Osmania University Campus, HYDERABAD-500 007,Andhra Pradesh (INDIA)
The Library has 6428 manuscripts including palm-leaf manuscripts in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Persian, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish and Urdu languages and cover a variety of subjects. This collection is rare and valuable for study and research.
A notable feature is that the Library has two Manuscripts of Mahabharata and one Manuscript of Bhagavata.
The two manuscripts of Mahabharata are of two different sizes, one is of 18" x 6" and the other is of 20" x 10.1/4". Both of them are valuable not only with regard to the text and commentaries, but also from the artistic point of view.
The first manuscript contains almost the whole text of the Mahabharata with Nilakanta's commentary. Every page of the Manuscript has distinctive gold and silver border interspersed with floral designs. Each page contains miniature paintings of the characters mentioned in the text on that particular page. The manuscript contains two dates one in the beginning and the other towards the end. The former is Saka 1722 (A.D. 1800) and the latter is Saka 1751 (A.D.1829). It can be gleaned from this that it took 29 years for the manuscript to be copied and illustrated.
The second manuscript does not cover the whole text, but there is one bundle of Bhishma Parva, which requires special mention. It contains the Bhagavadgita with three commentaries, the text occupying the middle and the three commentaries occupying the upper and the lower portions with floral borders. There are miniature paintings of Krishna and Arjuna on each page. In addition to the above there are different battle scenes, which are of great interest. Though the manuscript is more than one hundred and fifty years old the colours are still fresh. The script used is both of the Bombay and Bengal variety. There is a note in the manuscript stating that it was copied at Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) on the banks of the Muchkunda (Musi).
This Section has an illustrated scroll of the complete text of the 12 Skandhas of Srimadbhagavata. The scroll is 4 inches wide and 64 ft.long. This is a unique manuscript of the Dasama Skanda of the Bhagavata. It is profusely illustrated and contains the commentary of Sridhara. Every page of the manuscript has pictures illustrative of the narrative. The colours used are permanent and enduring. Krishna leela is depicted with exquisite beauty on many of the pages. There are some pictures like Rasakrida, which show the artist at his best in detail and colour. The borders are in gold.
The first 64 inches contain miniature paintings of Ganesa, Saraswathi, Lakshmi-Narayana,Siva, Parvati and the 10 Avataras of Vishnu. At the end paintings of Suka and Parikshit are given. The Skandhas are separated by miniature paintings, besides, there are other small miniatures in between portions of each Skandha.
The scroll is very good specimen of calligraphic art.
Most of the Manuscripts of the Library collection have been microfilmed. Descriptive catalogues of manuscripts in Sanskrit, Kannada, and Marathi have been published.
Digitization of Manuscripts
Juma-Al-Masjid centre for Culture and Heritage, Dubai had undertaken digitization of Manuscripts project at O.U.Library and it is in the progress.
Committee has decided to charge Rs.10/- for each printout for outsiders on producing Identity u proof from Research Supervisor or Head of the Department, and Rs.5/- for University users.