Digitisation and Cataloguing of Sri Lankan Tamil Palm-Leaf Manuscripts (EAP1260)

Aims and objectives

Sri Lanka’s traditional knowledge, from local history and medicine, to astrology, astronomy, literature, and mathematics, has been historically recorded on palm-leaf manuscripts. These manuscripts are now primarily held by individuals, traditional medical and religious centres, and libraries. The manuscripts are endangered due to various factors, including repeated displacement, political unrest, natural disasters, lack of awareness about the value of the content, and poor preservation practices. This project aims to catalogue, digitize, and preserve 70,000 images of between 300 and 500 Tamil and Sanskrit palm-leaf manuscripts from the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, which constitute the majority of the manuscripts from these regions.

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