Thursday, 17 January 2013

A brief guide to researching Gurmukhi manuscripts and some photos of a research visit to Punjab

During the Singh Sabha movement a lot of manuscripts were edited. For scholars this creates obvious problems, so it is necessary to turn to primary sources to understand history and other issues more accurately. In some printed editions words have been changed all to often, as well as whole paragraphs, sections, pages, and chapters being excised! Another issue is that many manuscripts have never been printed, so there is ample new material out there, which is mind blowing! I have added a few photographs of my travels with a list of places you can find manuscripts, lithographs, and first editions:

United Kingdom

1. British Library

Click here for an overview:

2. Wellcome Trust Library

3. Cambridge University Library

4. Oxford University - Indian Institute Library

5. Guru Nanak Sikh Museum, Leicester

6. John Rylands Library, Manchester


Some great secondary sources and first editions at the center for research libraries:

India - Punjab

1. Amritsar

Guru Nanak Dev Ji University

Khalsa College

Bhai Santokh Singh Library, Sri Darbar Sahib

2. Ludhiana

Jawadi Taksal
Panjabi Sahit Academy, Punjabi Bhawan

3. Patiala
Punjabi University, Library

Bhasha Vibhag

I had a look at a number of manuscripts related to the Dasam Granth Sahib and Court Poetry of the Tenth Guru. I made some amazing finds that I hope to share in the future!

By chance I met with Prof. Gurinder Singh Mann pictured behind me!

States Archives

Najabat Ali head of Gurmukhi, Persian and Urdu manuscripts in the State Archives

Central Public Library

At this library the head of the manuscript section is a great and generous individual Dr Rupinder Singh. he has recently written this essay: 'RARE MANUSCRIPTS OF MUSAFIR MEMORIAL CENTRAL STATE LIBRARY, PATIALA : A HIDDEN TREASURE' . At this Library I looked at some very old Gurmukhi manuscripts one called the Baznama related to how to look after Birds of Prey, from the Court of the Guru, as well as many others to recount!

Dr Rupinder Singh showing me an eighteenth century manuscript of the Holy Qur'an.

4. Chandigarh

Punjab University Library

Punjab Digital Library online :


Punjab University Library

You can also search this:
Also see:

There are many more manuscript collections around the world more information coming soon!!

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