Miscellaneous Sinhalese manuscripts in the Bodleian Library

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Sinh. a. 1-4 (R), 5, 6-7 (R), b. 1-3, 4 (R), 9-11 (R), 15-28 (R), c. 2-4 (R), 8 (R), 13-25 (R), d. 1 (R), 2, 3-5 (R), 7-16 (R), e. 1-9 (R), f. 1-4 (R), g. 1, 2-4 (R)
  • Dates of Creation
      mainly 19th and 20th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      76 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Miscellaneous Sinhalese manuscripts, many on palm leaves, mainly 19th and 20th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Miscellaneous Sinhalese manuscripts acquired from various sources. The collection includes manuscripts given by the anthropologist Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz (1878-1965).

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 between 1698 and 1978. The series includes the Sinhalese section of the manuscripts which W.Y. Evans-Wentz bequeathed to the Library in 1965.


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

Other Finding Aids

Some of the manuscripts are in 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), vol. III, no. 8813.

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

J. Liyanaratne 'Sinhala palm-leaf manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford', Bodleian Library Record, 13 (1991), pp. 514-18. A handlist of 48 previously unidentified Sinhala manuscripts in the Bodleian's collection.

J. Liyanaratne 'Sri Lankan Medical manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Journal of the European Ayruvedic Society (1992), vol. 2, pp. 36-53. Lists and describes the Bodleian's collection of 36 palm-leaf manuscripts in Sinhala script. Reprinted in J. Liyanaratne, ed., Buddhism and traditional medicine in Sri Lanka (Dalugama, 1999).

Related Material

Further oriental manuscripts of W.Y. Evans-Wentz (MSS. PLU 1-21, 23-36, 38, 40, 42-5, 49-62, 64-6, 69-88, 93, 98-9, 104-24; ; MSS. RU 1-4; MSS. Tibet b. 29-32, c. 25-9, 60 (R), 61, d. 19, 25, 29, e. 12); and his papers, which are kept by the Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts (MSS. Eng. misc. b. 393, c. 841-5, d. 1238-47, e. 1349-67, f. 799-832; Eng. lett. c. 577-8; Eng. poet. d. 232, e. 180-3, f. 40-1).