Sanskrit manuscripts presented by Maharajah Sir Chandra Shum Shere

Scope and Content

Mainly Sanskrit manuscripts, 17th-19th century, with some in other Indic languages, presented by Maharajah Sir Chandra Shum Shere. The collection is one of the single largest assemblages of Sanskrit manuscripts outside the Indian sub-continent, and though none of the manuscripts are of high antiquity, every branch of Sanskrit literature is represented.

The full shelfmarks of the collection are MSS. Chandra Shum Shere a. 1-4, b. 1-101, c. 1-483, d. 1-1132, e. 1-269, f. 1-110, g. 1-28.

Administrative / Biographical History

Maharajah Sir Chandra Shum Shere Jung Bahadur Rana (1863-1929), Maharaja of Nepal. See Who Was Who for details.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The manuscripts were purchased by the Maharaja Chandra Shum Shere from a Library in Benares for the purpose of presenting them to the Bodleian Library in 1909.


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

Other Finding Aids

There is a card catalogue, arranged by shelfmark, for the collection in the Oriental Reading Room.

The Chandra Shum Shere manuscript catalogue is incomplete. Three volumes have so far been published under the general editorship of Jonathan Katz, though the full catalogue is expected to run to ten, with each volume covering a separate subject. Access to the uncatalogued manuscripts is via the card index described above.

Jonathan Katz (gen. ed.) A descriptive catalogue of the Sanskrit and other Indian manuscripts of the Chandra Shum Shere collection in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1984-):

  • David Pingree, Jyotihsastra (Oxford, 1984)
  • John Brockington, Epics and puranas (Oxford, 1999)
  • D. Wujastyk Stotras (Oxford, 1999).

Related Material

The Sanskrit manuscripts purchased in India for the administrators of the Max Mller Memorial Fund were selected from the same Library in Benares (MSS. Max Mller Memorial c. 1-33, d. 1-46, e. 1-11, f. 1; MSS. Max Mller Rotogr. 1-35).