to :;99 2#*# and *urtis of "reece bear testimony to the use of cloth
and tree5bark as writing materials during the fourth century 2#*# $he bark used
was of the (imalayan birch tree <Bhra=# 2uddhist documents obtained from
2hutan and Afghanistan disclose the fact that leaves of the same tree
<Bhrpatra= were used for writing on# >? id?sa has referred to the birch bark as
a writing material# 2irch bark has been in use in >ashmir till very recent times#
>ashmiri poet of &anskrit > @m@ndra of the ::th century refers to the
>?yasthas who were professional copyists and accountants who used writing
materials such as leaves! pen and ink5bottle#
Palm5leaf <T!lapatra= has been in wide use in )ndia# %any varieties of palm5
leaf cut to different sizes were used# %ost of the manuscripts in )ndia are on
palm leaves# Palm leaves written on were tied together using thread# /riting on
Palm5leaves was using metallic stylus# )n the north! the stylus written letters
were darkened by charcoal powder or leaf5juice# A white chalk5like powder was
often spread over the dark ink5written palm5leaves to brighten the letters# $he
oldest palm5leaf manuscript ever written available is found in 0epal# )t is about
A99 years old# $he pliable variety of palm5leaf used for writing was named
&ilk and cotton cloth were also used for writing special items# &tate
documents were written in >arnataka until very recently! on #aditam which
was made of cotton pieces# *otton pieces were suffered by applying dark paste
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
coatings to make them #aditam# %atter was written on such #aditam using
chalk <#a hin$ = or steatite pencil# 3oyal proclamations were written on superior
silk cloth#
/ooden planks <Phala%a= were also in use for writing on# $hese also mainly
used for special purposes# As such Bphala%am has attained the meaning of sign
board and even name board# $he use of the word B&il!phala%am to mean the
special writing board bearing names of those who laid the foundation stone for
big buildings! is prevalent in )ndia even today#
%etal plates especially of copper were also used for writing on# $he copper
plate inscriptions of &outh )ndian >ings are famous in )ndian history# $he royal
grants written on copper plates are known as BT!mra&!sanas'# )t may be
remembered in this connection that the recognition given to the freedom
fighters by the President of )ndia is known as $?mrapatra# $hey are made of
$he famous $irupati $emple of 'ord 6enkateswara has a huge collection of
copper plate writing# $he entire musical compositions of the Tallapa%am
composers of the temple belonging to the :85:6th centuries have been preserved
on copper plate#
&tone and rock were also freely used to record royal deeds! especially!
exploits and grants# $he earliest known stone and rock edicts are those of Asoka
found in different parts of the country# $he cave temples and rock temples of
various locations have imperishable records on rock# 2urnt bricks were also
used to record events#
)ron was rarely in use as writing material# $he %ehrauli )ron Pillar bearing an
inscription of *handragupta is a rare one# $he reason for the non5use of iron as
a writing material on a large scale is a matter to be researched into#
Paper was originally a *hinese discovery# )t was in :98A#+# that the *hinese
made it# $he technique of papermaking remained a secret for about six
centuries# 'ater! the Arabs knew it and they established paper manufacturing
factory as &amarkhand# Arabs brought the art of papermaking to )ndia# )t was in
the tenth century# 3ight from then! paper has been in use in )ndia#
)ndia of %egasthenes and Cain sources make mention about use of paper in
)ndia# $hese even point to paper production in )ndia# $hese are indications of
use of paper in )ndia prior to the tenth century# (owever! manuscripts on paper
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
now available in )ndia appeared from the tenth century onwards only# )ndia
paper! anyway! is world famous# Paper was very much in use in 0orth )ndia#
$he first paper manuscripts were cut into palm5leaf size# A yellow coating was
applied on the paper as preservative#
$he &anskrit word B(rantha prevalent in )ndia! as well as the 4nglish word!
book! points to the historical material of writing# $he word B(rantha suggests
meaning of something tied together# )t may be noted that the palm5leaves were
pierced at one or two ends and were tied together! passing a thread through the
holes# $he origin of the word book goes to the beach tree# 2each boards were
used by the Anglo5&axons and "ermans for the purpose of writing# $he book
name codex also is derived from the wood material used for writing# $he
medieval vellum codex reminds the historical importance of the material used
for writing on#
0ow different varieties of paper are used universally for writing# %anual
writing has practically become outmoded# 4lectronic typing! computer
typesetting! Dax! 45mail and )nternet are used in the modern world! where one
scribbling on a paper pad is looked upon as old5fashioned#
Manuscript: Etymology
$he Bmanuscript is formed of two elements namely Bmanu and Bscripts#
B%anu stands for manual originating from 'atin Bmanus meaning hand#
B&cript is from 'atin Bscribere meaning to write# $he two semantic elements of
the word manuscript! therefore! are := it is manually written and 7= it is in some
script form# As such! manuscripts represent an advanced stage in the history of
human development# Antecedents of manuscripts are many with which we are
not concerned here#
Towards a definition
%anuscript! in common parlance is anything handwritten! but not printed#
Esually the script sent to press for printing is called manuscript# 1nce the matter
is printed! it can be called only printed matter# 0o printed matter has the status
of manuscript# As such! printed manuscript is a self contradictory expression#
A doubt may arise in this connection, whether something typewritten using a
typewriter or typeset using a computer is a manuscript or notF &trictly speaking!
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
it is not! because in both cases the matter in script form is not simply manually
producedG but produced by a machine! whether it be typewriter or computer#
(owever! today! both typewritten and computer typeset matters have to be
considered as manuscripts# $hey may further undergo printing in a press
whereby only they will lose their status of manuscript#
$he word %anuscript has more than one meaning# B$he +ictionary of
3eading and related terms published by the )nternational 3eading Association
gives the following three meanings,
). *n+ ,riting done b+ hand ,ithout mechanical aid such as a t+pe,riter or
printing press- especiall+. a hand-,ritten boo% or document.
/. * 0inished version o0 a piece o0 ,riting to be submitted 0or publication-
script- especiall+. a boo%. article. document or essa+.
1. * t+pe o0 hand,riting in ,hich letter 0orms that loo% li%e ordinar+ t+pe
are ,holl+ or partiall+ unconnected ,ithin each ,ord- print-script.

'#%# (arrod defines manuscript as -a document of any kind which is written
by hand! or the text of a music or literary composition in hand5written or
typescript form! and which! in that from! has not been reproduced in multiple

$he Anglo American *ataloguing 3ules -cover the description of manuscript
<including typescript= materials of all kinds of including manuscript books!
dissertations! letters! speeches etc#! legal papers <including printed forms
completed in manuscripts= and collections of such manuscripts# )n the widest
sense manuscript should include all the above mentioned items# )n the present
age of computers! it should include all computer typeset printouts also! because
they are also hand5produced basically and will serve as master copy for printing
multiple copies in the form of book#
A manuscript is to be distinguished from an inscription# An inscription is
a writing engraved on some object# )nscriptions are incised rather than written#
(owever! often writing in relief such as we find in the legends on coins and
seals which are usually produced out of moulds or dies and also records painted
(arris! $heodore!'#! H (odges! 3ichard! 4#! ed#! A +ictionary of 3eading and 3elated
$erms! 'ondon! :;I3! pp# :I;5:;9#
(arrod! '#%#! $he 'ibrarians "lossary! 'ondon! :;8;! p#J9#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
on cave walls or written in ink on wooden tablets are regarded as inscriptions!
although these writings are not actually engraved#

%&& are divided into two types according as they deal with one or more
works# $he former is called single %& and the latter bundle# 2undle type is
further divided into two namely homogeneous and heterogeneous#
(omogeneous %& bundle contains one text with its exegesis while a
heterogeneous %& bundle contains more than one text with their exegesis#
lluminated Manuscripts
)n the %iddle Ages! 4uropean monks produced %&& in special workshops
called &criptoria in their monasteries# "old or silver leaf was applied on the
initial letters and the decoration# &uch %&& were called illuminated %&&#
+istinct styles were used in illuminated %&& in 4urope# 2yzantine! 4nglish!
Drench! )talian! )rish etc were important styles of illumination#
)t is not possible to determine when )ndians began to illuminate manuscripts#
$he earliest available )ndian manuscript illuminated is from central Asia about
the middle of the first millennium A#+# $hese are 2uddhist %anuscripts# $he
text is 'otus &utra#
)n )ndia itself! similar illuminated manuscripts have been found only in the
excavated stKpas of "ilgit which came to be known as the "ilgit %anuscripts#
"ilgit is a part of >ashmir and the seat of later &ahi rulers# )n :;3: several
2uddhist &anskrit %anuscripts were discovered in a stKpa near "ilgit# $he
discovery of the %&& was first announced by &ir Aurel &tein# (e reported about
the discovery of a great mass of %&& dating back to the 6th century A#+# $he
%&& were written in changing form of the Post "upta Br!hmi and also in Proto5
"!rada &cripts# $he most important and extensive of the %&& is that of the
2lasarv!stiv!da 3ina+av!stu. $he %&& have been edited by +r# 0alinaksha
+utt and published in :;3;#
llustrated Manuscripts
&ircar! +#*#! )ndian 4pigraphy! +elhi! :;68! p#:
+utt! 0alinaksha! 4d#! "ilgit %anuscripts! +elhi! :;IJ#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
)llustrated %&& are those with pictures illustrating the events described in
them# 2ut at the same time %&& with some pictures are also available#
)llustrated %&& of the -$he 2ook of the +ead. of the 4gyptians are available#
2lav!stu of the (Lnay?na 2uddhists! * as!hasri%a Pra4ap!ramita of the
%ahayana 2uddhists etc# are also available in the illustrated %&& form# %&&
illustration continued throughout the centuries# 56vim!hatm+a. the Hol+ 7uran.
8hahnama. #alpastra. 3i upura a. Bh!gavata. (it!govinda. 2ah!bh!rata
<certain parvans=! R!m!+a a and many other works have been available in
illustrated %&&#
$he Citrar!ma+! a is a rare palm5leaf manuscript available with the 1riental
3esearch )nstitute and %&& library of the Eniversity of >erala# &uch
completely illustrated %&& are very rare# $he story of 3amayana illustrated on
palm leaf# $he work has been published recently#
$he %&& heritage of )ndia is very rich# 2ut %&& dating before a thousand
years are few# $he literary works of the earlier periods are represented by later
%&&# $he Mrama a tradition of the Cainas and 2uddhas which was later split
many times lost most of the ancient records of their literature# +estruction of
%&& occurred as part of civil wars also in )ndia# )n short! when systematic
collection and preservation of %&& began! there was little that was very ancient#
&ystematic manuscript studies and assembling of %&& in )ndia may be traced
back to :I6I56; when the "overnment of )ndia took initiative in the matter# A
systematic and regular search of %&& in different parts of )ndia was initiated# )n
ten years the results came out# A report of the work done in different parts of the
country was published by the "ovt# in :IAI# %any %&& which would have
been lost otherwise were collected# $hus revealed much information throwing
light on the dark and little known corners of )ndian history and literature#
2oth the printing press and camera have together made manuscripts and old
documents! which have only historical importance! lively# %anuscripts are
produced even today! but not as in the ancient or medieval period# 0ow!
manuscript is press matter for printing# )t can be manually written! typewritten
or type set in a computer# $hese have no antique value# As part of
%anuscriptology we are here concerned mainly with old manuscripts#
!ealth of Manuscripts
6ijayan! +r# >#! 4d#! CitraR!ma+! a. $vpm! :;;A#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
)ndia is the wealthiest country in the world as regards manuscripts# $here are
more than five lakhs &anskrit manuscripts alone deposited in about 789
institutions in )ndia# $he &anskrit Eniversity of 2enares has a collection of
;9999 manuscripts in &anskrit! P?li or Pr?k t# $he 1riental 3esearch )nstitute!
%ysore has J8999 &anskrit manuscripts# $he '#+# )nstitute of Ahmadabad also
has J8999 &anskrit manuscripts# %anuscripts 'ibrary of the Eniversity of
>erala has a collection of J9999 &anskrit manuscripts# $he Abhay Cain
"ranthalaya of 2ikaner has 39999 manuscripts# $he 2aroda 1riental 3esearch
)nstitute has 78999 manuscripts# $he 3ajasthan 1riental 3esearch )nstitute!
Codhpur! $he Adayar 'ibrary and 3esearch *entre! %adras! "anganath Cha
)nstitute! Allahabad! 2harat )tihas &ansodhan %andal! Poona and the 1rissa
"overnment %useum! 2huvaneswar have 79999 manuscripts each# $he
2handarkar 1riental 3esearch )nstitute! Poona has :I999 and many other
libraries have :9999 or around# About one lakh &anskrit manuscripts are
deposited in various institutions in "ermany! Drance! 2ritain! Capan! America!
*anada! &ri 'anka! 0epal etc#
)n )ndia manuscripts are available in plenty in the regional languages also#
$he 1riental 3esearch )nstitute and %anuscripts 'ibrary! Eniversity of >erala
alone has more than 79999 %alayalam manuscripts# $he &erfoji! &araswati
%ahal 'ibrary! $anjavKr has an equal number of $amil manuscripts# )t can be
said that an equal number of manuscripts as those in &anskrit are available in
various regional languages of )ndia also#
* C,((ECT,N ,0 MAN+SC$#TS

- Ma!"sc#i$ts a#e '#itte! do'! a!d co$ied
'ith "ch di%%ic"lt+,be!di!) the !eck&
back a!d s$i!al co#d& a!d %i(i!) the e+e
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
o! the te(t 'ith a do'!'a#d %ace*
The#e%o#e& the+ a#e to collected a!d
$#ese#-ed 'ith )#eat ca#e*
*ollecting manuscripts has two main aspects# 1ne is survey of manuscripts
with a view to locate them and the other is procurement of manuscripts with a
view to preserve them# 2oth are hazardous tasks which need time! energy and
fund for being executed# As such! what is important regarding the collection of
manuscripts is the policy of the state or agency concerned# And this policy in
favor of manuscripts collection may evolve only if there is a manuscript
consciousness among the policy makers# 1nce the policy is evolved at the high
level the idea should reach the masses# $hen only the manuscripts is the custody
of the general public will be carefully kept for being handed over to the
collectors concerned#
Manuscript Survey
A complete survey of manuscripts of the world has not been undertaken! so
far! by any individual or agency# As such! the total fund of manuscripts of the
different languages of the world cannot be ascertained# $here is scope for
carrying out such a global survey of manuscripts and collecting the manuscripts
which will be a huge project# E04&*1 and such other agencies will be able to
execute such a huge project#
%any surveys of manuscripts at different parts of the world have been
undertaken# As a result thousands of manuscripts have been collected#
A Short note on Manuscript collection in ndia
)n )ndia! manuscripts were collected and preserved from ancient times#
2efore the introduction of printing manuscripts were the main means of
preservation and communication of knowledge#
+uring its history extending over more than J999 years! &anskrit has
witnessed a stupendous output of literature# 0ot only did its literary activity
develop and express itself in a very large number of branches of knowledge! but
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
in each branch also a prodigious amountN of continuous production of literature
has taken place# )t will be no exaggeration to say that! among all ancient
languages! &anskrit excels in the sheer number of the works and authors that
have enriched it down the centuries# All this literary material of &anskrit has
been handed down both orally as well as in written form# )n the latter form! this
vast mass of literature has been preserved in different kinds of scripts and on
different kinds of materials! like birch5bark! palm5leaf and paper! and also
occasionally on cloth! wood and stone# $his written mass of literature is
interesting not only for the diverse materials it has used but also for the diverse
forms of writing it has employed! and the attendant arts of calligraphy and
$he primary interest of these written materials lies of course in their being the
medium of preservation and perpetuation of the growth and development of
&anskrit literature and learning in all their manifold branches# $he study of
&anskrit has always been closely linked with these manuscripts in which its
works have been preserved# )n ancient times! as the saying goes! >esavan
Acharya, (e was a greater teacher who had larger collections or a more
representative library! of manuscript works# %ore manuscripts meant access to
rare and higher contributions in each special branch of studiesG and even in the
case of single works! the greater the number of manuscripts! the greater the
facility to consult and decide upon the better readings <p? ha5bhedas= in
difficult contexts of the texts and in matters of controversy# /hile thus each
teacher had his own collection of manuscripts! either in his house or in the
school or in the temple or religious establishment to which he was attached!
there were also! in a quasi5public manner! collections belonging to educational
establishments! monasteries! temples! colleges and palaces of kings! where
leading scholars of the time were patronized! debates were held! and literary
activity promoted# $hus the places of preservation of manuscripts were also
varied and were spread over different and distant parts of this vast country#
The Indian pre-eminence
+uring the centuries when )ndia was holding a position of pre5eminence and
even of leadership in the field of intellectual activity and spiritual culture!
)ndian literature as enshrined in the manuscripts was taken by religious teachers
and scholars to countries outside the borders of )ndia! for preservation!
transliteration <if necessary= and translation Ninto the local languages# )t is well
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
known that the excavations in *entral Asia have unearthed fragments of
&anskrit literature of great significance to the early history of its growth! that
works of )ndian fable literature! mathematics and medicine have been translated
into the languages of the %iddle 4ast! that quite a number of the )ndian classics
have been taken to the countries of &outh54ast Asia where they have formed the
basis of versions in the local languages! and that a considerable mass of &anskrit
literature! in the branches of 2uddhism and )ndian Philosophy! exists in $ibetan
and *hinese translations! though in )ndia itself the &anskrit originals of a good
many of these texts are no longer extant#
$he recovery of )ndiaNs past rests not merely on monuments and Ndocuments
in stone! in the shape of architecture! sculptureN and inscriptions! but on these
manuscripts also! and to a much greater extent# 3ealizing the importance of
manuscripts! pioneers in the field of )ndian studies! both in )ndia and abroad!
had begun even at the very initial stages to collect and preserve the manuscript
material lying scattered all over the country# *hinese 2uddhist scholars like Da
(ien! (iuen $sNang and )5$sing came to )ndia with the acquisition of &anskrit
manuscripts for study and translation as one of their main objectives# )5$sing
the *hinese traveler! who stayed in 0alanda <6A856I8A#+= collected copies of
hundreds of manuscripts# $he *hinese traveler (iuen $sang also took great
interest in collecting manuscripts#
Historic Indian manuscript libraries
$he kings and chieftains of those days established huge manuscript libraries#
&anskrit manuscripts relating to subjects like 'ogic! %etaphysics! %edicine!
Astronomy! 3omance and Dables! and %ysticism were very much in demand in
the lands of )ran! )raq and &yria during the &assanian period and in the early
centuries of )slam# )n )ndia! rulers and rich men as well as scholars have been
building up their collections of manuscripts all along! from the ancient times
down to the present age# /e have information about collections of books in
2uddhist monasteries and Eniversities like those of 0alanda and 6ikramasila!
and in Caina bhandars or libraries# $he Eniversities of $akshasila! 0alanda!
6alabhi etc# collected and preserved manuscripts as far back as the 8th century
A#+# $he %utts! 6iharas etc#! maintained the practice of collecting and
preserving manuscripts#
$he tradition was continued by the %ughals# Akbar the great was particularly
interested in manuscripts and calligraphy# (e himself was a good calligrapher#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
A distinguished &annyasin5scholar! >avindracharya! patronized by the %ogul
4mperor &hah Cahan! had a rich library of manuscripts at 2anaras! the catalogue
of which is available and the manuscripts from which! bearing the ownerNs
name! are now found scattered all over the world#
Chambers Collection etc.
)n modern times! western scholars took great interest in collecting
manuscripts# &ir /illiam Cones! &ir 3obert *hambers! %ackenzie and many
others personally collected manuscripts in )ndia towards the close of the :Ith
century# $he first collection of &anskrit manuscripts made in modem times
under 4uropean auspices goes back to the years :AAJ5A;! when the *hambers
*ollection! which later became the nucleus of the 2erlin *ollection! was made
in )ndia# +uring the years :A;65:I96! *ol# %ackenzie! an 4ngineer and
&urveyor in the employ of the 4ast )ndia *ompany! made a huge collection in
%adras and the +eccan of manuscripts! copies of inscriptions! accounts of local
legend and history! plans! maps! etc#! which was purchased by the 4ast )ndia
*ompany and later catalogued by (# (# /ilson in :I7I# 2y the middle of the
:;th *entury! as a result of the discovery and study of &anskrit by 4uropean
scholars and for the pursuit of &anskrit 3esearch by them! a certain amount of
manuscripts relating to &anskrit literature had been collected and carried to
different Eniversities and libraries in 4urope! and many of those manuscripts
have been described by 4uropean 1rientalists in catalogues# $his work reacted
in creating an interest in )ndia itself in searching and surveying the manuscripts
lying in the public and private libraries of )ndia# )n :I3I! a list was made of the
manuscripts in the Npossession of the *ollege of Dort /illiam! *alcutta! and! in
:I8A! of the collections in Dort &t# "eorge! %adras#
*ollections of manuscripts of these western scholars were voluminous# $heir
interest in collecting manuscripts influenced the 2ritish regime in )ndia# As a
result! the "overnment of )ndia made it policy to encourage collecting
manuscripts# $he "overnment ordered for collecting and cataloguing of
&anskrit! Arabic and Persian manuscripts in different parts of )ndia and
necessary funds were allocated for the same in the second half of the :;th
century# 1n the 6th of August! :I6I! /hitely &tokes who was &ecretary to the
*ouncil of the "overnor5"eneral for making laws and regulations submitted a
note to the council advocating the necessity of collecting and preserving the
manuscripts of the country# (e prepared a scheme for the same# $he concluding
part of his note was as follows,
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
But ,hatever ma+ be done. I trust that no time ma+ be lost in doing
something. The climate and the ,hite-ants o0 India are a,0ul destro+ers o0
manuscripts. The old race o0 8astris is d+ing out- the +oung natives are losing
their national literature- and it is sa0e to sa+ that in another generation. unless
the (overnment bestirs itsel0 at once. much o0 value that is no, procurable ,ill
have disappeared 0or ever.
$he "overnment of )ndia accepted the scheme and orders were issued for a
massive search for manuscripts throughout the country# %any scholars were
deputed to tour the length and width of the country to search manuscripts to
prepare a comprehensive list of them and to purchase the most important among
)n ten years! a magnificent work was done# $he "overnment of )ndia
published in :IAI! the reports of scholars on their search of manuscripts# 3#'#
%ithra <2engal=! 3#$#(# "riffith <0orth /estern Province=! 2uhler <"ujarat!
3ajaputana! >ashmir=! >ielhorn <2ombay=! 2urnell <$anj?vKr=! 1ppert
<%adras=! "#6# %alleson <%ysore=! 6ishnu &hastri <*entral Provinces= and
+eviprasad <1udh= were the prominent scholars who carried out this search and
collection of manuscripts#
Post-independence era
)n the post5independence era! the "overnment of )ndia took interest in the
wealth of manuscripts in the country# $he %inistry of &cientific 3esearch and
*ultural Affairs <presently %inistry of (uman 3esource +evelopment= of the
"overnment of )ndia constituted an )ndology *ommittee# $he )ndology
*ommittee at its proceedings held on 78th 0ovember :;69 set up a sub5
committee to consider and report on the collection! preservation and processing
of manuscripts in )ndia# $he findings in the main were as follows#
6arious surveys conducted in recent times have shown conclusively that a
large number of rare manuscripts were lying scattered all over the country in the
possession of various institutions and private individuals and that in most of
these cases! due to paucity of funds or ignorance or both! the manuscripts were
fast deteriorating and even being destroyed# $he *ommittee also took note of
anxiety expressed some years ago by the President and the Prime %inister of
)ndia for early steps to save these valuable treasures for the use of the posterity#
%urthy! &hivagangesa! 3#&#! )ntroduction to %anuscriptology! +elhi! :;;6! p#6;
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
4ven at present there are many private institutions and individuals engaged in
the work of buying manuscripts wherever they may be found! though their
activities are necessarily restricted by paucity of funds# )n fact! the *ommittee
felt that such institutions and individuals have rendered a signal to the cause of
learning by such work# )n the normal course! the best solution to the problem of
collecting and preserving the large collections of manuscripts lying scattered all
over )ndia would be to give liberal financial assistance to such organizations
and individuals doing such work# 2ut the committee felt that! however laudable
this idea might be! it would not be possible achieve to in the near future due to
various technicalities which would necessarily be involved in making public
funds available to such bodies and in devising machinery to ensure that the
funds so granted are utilized properly for the purposes for which they were
)n the circumstances! the *ommittee discussed various possibilities and
ultimately arrived at the conclusion that the most satisfactory manner of tacking
the present problem of collection would be for the "overnment of )ndia or the
proposed *entral )nstitute of )ndology to set up on one or more %anuscripts
Purchase *ommittees to inspect and purchase manuscripts on the lines on which
the Art Purchase *ommittee is purchasing antiquities for the 0ational %useum#
*onsidering the largeness of the country and the scope of the work to be done!
the *ommittee would even recommend that there might be four 3egional
*ommittees functioning in the four different parts of the country for the purpose
of collection of such manuscripts#
4ach of these 3egional %anuscripts *ommittees should have n it the
members of )ndology *ommittee residing in those regions and in addition! the
representatives of the more important of the regional learned associations and
bodies including Eniversities which have been engaged in %anuscripts work#
$he Eniversity of "rants *ommission set up in :;8; a %anuscript
*ommittee to inspect the collection! preservation and utilization of manuscripts
in Eniversity 'ibraries and to recommended measures for improvement# $he
committee reported later,
3aghavan! +r# 6#! %anuscripts! *atalogues! 4ditions <&teps taken for the collection!
preservation and utilization of %anuscripts=! %adras! :;63#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
9i: *ll ;niversities visited laid stress on the possibilit+ o0 0urther collection
o0 manuscripts in their areas. <or proper exploration and surve+ it is necessar+
that ade=uate 0acilities are given to the ;niversities in the 0orm o0 sta00. etc. >e
are o0 the opinion that 0or a ,or% li%e this the main lead and inspiration are to
come 0rom the teachers connected ,ith research. >here the spirit and
atmosphere o0 research exist the ;niversities ma+ provide 0ield ,or%ers to
collect in0ormation about manuscripts and to help in the ac=uisition. <or this
purpose the ;niversities ,hich have the necessar+ possibilities ma+ be
provided ,ith t,o 0ield ,or%ers. * sum o0 Rs. ?.@@@A- per annum ma+ be placed
b+ the ;niversit+ (rants Commission at the disposal o0 the ;niversities
to,ards the emoluments o0 0ield ,or%ers and meeting travelling expenses o0 the
teachers and other collectors ,ho ma+ have to go round on this account.
9ii: <or collections o0 a special t+pe 0or ,hich large sums o0 mone+ are
demanded b+ the o,ners but ,hich are believed to be o0 much importance 0or
research and cultural purposes. the Commission ma+ be approached b+ the
;niversities 0or special grants. But all such collections should be inspected and
examined and valued b+ experts be0ore the+ are actuall+ purchased.
9iii: * sum o0 Rs. ?.@@@A- per annum ma+ normall+ be made available b+ the
;niversit+ (rants Commission to the ;niversities 0or the purchase o0
manuscripts. The ;niversities ma%ing good use o0 the provision and doing good
,or% in respect o0 the collection o0 manuscripts ma+ be helped ,ith 0urther
sums i0 there is su00icient usti0ication. The ;niversities themselves ma+ also be
re=uired to ma%e a provision 0or the purchase o0 manuscripts in their normal
9iv: ;niversities ma+ organiBe manuscript committees consisting o0 experts
to evaluate the collections properl+ and to guard against the purchase o0
spurious materials.
$he ideas did work to large extent# $he results have been the collection!
preservation and cataloguing of thousands of %&& which would otherwise have
lost forever#
1* #$ESE$1AT,N ,0 MAN+SC$#TS
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *

5 .P#otect e %#o oil /%i#e0& 'ate# a!d
bei!) loosel+ tied* Please do !ot ha!d e
o-e# to the ca#eless %ools1& sa+s the
Preservation of manuscripts is technical topic for which a scientific
background is necessary# )t forms part of the broad branch of conservation
science in general and the science of conservation of old documents in
particular# %ere knowledge of manuscripts is not enough for the proper
preservation of them#
$he problems connected with the preservation of manuscripts are varied# )t is
not possible here to go into all the details of the problem of preservation of
manuscripts# )n fact! preservation of manuscripts can be properly carried out
only after obtaining on the job training# /hat is intended! here is to give a
general idea regarding the problems of preserving manuscripts rather than
giving any concrete practical direction#
Preservation is the general term used! but it includes conservation
reconstruction! restoration and preventive conservation# Preservation of
manuscripts has two main aspects, one is the proper storage of manuscript and
the other is the use of preservation agents# )n both cases the material used for
writing the manuscripts and also the polluting agents play the major role#
*limate conditions are important in the preservation of manuscripts# +rastic
variations in light! heat! humidity! air circulation etc# will affect manuscripts#
4xtreme humidity will easily damage paper manuscripts whereas palm leaf will
sustain for a longer period# (igher humidity increases the chances of bio5
deterioration# Paper! palm leaf! leather! wood! textiles etc are easy victims of
microorganisms in humid conditions#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
Dungi! insects! rodents and people are agents causing bio5deterioration of
Dungi grow on paper! palm leaf! wood! leather! textiles etc when the room
temperature is between 739 and 389 *elsius and humidity is more than 68O#
Dungi not only disfigure the writings of the manuscript but cause damage to the
&ilverfish! bookworm! termites! wasps! beetles! cockroaches etc#! are insects
which cause harm to the manuscripts# $he names book worm and silver5moth
also are used for silverfish# )t makes holes in the leaves of paper and palm# )t is
fond of starch! gum and gelatin# &ilverfish will be more active if the
manuscripts are store in the dark places# 2ookworm actually is the larva of
beetle# 2eetles lay eggs on paper! palm5leaf etc#! and in five to ten days these
eggs hatch into larvae# $hey bore the bundles of manuscripts horizontally and
$ermites are of many varieties# /hite ants are the most common variety
found everywhere# 2lack variety also is rarely found# /hite ants cause damage
not only to manuscripts but to racks and the wooden parts of the buildings also#
/asps do not eat paper or palm leaf# $hey either bore holes on the
manuscript bundles or build mud5nests on them# )n both cases manuscripts are
liable to be damaged#
Apart from the larvae of beetles! beetles themselves cause damage to
manuscripts# $hey mutilate paper and palm leaf manuscripts#
*ockroaches are found everywhere and they live for a long time without
food# *ockroaches lay eggs on the edges of manuscript bundles# $hey are more
active in darkness and their reproduction rate is very high# $he black excreta of
cockroaches cause bad smell and disfigure the writings on the manuscripts#
$here are also a number of occasional damage makers to the manuscripts#
2ooklice are minute parasites which will dwell on manuscripts and attack them#
3ats are common trouble makers to manuscripts# $hey can be included in the
rodents mentioned above# $hey cut manuscripts into pieces# People throw away
manuscripts of precious nature into fire and water out of sheer superstition#
People are the best preservers as well as destroyers of manuscripts#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
#lace of storage
Place of storage also can cause damage to manuscripts# )f the manuscript
library is situated on the sea shore there is possibility of salinity apart from
humidity in the atmosphere which is dangerous to manuscripts# +usty buildings
with spider web and the sort also are disturbing# 1ld buildings which are
dwelling places of bats and such creatures cannot be used as such for storing
*limate problems and those related to place of storage can be remedied by
keeping the manuscripts in modern well5built air5conditioned buildings# Air5
conditioning has the danger of causing harm to manuscripts if not for 7J hours a
day# )n most libraries there is no night5watcher or night5staff since manuscripts
are not considered liable to be stolen# As such even if the library is air5
conditioned the machine will be switched off during night# $his will results in
intermittent use of air5condition which is harmful to manuscripts#
)n non air5conditioned libraries dust must be controlled strictly# %anuscripts
as well as the racks have to be dusted and cleaned regularly# $his must be done
gently and with utmost care! otherwise the manuscripts will be hurt#
Paper manuscripts can be protected with naphthalene balls or camphor#
"hodavaca powder in pill5form or packets can be placed among the bundles of
paper manuscripts# Ese of ++$ powder is not advisable since it will cause
difficulty to those who handle manuscripts# &imilar is the case of %ercuric
chloride! Ammonium thiocyanate! thymol etc# $hese may be good pesticidesG
but the manuscripts are to be handled by the staff of the library as well as
scholars whose health also is of importance#
Palm leaf manuscripts are treated in many ways# Application of citronella and
or lemon grass oil is a good method# &oft nylon brush should be used for oiling
and the whole process should be gentle# )t may be noted that the pleasant smell
of lemon grass oil is an incentive for the use of it#
Dumigation is another remedy for insects# *entral fumigation is not possible
in large libraries# &o! in such libraries small fumigation chambers are
maintained# %anuscripts bundles have to be taken to the chambers periodically
and fumigated# Para dichlorobenzene! *arbon disulphide! *arbon $etra
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
chloride! %ethyl bromide and pure crystals of $hymol which evaporate at
ordinary temperature and form gases lethal to insects are used for fumigation#
1* DESC$#T1E CATA(,-+E

I ha-e a!a)ed to co$+ e(actl+ the sae
I sa' i! the a!"sc#i$t*
It a+ be co##ect o# i!co##ect* I a !ot
at %a"lt*
Cataloguing of Manuscripts
*ollecting manuscripts and simply preserving them are not enough# $hey are
to be made readily available to the scholars for reference# $his is not possible
without cataloguing manuscripts# *ataloguing is not possible without
classification of manuscripts#
%anuscripts contain knowledge# Attempts to classify knowledge have
been very old# Ancient 4uropean as well as )ndian scholars have made such
attempts# >au alya divided the entire field of knowledge into four branches
namely PnvLk ikL! $rayL! 6?rta and +a anLti#
$he *entral "overnment scheme insists on the systematic cataloguing of
manuscripts also# A tabular form for preparing the catalogue of manuscripts has
been given by the "overnment#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
$A2E'A3 &$A$4%40$ D13 P34PA3)0" *A$A'1"E4 1D
&erial 0o# 'ibrary $itle 0ame 0ame %aterial &cript &ize! 4xtent *ond5
H &ubject AccessionQ of of of Q&ubst5 0o# of ition Parti5
*ollection work author commen5 ance foliosQ H age culars
no# if any tator leavesG
lines per
page H
0o# of
per line
: 7 3 J 8 6 A I ; : 9 ::
Descriptive Catalogue
2ooks have many means of circulation unlike manuscripts# )t can be said that
manuscripts serve their users only if they approach them# And to approach a
particular manuscript the concerned user should know in advance whether that
is of use to him# As such catalogue of manuscripts should not be mere lists#
$hey should be speaking or descriptive# $hat is why the catalogues of
manuscripts need be descriptive#
Descriptive Cataloguing
)t is not just enough if a %anuscript 'ibrary prints and makes available its
*atalogue title wise and subject wise to sister institutions in the world#
%anuscripts *atalogue work is not at all complete without the preparation of a
+escriptive *atalogue#
A +escriptive *atalogue! as its very name suggests! is a *atalogue which
gives a description of the manuscripts so that a scholar referring to it may
visualize it# $he ordinary catalogue informs the existence of a copy# A
+escriptive *atalogue furnishes details# $he "overnment of )ndia! +epartment
of 4ducation! &anskrit section! %inistry of (uman 3esource +evelopment! 0ew
+elhi! which provides financial assistance to institutions to prepare and publish
the +escriptive *atalogues of manuscripts with them! bas prescribed the format
as follows#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
A +escriptive *atalogue consists of two parts# Part one gives the physical
details of a manuscript! little being arranged alphabetically under different
subject heads# $he order of the columns spread on two adjoining pages is, *all
0umber! $itle! Author! %aterial! &ize <in centimeters=! 0umber foliosQpagesG
0umber of lines per pageG 0umber of letters per lineG 4xtent <*Q)nc#=G *ondition
of the manuscriptG 3emarks </hether printed! etc#= Part two shall contain
extracts of the %anuscript, <a= A few lines in the beginningG <b= a few lines at
the end! just enough to compare two copies of the same work and identify themG
and <c= the *olophon# )f the *olophon at the end is not available! a *olophon
available elsewhere in the copy is given# )f there is more than one copy of a
work in the 'ibrary then the extracts may be given from any of them and only
difference! if any! in other copies noted# 'etter B4 is prefixed to the *all
0umber in Part Bone to indicate that extracts are necessary because they are
useful in differentiating a manuscript from its namesake and deciding that one
and the same work is known under different titles#
$he *olophon! generally! gives the title of the work! its nature! the name of
the author with! sometimes! his titles! his parentage! his patrons name etc#
Catalogus Catalogorum %CC&
$o facilitate reference to manuscript *atalogues of various institutions in the
world! $heodor Aufrecht conceived and compiled in "ermany! A *atalogus
*atalogorum! a *atalogue of *atalogues in three parts! <(eidelberg! :I;:! 2onn
:I;6 and :;93 reprint :;67 <Dranz &teiner 6erlag &%2(! /iesbaden=# $his
was compiled from and gives reference to manuscripts noticed in the
*atalogues and 'ists of %anuscripts available during his time# $he *atalogue
*atalogorum is an alphabetical register of names of authors and titles of works#
Ender an author! all works known under the name in the source material are
listed# Ender the title of a work! the author! if any! and the reference to the
*atalogues <6olume 0umber and page= wherein the work is noticed are
provided# $his minimizes the effort of scholars in locating whether any
manuscript of a work is available and if so! in which institutionQs# 3eference to
the commentaries and super5commentaries are also provided under the title5
Aufrechts *atalogus *atalogorum has many faulty entries but the defect lies
not in Aufrechts magnificent labor but in the source material on which he
relied upon# $his was noticed as far back as :;38 when more authentic
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
catalogues and descriptive catalogues were available# &o! a revision of
*atalogus *atalogorum was deeply felt by the scholars#
New Catalogus Catalogorum %NCC&
)n :;38! +r# A#*#/oolner! 6ice5*hancellor! Punjab Eniversity! 'ahore!
wrote a letter to the Eniversity of %adras! to revise the *atalogus *atalogorum#
$he Eniversity considered and accepted the proposal# A committee! with %%
&#>uppuswami &astri as editor5in5*hief and &ri# P#P#&# &astri and +r# *# >unjan
3aja! was formed# $he work began in :;38# 'ater! the editorship was given to
+r# 6# 3aghavan# 1n the retirement of +r# 3aghavan! +r# ># >unjunni 3aja
became the editor# $ill 79:9! 78 volumes are published#

PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
I!te#$olatio!s& oissio!s& t#a!s$ositio!s& a!d
e##o#s ha-e take! $lace b+ i)!o#a!ce as 'ell
as i!te!tio!*

Please co##ect the e##o# o% "tilatio! o%
'o#ds a!d ea!i!) i! + co$+i!) d"e to the
ille)ibilit+ o% the o#i)i!al o# + o'!
is"!de#sta!di!)* Please do !ot be a!)#+
'ith e& the sc#ibe*
The scribes were not so much responsible for all the errors in
The errors committed by them may be attributed to their inorance.
The other lapses ha!e to be attributed to the narrow"minded
persons handlin these te#ts.
$nyway it is ine!itable to critically edit the te#t of the manuscript.
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
Te'tual Criticism and edition
$he most important scholarly aspect of %anuscriptology is textual criticism
and edition of the manuscripts for publication# And in this! modern )ndian
scholars have often followed the model formulated by "reek! 'atin and 4nglish
Te'tual Criticism
$he process of textual criticism has four stages which are called,
:# (euristics
7# 3estoration or 3ecensio
3# 4mendation or 4mendatio
J# (igher *riticism#
&ince the last one is called (igher *riticism all the other together are
considered as 'ower criticism# As such! textual criticism is often divided into
two major parts called 'ower *riticism and (igher *riticism#
(ower Criticism
$he entire material consisting of manuscripts and testimonia are collected and
arranged in the form of a genealogical tree which is also called pedigree or
stemma codicum# $his process is known as heuristics# $he purpose of heuristics
is to fix the inter5relationship of the materials# 'ooking at the pedigree the editor
can easily classify the manuscripts and other materials in accordance with their
mutual dependence or otherwise#
All the extant copies of the manuscript! commentaries! notes etc#! are to be
thoroughly read to finalize the text# $he authenticity of the codices has to be
determined based on the orthographic and stylistic peculiarities# All the variant
readings are to be collated# Dor the purpose of collation! each particular codex
consulted is to be given an identification mark which is called siglum <pl#sigla=#
A! 2! *! +#####! A:! A7! A3! AJ# *ontent or the script of the manuscript can be
shortened in letter form and used# )n such case! for example! %2 will stand for
%ah?bh?rata and + for +evanagari and %2:! %27! %23! %2J########! or +:!
+7! +3! +J########! can form the sigla#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
Apart from the direct evidence of manuscripts secondary evidences like
commentary! translation! anthologies <florilegia=! direct quotations! imitations!
epitomes and adaptations! parallel versions etc#! also can be relied in collation#
$he ultimate intention is to be obtaining the most pure form of the text#
3estoration is that of the original text# $he result of the heuristics is before
the editor of ready reference# (e has now to restore the original text# $he critical
skill of the editor is the most important thing here# (e should be guided by
scholarship independent of sectarian attitudes# $he fact that all readers may
assess his choice should be in mind# Any flaw on the part of the editor in the
restoration of the text may lead to the loss of credit to his effort in the process of
&uch situations when none of the readings can be satisfactorily accepted may
arise# 2ut without the correct reading the text will not be complete# 1n such
occasions the editor will have to suitably amend the reading# $his is what is
called emendation# $he editor will have to be utmost careful in emendation#
4mendation is the last resort of the editor in finalizing the text# $he emended
reading should satisfy the internal and external requirements of the text#
)igher Criticism
(igher criticism is not within the limits of textual criticism and
%anuscriptology alone# )t is part of the present day science of criticism# )t is
concerned with the text from is content point# %ere knowledge of the text and
its subject matter is not enough for higher criticism# 1bjective historical
knowledge is very much in need for higher criticism# (igher criticism need not
necessarily be a part of textual criticism and edition# )t can be done
independently also# A text critically edited and published also is always subject
to higher criticism#
'ower criticism! in fact! should lead to higher criticism# 3eal evaluation of
authenticity! interpretation etc#! are part of higher criticism# )t may be noted that
the technical! philological! literary and other criteria are valid only when applied
against the correct historical setting# And this is done in higher criticism#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
/hat exactly is the work of editionF $he editorial work is not the collation of
the manuscripts and testimonia# $he collation is important but more important is
the finalization of the text# )n this the editor has to apply his scholarship and
skill# $he editor of a movie film can be taken as an example here# All the frames
shot at different locations at different points of time are assembled and rallied
before the editor# (e employs his scissors in cutting and joining them# )n the
case of the edition of a text! the editor uses his pen instead of the scissors# $he
decision5making is the most important thing in edition#
Critical Edition in ndia
6#&# &Kkthankar can be called the father of modern )ndian textual criticism
and edition# &ystematic origin of textual criticism was in the third century 2#*#
"reek scholars of Alexandria initiated the branch of learning# 'ater 3oman and
'atin scholars united the traditions and developed textual criticism further# $he
full5fledged growth of the science took place only in the eighteenth century
A#+# $he nineteenth century saw important technical advancement of the
science# )n most of the studies the text subjected was the 2ible# 'ater! many
scholars started applying the technique in the case of classical 4nglish writings#
)t was &Kkthankar who first applied the method of textual criticism in )ndia in
editing a book#
$he best example of textual criticism and edition in )ndia can be seen in 6#&#
&Kkthankars critical edition of %ah?bh?rata# %ahabharata itself is a unique
epic of the world in many respects# $he critical edition of %ah?bh?rata carried
out by the 2handarkar 1riental 3esearch )nstitute! Poona also has become a
unique event# &uch amount of time and energy spent on the critical edition of a
work is quite rare in history# $he volume of work done as part of the critical
edition of %2 can be judged from the BProlegomena added to the edition by
6#&# &Kkthankar# $he prolegomena alone stands as a classical work on textual
criticism and edition# $he collation details! general account of the manuscripts!
classification of manuscripts! detailed account of the manuscripts! testimonia!
pedigree of Pdiparvan versions! critical survey of the recensions and their
versions! character and mutual relations of the versions and their manuscripts!
critical principles followed in the constitution of the text etc# given in the
prolegomena constitute a text book in which all the necessary principles of
lower criticism can be found applied#
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
$here are also other examples of lower criticism applied in text edition# $he
critical edition of 3?m?ya a brought out by %#&# Eniversity! 2aroda is one# )t
can be said that lower criticism has flourished in )ndia# Perhaps! this had
prompted some scholars to hold the view that lower criticism alone has
developed in )ndia and not higher criticism
&#%# >atre! whose B)ntroduction to )ndian $extual *riticism still serves as
the best in the field! wrote# -$he subject of higher criticism may perhaps be
dealt with profitability in a separate work! as conditions in )ndia so far are not
favorable to its study in the absence of exact chronology on the one hand and
intensive study of definite periods of literature on the other#.
Dollowing this
statement some people still preach the idea that higher criticism has not
originated in )ndia and that time is not yet ripe for the same# 2ut this is not
correct# >atre wrote it originally in the first edition of his book in :;J:# $here is
no point in repeating the same words even today! without taking any pain to
search whether the situation has changed or not after half a century now! is quite
objectionable# )n the preface to the second edition of his book >atre wrote in
:;8J# -Preoccupation with other major activities has prevented me from
enlarging this edition by inclusion of material and examples from more recently
published critical texts# 0evertheless ) shall be failing in my duty if ) do not
refer to one or two significant publications during the past decade.#
(e then
refers to the definitive edition of verses ascribed to 2hart hari! by Professor
+#+# >osambi published in :;JI and the exhaustive study of the century
ascribed to Amaru by Professor &#># +e which awaited publication then#
/ithout making any exhaustive study of the contribution of scholars to
textual criticism and edition in )ndia during the last sixty years it is not possible
to pass judgment on the question whether higher criticism has originated in
)ndia or not# )t is not within the scope of the present assignment to carry out
such a study# 2ut it can be convincingly proved that higher criticism has already
developed in )ndia#
>atre! &#%#! )ntroduction to )ndian $extual *riticism! Poona! :;8J! p#IA
)bid# p# R))
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
Contemporary Studies on Manuscripts
/ith a view to cultivate scholarship on manuscripts! and further the cause of
preservation of manuscripts the "overnment of )ndia announced the formation
of the 0ational %anuscript %ission <0%%= on 8 Debruary 7993# $he 0%% has
established a network of 3esource *entres in the country and has conducted
extensive surveys throughout its length and breadth# %ore than J!999 personnel
have been trained in the area of preserving manuscriptsG cataloguing and
conservation work has also been done# )n 799659A! the first phase of this Pilot
Project was completed and digitisation of manuscripts in various repositories is
now in progress# Publication of the periodical > iti 3ak a a by 0%% and
other works has gone a long way towards creating awareness about the
manuscripts (eritage# $attavabodha 5 the lecture series of 0%% running
monthly at their headquarters and annually at many of the centres created by it 5
has been of substantial value for the furtherance of manuscript studies and
creating awareness about the manuscripts# &elected lectures are being published
in a series of volumes# 6olume ))) of $attavabodha 5 edited by +ipti $ripathi
has been published <79:9=#
)t was 6# 3aghavan who started one of the most voluminous works in the
field of manuscripts studies by 0ew *atalogus *atalogorum <0**=# (e also
brought out five volumes of the 0**! a project now being funded by the 0%%G
78 volumes have been prepared and published! to complete the work up to the
alphabet Bra# $he digitisation of these volumes will supplement the whole
project of digitisation of manuscripts# $he mission has digitised the existing
volumes of the 0ew *atalogus *atalogorum for preserving the valuable data in
these books# Presently they have completed 799 books and work is still in
progress# 3&k& has published a catalogue of :3!999 manuscripts in their "#(#
Cha campusG a complete catalogue of 86!999 manuscripts in this library is being
published now# &anskrit and Allied %anuscripts in 4urope <7998= by +#>#
>anjilal and >ripamayee >anjilal present a survey of manuscripts in 7:
libraries of 4urope# 2esides producing the lists of manuscripts in these libraries
it also gives descriptions of some rare and important manuscripts# 1ther
important contributions to manuscript studies are Pr!% t-p! ulipi-ca+ani%!
and Apabhra Sa5 p! ulipi-ca+ani%! edited by >#*# &ogani# 1ne of the
important surveys with reference to manuscripts on science was made by >#6#
&arma and his account of manuscripts related to astronomy! astrology!
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
medicine! veterinary science chemistry! physics! botany! architecture draws
oneNs attention towards some very valuable literature that lies in the repositories
in south )ndia# Pustaka Prakasha 5 a research institute at Codhpur <3ajasthan= 5
has launched an annual journal on manuscripts studies titled 2!napra%!&a# $he
first number released in 79:: gives a detailed account of AA manuscripts
preserved in the library of this instituteG some of these manuscripts dealing with
lives of the local rulers are very important from the point of view of history of
the Codhpur state#
%anuscriptology and manuscript studies have become most significant
emerging areas and some of the budding scholars have devoted themselves to
these# /orks by 6irupaksha Caddipal have been referred to above# (e has also
translated &#%# >atreNs book on textual criticism in &anskrit# 2asant >umar
2hatta has done an authentic work on the manuscripts of *bhi4!na&!%untala
and ;ttarar!macaritam and has also produced critical editions of these# %alhar
>ulkarni has worked on manuscripts of >?Sik?# 3ajesh *hunilal 6yas has
worked on the commentary of PuTjar?ja on &?rasvatavy?kara a# Ajad %ishra
has prepared critical edition of &iddh?ntaratn?kara 5 a commentary on
" #
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *
A#(# +ani, )ndian Palaeography U1xford, *larendon Press :;63V
"# *olas, $he criticism and transmission of texts in *lassical )ndia
U+iogenes JA!7 U:I6V <:;;;=
C# Dilliozat, %anuscripts on 2irch 2ark <2hurjapatra= and their
preservation U$he )ndian Archives :!7 <:;JA=! :9759IV#
P#># Padmakumar Q 6#2# &reekumar, Palm leaves as writing material,
history and methods of processing in >erala UPalms JA!3 <7993=! :7857;V
%aheswaran 0air! >#! )ntroduction to %anuscriptology! :;;I
&)R$W W4A3& 1D &A0&>3)$ &$E+)4&, 61' #:! 3adhavallabh
$ripathi! 3 &kt &ansthan! 79:9
3#&#&# %urthy, )ntroduction to manuscriptology U+elhi, &harada
Publishing (ouse :;;6V
$# Aufrecht, *atalogus catalogorum X an alphabetical register of &anskrit
works and authors U3 parts# 'eipzig, 2rockhaus :I;:5:;93V! followed by
the 0ew *atalogus *atalogorum U:; volumes# Eniversity of %adras
6#&# &ukthankarNs Prolegomena to the critical edition of the %ah?bh?rata
UPoona, 2handarkar 1riental 3esearch )nstitute :;33V
PhD Coursework: UNIT 2 !"N!#$IT "NCI%NT &
M'D%$N()odule *