A click away

Some of the rarest manuscripts at the Kaiser Library in Kathmandu, which could only be read on parchment paper, scroll or locally made Nepali paper till some time ago, are on its way to getting digitised. These include some of the oldest manuscripts such as “Sahotar Tantra”, which is eleven hundred years old. The library also houses 600 odd manuscripts on religion, astrology, history, literature, and politics. The digitised version of these invaluable manuscripts will not only make it possible for readers to conveniently read them on their computers, but also preserve the priceless knowledge gleaned through ages for generations to come. In addition, these manuscripts which are written in Newari, Devanagari, Bengali, Maithili and Tibetan will serve as a treasure trove for students and researchers alike.

So far, the manuscripts in the library have been preserved through traditional methods, while some are believed to have been lost due to theft or damaged completely. There are numerous such priceless manuscripts and rare books carelessly stacked in various libraries throughout the country that the concerned authorities need to discover. The Ministry of Education should locate such libraries and take initiatives to preserve their rare possessions for posterity. In fact, preserving these rarities in their digitised versions would be the best possible way to ensure their longevity.