Emma Lewis - 1st June 2023

Asian Legacy Library, Nagarjuna Institute of Buddhist Studies, and Asha Archives Form Preservation Partnership in Nepal

The Asian Legacy Library and the Nagarjuna Institute of Buddhist Studies are collaborating with the historic Asha Archives in Kathmandu, Nepal.

We are honored to have initiated a partnership with Asha Archives and to have received permission to support the preservation of this precious collection containing many valuable resources, including palm leaf, loose leaf pothi, and folded manuscripts. The archive contains an impressive collection of over 6,700 manuscripts, as well as approximately 1,100 palm-leaf texts which encompass diverse genres, languages, and scripts. 

Notably, the collection includes ritual texts, medical texts, manuals of magic and necromancy, astrological and astronomical texts, as well as Vedic, Puranic, and Tantric materials belonging to Shaiva, Bauddha, and Shakta sects. 

The Asha Archives, named in honor of the late Asa Man Singh Kansakar, the father of the esteemed Prem Bahadur Kansakar, a prominent activist, social worker, educationist, and Newar, is a publicly accessible library housing Nepali manuscripts. The archive is of great historical importance, and it holds manuscripts dating back to 1242 CE (NS 362). Established in 1987, the archive has a rich history of spearheading physical conservation and digital preservation efforts.  

According to Dr. Miroj Shakya, the Director of ALL’s preservation projects with the Nagarjuna Institute of Buddhist Studies, “The Buddha himself says in the Mahayana sutras that if someone recites the Mahayana texts, they will attain enormous merit. In this digital world, if somebody digitizes these manuscripts, they will also get enormous merit from doing this.” 

We extend our sincere gratitude to Ms. Sarada Kasa, the director of Asha Archives, for warmly introducing their entire collection to the ALL and NIBS team and for supporting this valuable preservation partnership. We are honored to join together in preservation partnership with the Asha Archives and the Nagarjuna Institute of Buddhist Studies. 

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