Buddhist & Hindu Manuscripts

Buddhist & Hindu Manuscripts

HMML’s Buddhist and Hindu projects are currently from field sites in Kathmandu, Nepal, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at Hamburg University. HMML also hosts Buddhist manuscripts from Southeast Asia in partnership with the DREAMSEA Project. In Nepal, work at the Āśā Saphūkuthi (Āśā Archives) in Kathmandu digitizes manuscripts related to Buddhism, Hinduism, and other traditions, preserving this collection of written Nepalese heritage, history, and culture. The collection, which dates from the medieval to modern periods, contains a variety of texts on Hinduism, Buddhism, poetics, medicine, astronomy, grammar, prosodic works, handbooks, and other topics and is written in Sanskrit, Newari, Hindi, Nepali, and/or a mix of Sanskrit-Newari, Sanskrit-Hindi, and Sanskrit-Nepali. The manuscripts are important witnesses to Newari language and literature, demonstrating the scribal practices of the Kathmandu Valley and beyond. The project currently focuses on digitizing the manuscripts of the ‘new collection,’ which date between the 17th and the 20th centuries.

Highlights

  • Manuscripts on a variety of writing supports and book formats from the Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal, including palm-leaf, rolled palm-leaf, traditional paper, Nīlapatra (‘black paper’), pothī, accordion, and western codex format, written in a variety of scripts, including Newari, Rañjanā, Devanāgarī, and others
  • Buddhist manuscripts from the DREAMSEA Project


  • Countries

    Laos and Nepal (Buddhist & Hindu manuscripts are also found throughout the Western European collections)
  • Date Range

    17th-20th century
  • Languages

    Hindi, Lao, Malay, Malayalam, Nepali, Newari, Pali, Sanskrit, and other languages
  • Contact

    Dr. Bidur Bhattarai, Director, Nepal Projects
A Buddhist manuscript from the Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal, containing the Prajñāpāramitā written in Newari script on traditional Nepalese paper, dating approximately to the 18th c. (DPN 5129) A Buddhist manuscript from the Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal, containing the Prajñāpāramitā written in Newari script on traditional Nepalese paper, dating approximately to the 18th c. (DPN 5129)
Rolled palm-leaf land-grant document from Lalitpur, Nepal, with a clay seal on the left, written in Newari script, rolled (upper) and unrolled (lower), dating to Nepāla Saṃvat 858 (1738 CE). Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal (ASKPN 454) Rolled palm-leaf land-grant document from Lalitpur, Nepal, with a clay seal on the left, written in Newari script, rolled (upper) and unrolled (lower), dating to Nepāla Saṃvat 858 (1738 CE). Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal (ASKPN 454)
Buddhist manuscript from the Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal, containing the Nāmasaṃgīti, written with golden ink in Rañjanā script on Nīlapatra (‘black paper’), dating approximately to the 17th c. (DPN 3922) Buddhist manuscript from the Āśā Archives, Kathmandu, Nepal, containing the Nāmasaṃgīti, written with golden ink in Rañjanā script on Nīlapatra (‘black paper’), dating approximately to the 17th c. (DPN 3922)
Buddhist palm-leaf manuscript containing the Suttanta doctrine (ສະຣາກະຣິວິຊາສູດ) written in 1855, from Luang Prabang, Laos. <a href='https://www.hmmlcloud.org/dreamsea/detail.php?msid=144'>DREAMSEA Project Number DS 0011 00001</a>. Buddhist palm-leaf manuscript containing the Suttanta doctrine (ສະຣາກະຣິວິຊາສູດ) written in 1855, from Luang Prabang, Laos. DREAMSEA Project Number DS 0011 00001.

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