Online Manuscripts

Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Centre A treasure house of knowledge of the past goes to World Wide Web – Shared with the world.

It is for the first time in the world that a manuscript library is sharing its collections online. The Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Research Centre is a wing of the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology. It functions under the Tourism, Culture and Hindu Religious Endowment Department of Government of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the best and biggest manuscripts libraries in the world, possessing a large number of manuscripts that are preserved in good condition which includes 72,748 rare manuscript bundles consisting of about 26 lakh palm leaves etc., and 25,373 reference books. Manuscripts in this library include those collection by Colonel Colin Mackenzie (1754- 1821), Dr. Leyden and Mr. C. P. Brown. It can be compared with the ancient library at Alexandria.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has taken keen interest in preserving palm leaf and paper manuscripts for posterity by various measures. One such measure is by way of digitizing them and converting them into microfilms and storing them. Out of 72,748 manuscript bundles, so far 2400 manuscript bundles have been digitized and are made available online. These Manuscripts are scanned at 600 dpi resolution Tiff images and converted in to PDF as well. Before the manuscripts are taken up for scanning, the leaves are cleaned with brush followed by rectified spirit. 5% solution of citronella oil or lemon grass oil in rectified spirit is applied and allowed to dry in shade. This not only gives flexibility to palm leaf but also imparts insecticidal and fungicidal property to the palm-leaf manuscripts.

On 13th January 2015 the manuscripts of Government Oriental Library and Research Centre are made available in the Archaeology web site by the Honble’ Minister for School Education and Archaeology, in the presence of Honble’ Minister for Hindu Religious Endowments and Additional Chief Secretary Dr.R.Kannan IAS, Secretary to Government Mr.T.K.Ramachandran IAS and Mr.Atul Ananad IAS. We hope that these information will be useful to the research scholars and all other readers world wide