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Modern Indian Languages Manuscripts

100 items on paper and palm-leaf, of which 78 derive from the Crawford collection purchased in 1901. Eleven languages are represented, including four Dravidian (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam):

Hindustani

34 items, mostly in Urdu, dating between the 16th century and the 19th, and comprising literary, poetical, historical, mathematical, architectural, musical and astrological works. Hindustani MSS 1, 2, 16, 28 and 34 are illuminated. Outstanding is Hindustani MS 1, the Laur-Chanda of Maulana Daud of Dalmau, an almost complete text of a work of Hindustani literature known elsewhere only from a few leaves preserved in several Indian libraries. It contains over 300 miniatures, painted c.1530/40 at a Muslim court, possibly Malwa.

Punjabi

5 items, poetical and religious texts. Punjabi MS 5, dating from the mid-17th century, is a copy of the Adi Granth, the religious code of the Sikhs. The other four date from the 19th century.

Pashto

16 items, all but three 18th-century. Four are religious in content; Pashto MS 9, the Kitab-i Zakkum, is a unique text; Pashto MS 14 is the Diwan-i Rahman; the remaining ten contain other verse.

Sinhalese

16 items, including Sinhalese MS 1, Pansiyapanasjataka-pota; Sinhalese MS 2, the Pujavaliya by Mayurapada Thera; Sinhalese MS 3, Kavyasekharaya, a poem by Sri-Rahula of Totagamuva; Sinhalese MS 4, an alliterative poem composed in 1786, addressed by Karatota Therunnanse to the King of Ceylon; Sinhalese MS 5, a text with commentary of the Brahmajala-sutta; Sinhalese MS 7, a History of Ceylon, with carved ivory covers; and Sinhalese MS 9, a Gospel of St Matthew, probably 18th-century.

Marathi

4 items, all 18th-century: Marathi MS 1, Adiparva; Marathi MS 2, Pandupratapa; Marathi MS 3, Ramavijaya of Sridhara; Marathi MS 4, Bhaktivijaya by Mahipati.

Bengali

1 item, Linganusasana by Amara Simha, the scribe being Ramadulala Devasarmana, 1709.

Oriya

1 item, palm-leaf, uncatalogued.

Tamil

15 items, dating between the 17th century and the 19th. They include Tamil MS 1, Valliy-ammai-puranam; Tamil MS 2, a drama of the trials of Harischandra, King of Ayodhya; Tamil MS 3, religious memoranda; Tamil MS 4, Maha-Bharatam, a condensed prose translation; Tamil MSS 5-8 and 11, French-Latin-Tamil dictionaries of the 18th century; and Tamil MSS 9-10, Beschi Tem-bavani, with commentary. A number of items, including the dictionaries, are associated with the Jesuit missionary Fr Constantino Giuseppe Beschi (d. 1742).

Telugu

4 items, Telugu MS 1 being an astrological handbook, Telugu MS 2 a collection of medical recipes, and Telugu MS 3 a list of Salagrama images; Telugu MS 4 is uncatalogued.

Kannada

3 items, Kannada MS 1 being part of a prose version of the Mahabharata, Kannada MS 2 a poem of Advaita philosophy by Mahalinga Ranga, and Kannada MS 3 the poetic work Nalacaritre by Kanakadasa.

Malayalam

1 item, palm-leaf, uncatalogued.

Finding aids

  • Unpublished handlists by Michael Kerney, R. Rost and others of Hindustani, Marathi, Punjabi, Pushtu, Sinhalese, Canarese, Pali and Tamil MSS in the Crawford collection.
  • J.F. Blumhardt and D.N. MacKenzie, Catalogue of Pashto Manuscripts in the Libraries of the British Isles (London, 1965).

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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