Nepal's manuscript collections are exceptionally diverse, both in terms of scripts and languages as well as materials used. In short videos, Bidur Bhattarai explains how these collections are preserved. The new episode is about a Buddhist mini-manuscript.
Episode 6: A Nepalese Buddhist Tantric Mini-Manuscript
In the new video, Bidur Bhattarai presents a Nepalese mini-manuscript that contains multiple texts relating to Buddhist tantrism. This is probably one of the smallest manuscripts in the collection of the Āśā Saphūkuthi (Āśā Archives), where preservation measures are currently being implemented. On the basis of palaeographical considerations, the manuscript was possibly produced in the 19th century.
The video is the sixth part of ‘Written Artefacts of Nepal – Preservation and Documentation’, a series of short films that offers a brief and accessible introduction to Nepalese written artefacts, exploring their diversity and uniqueness in terms of writing, supports, materials, forms, and texts. The first episode provides a general overview of preservation work carried out at the Tribhuvan University Central Library. In the second episode, Bidur Bhattarai introduces a rolled palm-leaf document with a raw clay seal. The third episode is about a Buddhist manuscript that is written on nīlapatra (‘black paper’) using ‘gold-like’ ink. The fourth episode presents the techniques used for cleaning and wrapping the manuscripts, how to prepare an acid-free customised E-Flute phase box (‘archival box’), and the long-term strategies for manuscript archiving. The fifth episode deals with a ‘land-related contract’ produced in Kāṣṭhamaṇḍapanagara (what is today Kathmandu) in 1571. All episodes are available in Nepalese with English subtitles.
The CSMC has been engaged in safeguarding the valuable manuscript collections of Nepal since 2018. The project entitled 'Preserving the Written Cultural Heritage of Nepal' is generously supported by the German Foreign Office and the Gerda Henkel Foundation.