The third Coffee Break Conference, “The Study of Asia: between Antiquity and Modernity,” recently held in Cagliari (13th–15th June), hosted a panel on Cybernetic Sources—The Historical Sciences in the Age of Digitization. On this occasion, Dr. Formigatti delivered a speech analyzing the advantages and shortcomings of a digital catalogue vis à vis a traditional catalogue in book form. Particular attention has been devoted to the encoding of information according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standards, and to the drawbacks of its highly hierarchical organization schema. A major issue arising from the application of these standards is that cataloguers are often forced to adapt definitions developed for Western manuscripts—whatever this might mean—to manuscripts belonging to altogether different cultural traditions. However, also the positive aspects of a digital catalogue have been dealt with, such as the digitization of manuscripts, the increased ease of cross referencing information within collections and the open character of digital texts, a feature that allows the constant improvement of catalogue entries.
On Monday 28th May, Dr. Vincenzo Vergiani, Dr Daniele Cuneo and Dr Camillo Formigatti presented the project at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (FAMES) Research Day.
On Friday 25th May, Dr Daniele Cuneo and Dr Camillo Formigatti presented the project at the STIMW – The Sanskrit Tradition in the Modern World conference held at Manchester University with the paper: “A Sanskrit Treasure Trove in East Anglia.”
Prof. Francesco Sferra (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli) will visit Cambridge on 12-14 March 2012 to examine some of the manuscripts in the UL Sanskrit collections and discuss the interest of these sources for future research with the project team.
On this occasion, he will also deliver a lecture, “Apropos of Some Late Indian Buddhist Manuscripts kept in the Cambridge University Library”, focusing in particular on some manuscripts of the Kālacakra tradition. The lecture will be held on Tuesday 13 March, 5pm, room 7, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
On Monday 6th February, 7-9pm, Dr Vincenzo Vergiani gave a talk to present the Sanskrit Manuscripts Project on the invitation of the Cambridge University Hindu Cultural Society (CUHCS).
Venue: Blythe Room, Clare Colony
Friday 27 January, 3 pm, room 7, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge
Bendall and beyond: Cataloguing the (Buddhist) Sanskrit Manuscripts in Cambridge University Library.
Prof. Isaacson will give a lecture about the Buddhist manuscripts in Cambridge, the achievements of Bendall’s catalogue and someof the work that remains to be done.
On 27-28 January Professor Harunaga Isaacson (University of Hamburg), Professor Dominic Goodall (École française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris) and Dr. Csaba Dezső (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest) will visit Cambridge to examine some manuscripts in the UL Sanskrit collections and discuss cataloguing methods and priorities with the project team. On this occasion, on the afternoon of the 27th, Prof. Isaacson will also deliver a lecture about the Buddhist manuscripts in Cambridge, the achievements of Bendall’s catalogue and some of the work that remains to be done.
MS Add. 1042, four loose paper folios, written in 1873 as specimens of transcription.
These specimens were sent over from Nepal by Dr D. Wright in 1873, when it was proposed to obtain copies of various Sanskrit manuscripts existing in Nepal, for the University Library. It was from these leaves that the whole of the present collection took its rise.
Bendall, C. (1883), Catalogue of the Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts in the University library, Cambridge, p. 26-27.