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Pali Manuscripts

83 items on paper and palm-leaf, the majority of which were presented to the Library by Professor T.W. Rhys Davids in 1915.

55 items are in Sinhalese, 28 in Burmese and three in Cambodian.

A large number of the manuscripts derive from Ceylon.

They range in date from the 17th to the 19th century.

A number of items are highly ornamental, notably Pali MS 82, comprising seven large bundles containing the Tripitaka, with carefully incised letters and covers inlaid with elaborate designs in mother-of-pearl.

The Tripitaka (“Triple Baskets”) constituted the earliest and most complete collection of Buddhist sacred writings.

Finding aids

Professor N.A. Jayawickrama, 'Pali Manuscripts in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 55 (1972-3), pp. 146-76.


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