Monday, October 03, 2011

Guṭkās

Sanskrit booklets, or guṭkās, contain several works collected between one set of covers.  They were presumably copied sequentially by their owners as a vade mecum of useful knowledge.

Biswas 0891 (available digitized, no. 090393 at http://www.jainlibrary.org/menus_cate.php) is a series of catalogues of MSS in Jaina libraries in Rajasthan.  Volume 2 (1954), 73 ff. has a section that describes 222 such booklets, and lists their contents in detail.  A study of these particular collocations of texts would provide a valuable insight into reading habits, the circulation of texts and knowledge, and the personal tastes and obsessions of pre-modern Indian readers.

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