BnF INDIEN 478: Cāmināta Piḷḷai’s Nacaraikkalampakam

A blogpost by Margherita Trento

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 478 is BnF

Indien 478 (ex-Tamoul 478) is a palm-leaf bundle (440 x 25 mm) between wooden planks containing the manuscripts of two poems, the Nacaraikkalampakam by Vittuvāṉ Cāmināta Piḷḷai (unfoliated f.1A, f.2A, and 57 ff.), and the Caṟuvēcuraṉ catakam (also spelled Caṟuvvīcuraṉ catakam) by a certain Ñāṉappirakācam (unfoliated f.1B, f.2B, and 26 ff.) (Cabaton 1912, p. 68). The first unfoliated folio in the bundle functions as title-folio for the whole composite manuscript (CM), and bears the title of both works (Fig. 1). Unfoliated f.1A (Fig. 2) and unfoliated f.1B are the title-folia of the Nacaraikkalampakam and the Caṟuvēcuraṉ catakam respectively.

Fig. 1 —  The wooden cover and unfoliated folio 1, that is, the title-folio — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

A first academic collaboration between Tamil India and France: the case of BnF “Indien 246”, and the exchange of letters between Julien Vinson and U. Vē. Cāminātaiyar

Among the Tamil Palm Leaf MSS which are preserved in the BnF, a symbolically important role can be attributed to the manuscript “Indien 246” (மணிமேகலை மூலம் [Maṇimēkalai Mūlam]), because it was probably the occasion for the first bi-directional scientific correspondance between an academic representative of the Tamil-speaking Southern part of India, namely the well-known U. Vē. Cāminātaiyar [1855-1942] (உ. வே. சாமிநாதையர்), alias UVS, (உ. வே. சா.) and an academic representative of France, namely Julien Vinson [1843-1926]. It is also an example of the positive appreciation —recorded in print— by a Tamil scholar of the existence of such a ressource as the BnF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), where treasures are preserved, which would otherwise have perished. UVS would certainly have been delighted to know that all those treasures will progressively become available to all those who value them around the world, just by clicking on a link such as THIS ONE. Continue reading

BnF INDIEN 728: Alphabet and Grammar of Malayalam by Valentinus Manfredus

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 728 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 728 (ex- Indien 82; Cabaton, Catalogue sommaire, 1912, p. 106) is a handwritten paper book/codex (330 x 220 x 18 mm). It is an alphabet and grammar of Malayalam in Latin by Valentinus Manfredus (Valentin Manfred? Valentino Manfredi?), a Carmelite missionary in Malabar (South-West coast of India) (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 728, folio I, recto — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

BnF INDIEN 432: A Tamil Alphabet

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 432 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 432 (ex- Tamoul 432; Cabaton, Catalogue sommaire, 1912, p. 61; Figs. 12) is a bundle of 22 palm leaves (295 x 20/25 mm1) with two faceted cover wooden planks, probably original, that is, not made on purpose at the BnF, like for other bundles.

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 432, tied bundle — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

  1. The leaves are broader in their middle than at their edges. []

BnF INDIEN 528: Five Tamil Alphabets

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 528 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 528 (ex- Tamoul 528; Cabaton, Catalogue sommaire, Paris, 1912, p. 74; Figs. 1‒2) is a bundle of 15 regular palm leaves of same dimensions (370 x 45 mm) protected by two cover wooden planks. It contains five Tamil alphabets or syllabaries (French “syllabaires”) from Sri Lanka.

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 528, tied bundle — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

BnF INDIEN 189: Grammar of Tamil by P. de La Lane

A blogpost by Cristina Muru

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 189 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 189 (ex- Tamoul 189) consists in 28 paper leaves bound in one volume (260 x 200 mm). An unfoliated folio comes first, bearing the title-page (Fig. 1) on the recto and a preface (“Préface”) on the verso. 26 folios follow, all paginated except for p. 52. The original pagination appears on the upper left corner of the page on the recto of folio and on the upper right corner on the recto. Finally, there is a back guard leaf.

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 189, title-page — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

BnF INDIEN 757 BnF: Sir Walter Elliot’s Impressions of Copper Plates

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 757 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 757 (ex- Indien 112)1 is a bound volume (470 x 340 x 50 mm) which contains impressions of various Indian copper plates (Fig. 1). As indicated in Cabaton’s Catalogue sommaire (1912, p. 111), these were part of the collection of impressions of Sir Walter Elliot.

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 757, first front guard folio, verso & second front guard folio, recto — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

  1. See “Indien 112” in black ink on front guard folios 1 and 2. []

INDIEN 508 BnF: Copper Plate from Pondicherry

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 508 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 508 (ex- Tamoul 508) is a single copper plate (305 x 200 x 1 mm) (Fig. 1) which records five land transactions that concern the Pondicherry area and are dated to the late 17th and early 18th century. The plate was given to the BnF by Madame Goschler. It is engraved recto and verso in Tamil language and script in sriptio continua (23 lines on the recto, 26 on the verso).

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 508, recto of plate — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

BnF INDIEN 188: On Tamil Language

A blogpost by Emmanuel Francis & Cristina Muru

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 188 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 188 (ex- Tamoul 188) consists in 59 paper leaves bound in one volume (330 x 210 mm). The folios were foliated in the library (57 ff. foliated in black in the upper right corner, followed by 2 ff. blank, left unfoliated).

Cabaton in his Catalogue sommaire (1912, p. 31) based on Vinson (1867, p. 46) describes it as follows: “Recueil de trois ouvrages. 1. Alphabet tamoul-français. ― 2. Syllabaire tamoul. ― 3. Déclinaison, conjugaison et syntaxe tamoules, expliquées en portugais. 1730. Papier. 6, 1 et 48 feuillets, 310 X 200 mm.”1

Continue reading

  1. The manuscript is also mentioned by Fauriel, 1891, f61r. []

BnF INDIEN 445: Petition of the Potters of Pondicherry

A blogpost by Dr. G. Vijayavenugopal & Emmanuel Francis

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 445 is BnF

BnF INDIEN 445 (ex- Tamoul 445) is a bundle of 5 palm-leaf folios (with various measurements and different hands) (Figs. 12). The bundle is framed by two wooden planks, added in the BnF.

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 445, tied bundle — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading

INDIEN 495 BnF and the ௱ ௱ symbol/abbreviation

A blogpost by Giovanni Ciotti, Emmanuel Francis & Margherita Trento

The source of all the pictures of INDIEN 30, 445, 447 and 495 is BnF
The source of the pictures (Figs. 68) of old Tamil printed books is Société Asiatique, Paris

In the aftermath of the TST inaugural workshop, some of us had an interesting discussion regarding the colophon of Bnf Indien 495.

Fig. 1 — BnF INDIEN 495 (dated to 1829), unfoliated front folios 1r, 2r, and 3r, that is, title-folios (in French and in Tamil) and first folio of text — Courtesy of BnF

Continue reading