Miscellaneous Tamil manuscripts in the Bodleian Library

Scope and Content

Tamil manuscripts, 17th-19th century, on the subjects of education, legend, mythology and science; and Gnomic and Vedantic manuscripts.

The full shelfmarks are: MSS. Tam. a. 1 (R), 2-4, b. 1-2, 3-5 (R), 6, 7-18 (R), 19, 20 (R), 21-4, 25-7 (R), 28-31, 32-44 (R), 45, 46-7 (R), 48, 49-53 (R), 54, 55-9 (R), 60, 61 (R), 62, 63 (R), 64-6, c. 1 (R), 2, 3-5 (R), 6-7, 8-12 (R), 13, 14 (R), 15, 16-18 (R), 19, 20-3 (R), 24, d. 1 (R), 2-4, 5-13 (R), 14, 15-18 (R), 19-20, e. 1-10 (R), 11, f. 1-3 (R), g. 1-3.

Administrative / Biographical History

Miscellaneous Tamil manuscripts from various sources.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk).

Acquisition Information

Acquired from various sources between 1668 and 1983. The largest acquisition of 102 manuscripts was made at Edmund Hodgson's auction rooms, London, in 1860, lots 1827-65. The former owner is believed to have been W.J. George, long a resident of India.


Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series, with references to the oriental and other manuscripts (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vols. II, V-VI, nos. 2861, 25294-349, 25351-4, 25356-96, 27589, 29771, 30964-81, 32933, 36859.

The manuscripts are also summarily described in the card catalogue, arranged by language, located in the Oriental Reading Room.

The Rev. Dr. George Uglow Pope prepared a catalogue of Dravidian language manuscripts, which describes the vast majority of these manuscripts. The catalogue was never published, but a draft survives in manuscript form in the Oriental Reading Room.

Related Material

Further Tamil manuscripts may be found in the manuscript collection which was transferred to the Bodleian from the Indian Institute, Oxford (MSS. Ind. Inst. Tamil 1-15, 16-18 (R)) and in the oriental manuscripts of Matteo Canonici (MSS. Canon. Or.).