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Digitization of palm manuscripts

India’s most valuable and precious gift to humanity is its profound and timeless heritage. Over 5000 years, India has produced a large wealth of literature comprising various subjects like Art, Literature, History, Medical Science, Astronomy and Philosophy. All the medical information’s were compiled in Cheyyuzh (Tamil) or Slogam (Sanskrit) in particular meters with literary elegance. The purpose is, in the first place, to create accurate reproductions of the original manuscripts on a long lasting medium. The known writings are in the form of palm manuscripts which are called Cudjan manuscripts.

Tamil Nadu has the largest collection of palm manuscripts and a considerable portion of this pertains to be the medical knowledge which includes disease classification, clinical features, use of plants, preparation of medicines, including herbo- mineral, magical remedies, tantric healing, medical astrology etc.

CTMR has the objective of using digital technology to preserve the manuscripts for the posterity. Dept.of AYUSH. Govt. of India has been very supportive to this cause of digitization of the palm manuscripts and subsequent cataloguing and publication into books. (2010) CTMR has so far collected and digitized and catalogued nearly 620 medical palm manuscript bundles with nearly 1200 texts in it from Traditional healers all over Tamil Nadu. CTMR is a partner with French Institute of Pondicherry on a project which is supported by Endangered Archives Programme of British Library Since 2015.

The reasons for digitizing palm manuscripts are to increase access, to improve services to an expanding user’s group by providing enhanced access to the institution’s resources with respect to education, long life learning and to reduce the handling and use of fragile or heavily.

Researchers are welcome to our library with prior appointment for reference work.