Manuscript digitisation at ORI mooted

In-Charge Mysore Varsity VC Prof. Basavaraju announces at special lecture

Mysuru: The University of Mysore has planned to digitise more than 30,000 manuscripts and 70,000 ancient records in the form of books preserved at the Oriental Research Institute (ORI), said in-Charge Vice Chancellor Prof. C. Basavaraju.

He was speaking after inaugurating a lecture on ‘Importance of Manuscripts and their Preservation’ organised by JSS International Sanskrit Research Institute in association with ORI at the Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Swamiji auditorium in JSS College for Women, here on Friday.

The attention of the entire world is drawn towards the invaluable documents of history which speaks of inherited culture and traditions found in ORI. This must be preserved for posterity. Digitisation will be taken up shortly in this direction, he said.

Prof. Basavaraju said that ORI was set up much before the University of Mysore, primarily with the objective of preserving manuscripts.  “Manuscripts and many important scriptures at ORI were ruined by termites. The then ORI Director had impressed upon the then US Consulate General Jennifer McIntyre who visited the ORI to donate 50,000 dollars for the protection and preservation of manuscripts, particularly Kautilya’s Arthashashtra , the fourth century treatise on statecraft and military strategy. The institute was subsequently revived with this donation,” he recalled.

ORI former Deputy Director Dr. T. V. Satyanarayan. who delivered the special lecture. said that the country’s resources are hidden in the manuscripts found here including Kautilya’s treatise on Arthashastra.

He urged the people who have such ancient manuscripts anywhere in the country or the world to hand them over to ORI.  University of Mysore Registrar D. Bharathi, Academic Dean Dr. H.B. Suresh and Department Head Dr. B.P. Shadakshari were present.  

ORI was set up in 1890 by Chamaraja Wadiyar and it was called Oriental Library. This was set up in the memory of Queen Elizabeth of England. This was transferred to University of Mysore by the then Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the founder of the University in 1916. From then till now, the manuscripts and the books have become known around the world. All the ancient sacred texts related to  Ayurveda, Technology, Astrology, Science and Economics are preserved here. The value of these works is being introduced to all the people coming under the limits of University of Mysore in all the districts.

—Dr. S. Shivarajappa,  Director, Oriental Research Institute

The ancient manuscripts would be an inspiration for today’s generation who are forgetting Indian culture. If we do not understand the underlying importance found in the manuscripts, then Western powers will misuse them. The importance of such great works should reach the common man.

—D. Bharathi, Registrar, University of Mysore  

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