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 Centre, Luton.
Institutional Support
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In the grand tradition of studying orient and the occult , Oxford appointed Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860) as the first Boden Professor of Sanskrit and when Sir Monier Williams occupied the Chair he founded the Indian Institute for providing a training ground for the Indian Civil Service. Its doors first opened in 1884 while the construction of the building was completed in 1895. By 1903 the Institute’s Library had collected nearly about 200 manuscripts in Sanskrit and Prakrit to which in 1911 were added 368 Sanskrit manuscripts from Kashmir by Aurel Stein. In 1909, 6000 Indian manuscripts were donated to the Indian Institute by Maharaja Sir Chandra Shumshere the then Prime Minister of Nepal. In 1927 the Indian Institute Library became part of the Bodleian. “The combined Indian Institute and Bodleian collections today form one of the largest repositories of Sanskrit manuscripts outside Indian sub continent” .

In 1936 H N Spalding endowed the Spalding Chair of Eastern Religions and Ethics. The Chair was first occupied by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who later became the President of India. With the independence of India in 1947, the Indian Institute resources dispersed and its great Sanskrit manuscripts collection moved to new Bodleian Library. Amongst the collection held by the Department of Western Manuscripts and Modern Papers includes Sir Aurel Stein’s vast manuscript papers in the form of letters, documents and photographs which are accessible in the John Johnson Reading Room. A cumulated index to its collection acquired since 1916 is available for use.

Nityanand Shastri Library Collection:
During his life time Prof. Nityanand Shastri, one of Sir Aurel Stein's closest Kashmiri scholar friends and whom he called "as the crest jewel amongst the scholars of Kashmir" possessed a large library collection. It consisted of books, manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs pertaining to language, history and literature of Kashmir. Subsequent to his death in 1942, his private collection mainly in Sanskrit and English got depleted due to the ravages of time and negelect and more recently vandalised in the trouble torned Kashmir. However, some part of the collection that has survived is rich to reflect Nityanand Shastri's close contacts with the oriental scholars of the west in the last century. Many letters and documents from this collection bear references to Sir Aurel Stein's life and labours in Kashmir. These include rare Sanskrit letters written by Sir Aurel Stein to him. This private library collection is a resources of important materials that showcase the interface of scholarship between Kashmir and the west during the 20th century.
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