4,000 ancient manuscripts of National Sanskrit University will be a click away

He elaborated that the university aims to finish the process to upload the remaining 3,900 manuscripts on the web portal in the next 12 months.
A treasure trove of manuscripts at the repository of National Sanskrit University (NSU) in Tirupati. (Photo I Madhav K)
A treasure trove of manuscripts at the repository of National Sanskrit University (NSU) in Tirupati. (Photo I Madhav K)

TIRUPATI: Soon research scholars in the field of Sanskrit will be able to get access to the 4,000 digitised ancient manuscript bundles collected and preserved at the repository of National Sanskrit University (NSU) Tirupati. The 4,000 digitised manuscripts will be uploaded to the dSPACE web portal which will be under the authorised control of NSU Vice-Chancellor and other university officials and provisional access will be given to research scholars and organisations which are into the research study of the Sanskrit language. 

The NSU has nearly 7,000 ancient manuscript titles donated and collected from various donors across AP and stored at the university repository. Of the 7,000 manuscript titles covering 14 major Sastras in 12 different ancient Indic scripts, the university completed the digitisation of 4,000 manuscripts. 

The Palm Leaf Manuscript Conservation Centre, a separate division of NSU was formed in 1964(then Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth) with the objective to conserve manuscripts incorporating modern and indigenous methods of conservation and training a new generation of manuscript conservators. 

Dr Sayanto Mahato, Preservation Assistant of the manuscript repository (NSU) said: “The university has launched the process to upload the manuscripts on the dSPACE web portal and completed 100 manuscripts in the last six months.”

He elaborated that the university aims to finish the process to upload the remaining 3,900 manuscripts on the web portal in the next 12 months. Albeit, the number of manuscripts uploaded to the portal form a short number, the number of bundles will be higher as each manuscript consists of 2 to 3 manuscript bundles, Sayanto Mahato added.

“Once a research scholar or an individual or an organisation which is into Sanskrit puts a request to the university that they need to research about a particular Grandha; the university after verifying their request will give access to the manuscripts on the web portal,” Sayanto Mahato explained.

He said this move will allow the researchers access to the rarest and most endangered manuscripts and also access of unpublished manuscripts and critical editions. He also said the university is working to increase the manuscript collection by collecting more manuscripts from donors and increasing the manuscript numbers from 7,000 to 10,000. 

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