The Asha Archives in Kathmandu
Scope of the collection
Āśā Saphū Kuthi or, in English, Asha Archives consists of a digitized collection of 7.025 manuscripts and more than 1.100 palmleaf landgrant documents on 54 DVD Roms. The collection covers a vast variety of subjects starting from literary works, dictionaries, medical and astrological texts to religious manuals and ritual texts.
The manuscripts belong to various sects and genres and are mainly written in Sanskrit (ca. 70%) or Newari (ca. 20%). There are Puranic and Tantric texts of Shaiva and Shakta traditions as well as a large number of manuscripts from Mahayana and Vajrayana origin.
Perhaps the most unique component of this Archive builds the collection of literary texts, hymns, songs (charya) and plays (pyakhan) in Nepal bhasa or Newari language.
Access to the collection
All in all there are three catalogues to gather information about particular manuscripts.
The ASK catalogue of all hitherto digitized manuscripts. It was converted into a PDF version and optimized in size by Manik Vajracharya to enable a quick and reliable retrieval even with slow internet access. For a more convenient search regardless of fonts the diacritics were removed and titles are now retrievable in a simple romanized form albeit according to the usual Sanskrit transliteration standard, e.g. sakti sangama tantra.
Search options are like in any other PDF document with keywords only. The catalogue entries provide basically the following information:
- Number of CD/DVD (this is important for interlibrary loan)
- Title of the manuscript
- Language, script, material, length, size and date, if available
The Āśā Saphūkuthiyā saphū dhalaḥ or “A Short Catalogue of Asa Archives” compiled by Rājā Śākya, which has been digitized with the kind permission of the compiler for the benefit of a remote access to the catalogue.
The Āśā Saphū Kuthiyā abhilekha granthayā varṇanātmaka dhalaḥ or “A Descriptive catalogue of selected manuscripts” compiled by Janak Lal Vaidya and Prem Bahadur Kamsakar. It contains annotations and informative facts and data from the manuscripts. The introduction gives also a short history of the Archives.
For further information please contact: Dr. Sonja Stark-Wild