ISBN: 9788776940775

Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts: Early Acquisitions and the Nepal Collection


Hartmut Buescher

2010, 288 pp., 78 colour illustrations, hardcover

This first-ever catalogue in English of the Danish National Library's rich Sanskrit holdings analyses and describes three of the manuscript collections held by the library. 

The first is the Codices Sanscriti, collected in the early nineteenth century by the pioneer comparative linguist, Rasmus Rask, comprises both palm-leaf and paper manuscripts, most written in either Bengali, Telugu or Sinhalese script. 

The second - the Codices Indici - was collected by the surgeon and botanist, Nathanael Wallich (well-known for his involvement in the foundation of the Indian Museum and Botanical Garden at Calcutta). Mostly written in Bengali script on locally produced country paper, most of these codices pertain to the genre of Ayurveda. 

The third and largest collection originates from Nepal and was collected in the 1950s by the cultural anthropologist Werner Jacobsen. Its highly heterogenous nature reflects the fact that Jacobsen had an ethnographical curator's eye for curious objects. 

Together these comprise a rich offering to philologists, anthropologists and historians of religion, art and iconography.


  • Essential reference to the Sanskrit holdings of the Danish National Library (Kongelige Bibliotek), Copenhagen.
  • Analytic description of richly heterogeneous Sanskrit material of interest to philologists, anthropologists and historians of religion, art and iconography.
  • Detailed entries including transcriptions and illustrations enabling scholars to identify material.

About the author 

Hartmut Buescher, trained as Indologist and Tibetologist, has taken a particular interest in the philosophical models as developed by classical Indian Yogacara-Vijnanavada thinkers of Mahayana Buddhism.