SuttaCentral

Online sources for study of Pali manuscripts

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#1

This topic is for collecting the major online resources relating to study of manuscripts in Pali. Most important are sites that make available the actual manuscripts, but other resources are also welcomed.

Core sources

###Digital Library of Lao Manuscripts

http://www.laomanuscripts.net/en/index

Has some nice information and photos. This was a project of the national Library of Laos, and hasn’t been updated since 2011. Includes images, for example the Anattalakkhaṇasutta:

http://www.laomanuscripts.net/en/texts/12252#2

###Digital Library of Northern Thai Manuscripts

http://lannamanuscripts.net/en

Has an extensive collection of resources, and includes many manuscripts in multiple scripts. Covers a wide range of texts, including the Tipitaka.

###Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation

http://fpl.tusita.org/

Home site for one of the, if not the, most important manuscript preservation projects.
However, no manuscripts online.

###University of Pennsylvania

http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/medren/ancillary.html?id=collections/rbm/mss/mss

Has a collection of various texts, some of which may be viewed online. I am not sure if there are any substantive canonical texts. hoever they do have, for example, the Dhammapada commentary.

http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/medren/pageturn.html?id=MEDREN_6825485&doubleside=0&rotation=0&fq=collection_facet%3A"Thai%20Manuscripts"&currentpage=1

##Articles and discussions


#2

There are images of manuscripts hosted, e.g. this one. They just ave a weird interface, which makes searching for manuscripts a bit difficult.


#3

Thanks, updated.


#4

The original Pali canon written in the Sinhala script is at the British Museum.

Yet another collection of over 6000 texts has been taken from Sri Lanka. This collection is not only of relevance to Sinhalese Buddhist literature but more widely to the social and intellectual history of the later Theravadin tradition in Sri Lanka.

Originally over 6000 texts were taken from Sri Lanka to France. The present Neville Collection in the UK has 2000.

The first lot was taken by George Turner and the second lot by Hugh Nevill of the British Civil Service.

Obviously, anyone who cares about the Dhamma would want these back in Sri Lanka where it belongs.


#5

Is there any new resources or developments in this direction as of late? I have recently became very interested in tracking down the locations of various historical manuscript attestations of the Pāli Canon.

Is it possible for SuttaCentral to house any manuscript collections directly? Or are the rights too difficult to obtain?


#6

We are still pursuing the project to digitize the earliest pali manuscript. But the political situation in Sri Lanka does not make it easy.

there are some other projects. I’ll see if I can get an update for y’all.

Well, great. Please let us know what happens!

I’m not sure what you mean: we don’t have a place, so no, we can’t house anything. If you meant digital images, then these are best in the public domain, distributed widely.

The best thing is for manuscripts to be housed locally, but all too often they are neglected, lost, or destroyed.