Classification and Cataloguing of 8500 Ancient Indian Manuscripts

A Research Project by Samskriti Foundation

About the Project
The Indian Scientific heritage has been extremely productive. India has one of the largest collections of Scientific manuscripts of any civilization in the world. While there is no precise enumeration of the number of manuscripts, estimates vary widely, putting it in the region of 20000 to 100,000 manuscripts. Several of these manuscripts are now in institutions such as – Oriental Manuscripts Libraries, Indological Research Institutions, Universities, Mutts and Archives and many are still in private collections. Manuscripts are also available in foreign libraries in U.K., France, Germany & USA and in Asian countries. Unfortunately there is no detailed and accurate data about the number, extent and distribution of the Scientific manuscripts of India. The presently available published Scientific texts, which are in contemporary use, represent less than 2% of the Scientific literature that is available in the form of manuscripts.

The project, undertaken by the Samskriti Foundation, Mysore, was to prepare a detailed bibliography of manuscripts dealing with Science and technology. It is a pioneering project that has search facilities to search, identify and locate such manuscripts and intends to include books also in due course of time. All those interested in exploring or trying to know more about the rich tradition of science and technology of Ancient India are welcome to access this site not only to enrich their knowledge but also to contribute the invaluable knowledge housed in the texts of yore to the public domain. Under the project, till date, more than 8000 manuscripts pertaining to about 50 different and varied domains of science and technology have been electronically catalogued and are available in a searchable form. The search could be based on various criteria like author, name of the work, Institution in which the manuscript exists and so on. A physical report too of the same has been generated and is being submitted to the Govt. of India which graciously sponsored the Project.

Dr.M. A. Alwar, Samskriti Foundation