South-Asian languages

Overview

The South-Asian collection encompasses over 25,000 printed works and around 2,600 (predominantly Indian) manuscripts in the languages Bengali, Chakma, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Lepcha, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Singhalese, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Main focuses of content

A broad range of secondary literature in Western European languages is acquired. The main focus of the content is on humanities – philosophy, religion, history, archaeology, linguistics and literature, ethnic studies, architecture and art and classic text editions.

Manuscripts

The Oriental and Asia Department manages the South-Asian manuscripts technically (acquisition, subject information, guided tours, exhibitions), while the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books administrates them and is in charge of their use. The South-Asian manuscripts can be consulted in the Reading Room for Manuscripts and Rare Books. At present, the acquisition policy for South-Asian manuscripts is determined by the scholarly relevance of texts and their aesthetic-museological aspect.

Among the around 2,600 South-Asian manuscripts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, those in Sanskrit (662), Singhalese (570), Tamil (486) and Malayalam (353) form the largest groups. The collections of manuscripts in Oriya (143), Nepali (119), Urdu (107), Hindi (78) and Rajasthani (44) are also of considerable size. Smaller numbers of specimens are present in the languages Bengali (21), Kannada (19), Punjabi (17), Sindhi (14), Chakma (5), Gujarati, Pali and Telugu (3 in each language) and some individual specimens in Lepcha and Marathi. These manuscripts coming from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal were written on different materials in a multiplicity of South-Asian writing systems which developed from the Brahmi script. In addition to paper manuscripts, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek holds a large number of palm leaf manuscripts carved with metallic styluses, among them several hundred specimens in the Dravidian languages of southern India.

Manuscript catalogues

Bengali

  • [Cod.beng. 1 – 3]
    Indische Handschriften 7
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,7.

Hindi

Kannada

  • [Cod.Kann. 1]
    Indische Handschriften 7
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,7.

Malayalam

  • [Cod.Malayal. 2 – 10]
    Indische Handschriften 7
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,7.

Nepali

  • [Cod.nepal. 78, 81, 82]
    Grönbold, Günter: Tibetische Buchdeckel der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek
    München, 1991.

Punjabi

Sanskrit

  • [Cod.sanscr. 414, 420 – 423, 431, 433 – 440, 443, 446, 447]
    Indische Handschriften 7
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,7.
  • [Cod.sanscr. 417, 424, 425, 432, 445, 449 – 458, 462 – 468]
    Indische Handschriften 9
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1990.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,9.
  • [Cod.sanscr. 423, 425, 540, 543, 600]
    Grönbold, Günter: Tibetische Buchdeckel der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek
    München, 1991.
  • [Sanskrit – Collection Haug]
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften aus dem Nachlasse des Professor Dr. Martin Haug in München.
    München: Ackermann, 1876.

Singhalese

  • [Cod.singh. 10 und 16]
    Bechert, Heinz; Bidoli, Maria: Singhalesische Handschriften 1
    Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1969.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 22,1.
  • [Cod.singh. 51 – 55]
    Bechert, Heinz: Singhalesische Handschriften 2
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1997.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 22,2.

Tamil

  • [Cod.tam. 1 – 3, 5 – 10, 12]
    Indische Handschriften 7
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,7.
  • [Cod.tam. 12]
    Indische Handschriften 9
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1990.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,9.

Telugu

  • [Cod.Telugu 1 – 2]
    Indische Handschriften 7
    Klaus Ludwig Janert with the collaboration of N. Narasimhan Poti
    Stuttgart: Steiner, 1985.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 2,7.

Urdu

  • [Cod.Urdu 1 – 5]
    Urdu-Handschriften
    described by S. Mujahid Hussain Zaidi
    Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1973. passim.
    Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. 25.

History

Some individual specimens of the Sanskrit manuscripts written predominantly in the Devanāgarī script were partly acquired by the library already in the year 1858 through the purchase of the book and manuscript collection of the French Orientalist Etienne-Marc Quatremère (1782 – 1857). The year 1877 saw the biggest increase, when the personal collection of the Munich Indologist Martin Haug (1827 – 1876) could be acquired, who was the first holder of the newly established chair for Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at the local university from 1868 to 1876. Haug had accumulated an extensive collection (i.a. 343 Sanskrit manuscripts) during his time at the Poona college, where he worked as professor for Sanskrit from 1859 to 1866 (the sales brochure can be found under Cat. 282 da).

The professor emeritus and Indologist from Bonn Theodor Aufrecht (1822 – 1907) could be won for the cataloguing of a large part of these manuscripts. He had completed work on the catalogue (Cod.sanscr. 1 to 286) shortly before his death to such an extent that the final version could be published posthumously in 1909. In addition to the Indologist Richard Schmidt (1866 – 1939) from Halle, the Sanskrit expert Julius Jolly (1849 – 1932) from Würzburg in particular rendered outstanding services to Aufrecht's catalogue going to press. From Jolly, the Court and State Library acquired a further collection of 127 Sanskrit manuscripts (Cod.sanscr. 287 to 413, among them numerous copies of rare textual witnesses produced for Jolly, which continued arriving from India up to 1910), which were described by Jolly himself, so that the corresponding catalogue volume could be published already in 1912.
Catalogue for Cod.sanscr. 1 to 286 by Theodor Aufrecht
Catalogue for Cod.sanscr. 287 to 413 by Julius Jolly

The collection could be expanded continuously by further purchases, in particular since the 1980s, not only by specimens from India, but also by acquiring various Sanskrit manuscripts of Nepalese provenance (Cod.sanscr. 473 to 491 and Cod.sanscr. 508 to 538). The copper plate deeds written in the Gupta script, which were purchased in the year 1995 on the antiquarian market represent a particular rarity. Some of them can be dated back to the time of the Indian Maitraka dynasty (5th to 8th century; e.g. Cod.sanscr. 649, a deed issued by the ruler Dhruvasena II around the year 640).
Deed issued by Dhruvasena II around the year 640 (Cod.sanscr. 649)  (Cod.sanscr. 649)

In addition to the manuscripts, the library holds a large number of printed publications in Sanskrit from India, which were acquired from the 19th century to the present.

Literature

Reismüller, Georg: Hundert Jahre Bayerische Staatsbibliothek im Dienste der Wissenschaft vom Orient. In: Die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in den letzten hundert Jahren. München, 1932. p. 25-30.

Grönbold, Günter: Die orientalischen Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 9 (1981), p. 68-84.

Grönbold, Günter: Knochen, Stein und Elfenbein: ungewöhnliche Textträger in Bibliotheken. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 14 (1986), p. 122-136.

Rebhan, Helga: Ausstellungen orientalischer und asiatischer Bestände der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Griebel, Rolf; Ceynowa, Klaus (ed.): Information, Innovation, Inspiration: 450 Jahre Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. München: Saur, 2008. p. 639-665.

Rebhan, Helga: Asian Manuscripts in the Bavarian State Library, Munich. In: IIAS Newsletter 46 (2008), p. 38.

Rebhan, Helga: Liebe, Götter und Dämonen: wertvolle asiatische Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 1 (2008), p. 23-27.

Rebhan, Helga: Orientalische und asiatische Handschriften und seltene Drucke der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Ceynowa, Klaus; Hermann, Martin (ed.): Bibliotheken: Innovation aus Tradition: Rolf Griebel zum 65. Geburtstag. Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2014. p. 322-333. Available on: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9783110310511 [Last access 21.03.2016].

Exhibitions

Dachs, Karl (ed.): Erwerbungen aus drei Jahrzehnten: 1948 – 1978: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: abendländische und orientalische Handschriften, Inkunabeln und seltene Drucke, Noten und Landkarten: Ausstellung April – Juli 1978. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1978.

Dachs, Karl (ed.): Das Buch im Orient: Handschriften und kostbare Drucke aus zwei Jahrtausenden: Ausstellung, 16. November 1982 – 5. Februar 1983. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1982.

Dachs, Karl (ed.): Thesaurus librorum: 425 Jahre Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Ausstellung München 18. August – 1. Oktober 1983 = 425 years Bavarian State Library: exhibition. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1983.

Noichl, Elisabeth (ed.): Schrift-Stücke: Informationsträger aus fünf Jahrtausenden: eine Ausstellung der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek und des Bayerischen Hauptstaatsarchivs: München, 19. Juli – 20. September 2000. München: Generaldirektion der Staatlichen Archive Bayerns; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2000.

Grönbold, Günter: Die Worte des Buddha in den Sprachen der Welt = The words of the Buddha in the languages of the world: Tipitaka – Tripitaka – Dazangjing – Kanjur: eine Ausstellung aus dem Bestand der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, München, 27. Januar – 20. März 2005. With a contribution by Renate Stephan. München: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2005.

Rebhan, Helga (ed.): Liebe, Götter und Dämonen: wertvolle asiatische Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek: Ausstellung 2. – 27. Januar 2008. München: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2007.

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