First images!

I’m very pleased to report that a few weeks ago we received nearly all of the digital images of the manuscripts we requested from the Wellcome Library.

You will be able to start appreciating the beauty of these artefacts in these small photos.


A manuscript is made up of a number of folios. A folio is a sheet of paper or other material that has writing and sometimes an illustration on each side of the sheet. Each folio bears the handwriting of a scribe who used ink to write by hand. Many of the folios are also painted in full colour.

Kālakācāryakathā © Wellcome Library, London

Kālakācāryakathā © Wellcome Library, London

For most of the manuscripts we’ll be displaying on the forthcoming full Jainpedia website, each page (one side of the sheet) has been photographed. Sometimes a manuscript will consist of only one or two folios, because of its age, its material or the conditions in which it was kept before being held in a professional curated environment.

Manuscripts on Jainpedia

The full Jainpedia website will display high-quality images of folios and artefacts such as statues that are much larger. You’ll also be able to zoom into areas of the photos that interest you.

Aḍhāīdvīpa © Wellcome Library, London

Aḍhāīdvīpa © Wellcome Library, London

We are preparing full information about each image, such as the shelfmark of the holding institution, original language and the author where known. To help you understand what you see, we will also offer translations, transcriptions and detail about the illustrations and the whole manuscript for selected images.

This is the unique feature of Jainpedia. Images of some manuscripts and artefacts are available on several websites but  we are proud to state that our plans for detailed commentary on hundreds of significant items plus an encyclopaedia of Jainism that provides in-depth context for these beautiful photos will make Jainpedia an unprecedentedly rich and comprehensive online resource.

After months of planning and preparation, we now have a portion of the thousands of images that we’ll be bringing to you through the full Jainpedia site and it feels very real and exciting!

I’m looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the sample images.

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4 Responses to “First images!”

  1. Sanjeevini Dutta says:


    I look forward to the images of the Jain manuscripts with commentary to help viewers interpret. Hope he language will be simple and the explanations clear. Is there ia timetable you can share with viewers?

  2. jkelly says:

    Hi Sanjeevini,

    Glad to hear that you’re looking forward to exploring the manuscripts in more detail. Since one of our key principles is making Jainism accessible and language is a major part of this, we’re confident that everyone will be able to understand the explanations, whatever their level of expertise in the Jain faith and in manuscriptology.
    Jainpedia is scheduled to go live in early 2010. Keep checking the blog for more updates.

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