Collection of Indic Manuscripts

Collection of Indic Manuscripts

Penn Libraries holds more than 3,000 manuscripts from South Asia, making it one of the largest collections of its kind in the Americas. Predominantly Indic in provenance, the manuscripts are chiefly Sanskrit works written in Devanāgarī script. Though generally informed by traditional Hindu learning, the collection nevertheless remains thematically comprehensive and contains significant Buddhist and Jain texts.


In 2014 the Division of Preservation and Access of the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Penn Libraries a grant to digitize the Penn Libraries Indic manuscripts collection. At the conclusion of this project Penn produced 1,728 MARC cataloging records in WorldCat and Franklin and full digital facsimiles of approximately 2,700 Indic manuscripts. The collection is the largest in North America and contains materials from 1200 to 1930 in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Awadhi, Nepali, Braj, classical Tamil, Thai, Prakrit, and Pali. The imaging has been undertaken by the staff of the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image with coordination from manuscripts staff in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the Kislak Center.



All images and their contents from the Collection of Indic Manuscripts project are free of known copyright restrictions and in the public domain. See the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark page for more information on terms of use:


For all manuscript descriptions and other cataloging metadata, the copyright holder is the mansucripts' holding institution. For example, if the manuscript is from the University of Pennsylvania, then the copyright for the manuscript descriptions and other cataloging metadata is ©2020 University of Pennsylvania. The metadata is licensed for use under a Creative Commons CC0 Licensed version 1.0 (CC0-1.0):

For a description of the terms of use, see the Creative Commons deed:

Intended Users

The Collection of Indic Manuscripts data presented on OPenn is intended for aggregators, digital humanists, and scholars who have been directed here to procure high-resolution images and their associated metadata. It is presented in a manner most likely to ensure its long-term digital preservation. The images of these manuscripts are accompanied by detailed manuscript descriptions in machine-readable TEI format. Images and TEI manuscript descriptions are added frequently, so check often to see new additions.

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