The National Museum has acquired nearly 14,000 manuscripts in various languages and scripts, covering a large number of subjects and representing various schools and provinces. It comprises fragmented or full manuscripts, of which about 1000 are illustrated. The non-illustrated manuscripts are calligraphic, which have ornate letters almost transforming into pictures. Many of the illustrations and texts are rendered using real gold foil. These manuscripts are also the source for critical studies in arts and other related subjects. Covering a period of about thirteen-fourteen hundred years, broadly from the 7th century to the 20th century CE, the National Museum manuscripts are executed on a myriad of materials such as parchment, birch bark, palm leaf, paper, cloth, wood and metals. Besides the classical Sanskrit or sacred dialects like Pali, Prakrit and trans-border languages like Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Burmese or Tibetan; the collection has manuscripts rendered in Hindi and its many dialectic forms such as Rajasthani, Maithili, Awadhi, Braj, Bundeli etc,. Many of the manuscripts in the collection are not only rare but often bear Royal seals and signatures of different Emperors authenticating their originality.


19th Century A.D.

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