History of the NGMPP
Two German Indologists conceived Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP): Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Voigt, then Director of the Oriental Department of the State Library in Berlin (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Orientabteilung) and Secretary General of the German Oriental Society (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft, DMG) and the Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections (Katalogisierung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, KOHD), and Prof. Dr. Klaus Ludwig Janert (University of Cologne).
They secured the financial support for the Project from the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) and laid its legal foundation by negotiating with His Majesty's Government of Nepal, mainly with the Department of Archaeology of the Ministry of Education.
On February 16, 1970 an agreement between His Majesty's Government of Nepal and the German Research Council was signed. The agreement between His Majesty's Government of Nepal and the DMG has been extended seven times (1975, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1999). Dr. Voigt and Prof. Dr. Janert were fortunate to be able to deal with partners who realized the academic value of the project and its overall significance, and who thus made exceptional efforts for the realization of the project. Mention should also be made of Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Treue on the side of the German Research Council and the Director of the Department of Archeology in Nepal, Mr. Ramesh Jang Thapa. Prof. Dr. Albrecht Wezler coordinated the activities of the NGMPP as Director General from 1982 until its completion in March 2002 and continues now taking care of the continuation project, the NGMCP.
The first photographic unit of the NGMPP was established in the National Archives in Kathmandu in 1970. Dr. Mahes Raj PantFrom 1970–1975, a team of Nepalese and German scholars filmed the entire manuscript collection of the National Archives; Nepalese specialists were responsible for developing and reproducing the microfilms. In 1976, an additional microfilm station was established in the Nepal Research Centre. Manuscript owners may take texts there for filming, and are remunerated for each folio filmed. Following an extension of the agreement with His Majesty's Government of Nepal, the NGMPP was allowed, from 1976 on, to include other public and also private collections located in the central Bagmati Zone within the scope of its work. This applied also to the Tibetological section of the NGMPP, established in 1978. From the beginning of the 1980s, the NGMPP proceeded to establish temporary microfilm stations in various parts of the Kingdom. In 1982, the NGMPP finally obtained permission to extend its activities over the whole of Nepal.
The NGMPP has microfilmed more than 180,000 manuscripts containing some five million folios. Approximately one fifth of these are Tibetan manuscripts, and the rest fall under the Indological section. Although the majority of the texts in the Indological section are works in Sanskrit, this section also includes works in other languages - in particular, Nepali and Newari. The filmed textual material includes, in addition to literature representing the traditional fields of Indological and Tibetological studies, such as belletristic, religious, and philosophical literature, also more than 47,000 historical documents in Sanskrit, Newari, Nepali, and Tibetan.
In 1987, a new section of the NGMPP was set up at the Institute of Indian and Tibetan Studies at the University of Hamburg (Germany) which has mainly been responsible for the preparation of a preliminary title list of the texts in the Indological section. The preparation of basic catalogue records for the Tibetan manuscripts and block-prints began in 1994. The “Preliminary List of Manuscripts, Historical Documents and Blockprints Microfilmed by the NGMPP: Part 1 (excluding Tibetan Material and Historical Documents)” has been published in June 2003. The activities of the NGMPP in Nepal ended in the spring of 2001, and in Germany in the spring of 2002.
Permanent Microfilm Stations
|1970-||Microfilming of manuscripts in the National Archives of Nepal and at the NGMPP Headquarters in the Nepal Research Center in Kathmandu|
|1975–1976||Microfilming of the Kesar Library Collection|
|1976–1978||Microfilm Station in Bhaktapur|
|1979–1980||Microfilm Station in Banepa|
|1982||Microfilming of the Tribhuvan Library Central Library Collection|
|1984–1985||Microfilm station in Janakpur|
|since 1986||Microfilm station for documents in Bhadrakali|
|1986–1987||Microfilm station in Rabiraj|
|1993||Microfilming in the National Archives finishes|
Expeditions of the Tibetan Section of the NGMPP
Manuscripts in the Tibetan language constituted the second major focus of the NGMPP's microfilming activities. The National Archives' remarkable collection of Tibetan material provided the starting point for the NGMPP's activities in this field. It was soon realized that the ever increasing number of Tibetan manuscripts necessitated the establishment of an additional Tibetological section, which was consequently set up in 1978. Numerous tours were undertaken to mountainous regions to explore the possibility of filming Tibetan manuscripts and block prints.
|1983||1. Langthang||15.04.–11.05.||L 1–24|
|2. Helambu||15.11.–28.11.||L 25–60|
|1984||3. Jumla||05.05.–07.06.||L 41–61|
|4. Jomosom||06.09.–22.10.||L 62–94|
|1986||5. Muktinath||26.03.–04.06.||L 95–105|
|6. Jumla||01.10.–28.11.||L 106–123|
|1987||7. Muktinath||26.03.–04.06.||L 124–153|
|8. Muktinath||12.10.–19.10.||L 154–161|
|1988||9. Tengpoche||29.04.–13.05.||L 162–185|
|10. Jomosom||25.09.–13.10.||L 186–206|
|11. Jumla||20.11.–09.12.||L 207–221|
|1989||12. Junbesi||30.04.–21.05.||L 222–251|
|13. Jomosom||23.10. –10.11.||L 252–268|
|1990||14. Helambu||28.01.–08.02.||L 269–290|
|15. Junbesi||23.10.–09.11.||L 291–321|
|1991||16. Kutang||10.04.–06.05.||L 322–346|
|17. Muchu||04.07.–01.08.||L 347–375|
|1992||18. Nubri||09.04.–08.05.||L 376–400|
|19. Dolpo||22.08.–13.09.||L 401–417|
|20. Kodari||13.12.–18.12.||L 418–425|
|1993||21. Samdo||22.04.–21.05.||L 426–455|
|22. Helambu||18.11.–28.11.||L 456–465|
|1994||23. Helambu||21.02.–03.03.||L 466–470|
|24. Tsum||10.04.–07.05.||L 471– 501|
|25. Dolpo||19.07.–25.08.||L 502–552|
|1995||26. Langthang||26.03.–06.04.||L 553–564|
|27. Taplejung||04.05.–06.06.||L 565–624|
|28. Dolpo||26.06.–29.08.||L 625–684|
|1996||29. Dolpo||13.05.–03.07.||L 685–764|
|30. Mustang||20.08.–28.09.||L 765–777|
|31. Phole||30.10.–06.12.||L 778–837|
|1997||32. Dolpo||06.07.–21.08.||L 838–887|
|33. Thame||29.10.–15.11.||L 888–918|
|1998||34. Nubri||14.05.–06.06.||L 919–963|
|35. Nawal+Phu Gaon||15.10.–18.11.||L 964–1013|
|37. Mugu + Dolpo||01.06.–18.07.|