Nepal is home to exceptionally diverse manuscript collections, both in terms of scripts and languages as well as materials used. In short videos, Bidur Bhattarai explains how these collections are preserved. This episode deals with a manuscript written on black paper with ‘gold-like’ ink.
The new episode presents the preservation measures that have been undertaken particularly for a Nepalese Buddhist manuscript that contains a copy of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā. The manuscript was produced in Nepālasaṃvat 777 (‘Nepal Era’, corresponds to 1657 CE), and was written on nīlapatra (‘black paper’), largely in Rañjanā script with ‘gold-like’ ink.
In the video, Bidur Bhattarai explains how each folio was first cleaned using a Hake brush with bamboo handles. After that, folios were cleaned in a High-Efficiency Particulate (HEPA) vacuum. Then, some spots on the folios were cleaned with a piece of white soft sponge, where necessary. After cleaning, the manuscript was wrapped in a piece of acid-free lokta paper. The manuscript was then wrapped again in a plain unbleached cotton cover matching the size to the manuscript. Finally, an acid-free customised E-Flute phase box (‘archival box’) was made, and the manuscript is now safeky kept in this box.
The video is the eighth part of ‘Written Artefacts of Nepal – Preservation and Documentation’, a series of short films that offers a brief and accessible introduction to Nepalese written artefacts, exploring their diversity and uniqueness in terms of writing, supports, materials, forms, and texts.
This series of short films offers brief and accessible introduction to Nepalese written artefacts, exploring their diversity and uniqueness in terms of writing, supports, materials, forms, and texts. It is initiated and produced by Dr Bidur Bhattarai, Coordinator of the project ‘Preserving the Written Artefacts of Nepal’ based at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at Universität Hamburg. The project is generously supported by the German Foreign Office and the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
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