Aurel Stein
  The Sanskritist
  Manuscript Treasures
  Kashmiri Scholarship
  Interface of Scholarship
  The Adopted Home
  Unfinished Tasks
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Supported by:
  Heritage Lottery Fund, Cambridge.
  Bodelian Library, Oxford.
  Nityanand Shastri Library Collection, Delhi.
  Kashmir Bhavan Cente, Luton.
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During his visits to Kashmir time and again between 1888 to 1905 Aurel Stein obtained mostly through purchase more than 350 Sanskrit manuscripts at Srinagar. These purchases were mainly made by him through his contacts with the local Pandits. The Pandits, through whom Stein purchased the original manuscripts or got their copies prepared, chiefly were Devakak, Sahajabhatta, Daya Ram Jyotshi, Rajya Kaul, Prasada, Vishnu Bhat, Mukand Ram, Sunakak Razdan, Damodar, Govind Kaul, Vishnu Joo, Gopal Kokiloo, Narayan Bhat, Deva Bhat, Sarvanand Kaul, Kashi Ram, Shivdatt, Kantha Bhat, Tota Kak, Vasudev, Madhav Hundoo and Mahanand Joo.

Most of these texts were needed by Stein for his work which he devoted between 1888 to 1899 to the edition and translation Rajatarangini and there after he still acquired numerous manuscripts to assist the work of many fellow European scholars. Some manuscripts from this collection were given by Stein to his teachers Georg Buhler and Rudolph Von Roth for the libraries of the universities of Tubingen and Vienna. A small portion was also made over to National Institute of Bibliotheca, Paris.

In 1911, Aurel Stein handed over the entire collection of these manuscripts to Indian Institute, Oxford under certain conditions. These were :

The manuscripts would be kept separately in the library as Stein’s personal property during his life time and there after become assets of the Indian Institute Library in accordance to his will.

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A letter in Hindi written by Pandit Kashiram

All the manuscripts of this collection would be made available to Stein wherever and whenever he required any of them and the library would make all the arrangements and incur all expenditures in this regard.

As per Stein’s instruction no manuscript was to be allowed to go outside the library and also no one could use their text for any research publication except with his written permission.

A catalogue of these manuscripts was desired to be prepared by the library in consultation with Aurel Stein with in 3 years of their deposit in the institute.

In accordance to Stein’s instruction the catalogue was prepared within one year in 1912 by Gerard Clauson of the Corpus Christi College, Oxford, which was actually based on the one prepared by Pandit Govind Kaul in slips written in Sanskrit. This proto Sanskrit catalogue was revised and copied with reference to the original manuscripts in the winter of 1905- 1906 by Pandit Sahajabhatta.

Ever since the manuscripts, now lying in the Bodleian Library, have remained away from the public eye and are considered as the biggest and richest collection of Kashmir Sanskrit works in the world out side Kashmir.

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