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THE present volume represents the first endeavour to reduce Sanskrit Bibliography to the system generally followed in occidental compilations of the same kind, a system unknown to the East, where titles of books are often deemed a matter of greater moment than the names of their authors. The form this work has assumed is owing chiefly to the circumstance that all oriental books were formerly incorporated into the general Alphabetical Catalogue, and had to conform, as best they might, to the rules therein followed. Of late years, however, the rapid development of this department of literature, taken in conjunction with the fundamental differences obtaining in the whole structure of works of this class as compared with the productions of the European mind, has rendered it necessary to follow a different course. To render them more easily accessible, oriental books had to be embodied in separate catalogues, subject to rules specially suited to meet the requirements of the case.

The task of framing such rules is much simplified by the fact that a multitude of considerations which come into play when we deal with anonymous publications of European literature find no application in our case. Oriental writers are almost universally accustomed to give distinct names to their literary productions, whether anonymous or not. These names are fashioned mostly according to rhetorical fancies rather than founded on sound reasons, although a certain conventionality, vaguely suggestive of the nature of the work, runs throughout most of them. In any case the titles form such a characteristic feature that one could not, in the absence of an author's name, wish for a better substitute.

Not much doubt, then, can prevail where a book, if forming part of the collection at all, has to be looked for. It must appear either under the author's name or under the name of the book itself, the only exception in the latter case being where it ranges under a large class of anonymous literature with a general title such as Bráhmaņas, Puráņas, Upanishads, Vedas, etc. In individual cases, however, all uncertainty will be removed by turning to the Index of Titles, which forms the key, as it were, to the whole organization.

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Turning now more particularly to the branch of oriental literature forming the subject of this volume, it behoves us at the outset to take a general survey, and next to explain the scope of the work; in other words, to consider what it contains and how it deals with its subject-matter.

The Catalogue, so far as one can define precisely its range, comprises Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit texts printed in the different countries of Europe, India and Ceylon, containing either the text alone or coupled with commentaries and paraphrases in the languages of India, such as Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Canarese, Tamil, Malayalim and Sinhalese, side by side with translations of such texts into the leading languages of Europe. Grammars and dictionaries not of Indian origin, and other auxiliaries for the study of Sanskrit, have, as a rule, been excluded, unless, through their largely quoting and commenting upon important Sanskrit texts, they form an integral part of Sanskrit literature, such as Colebrooke's Essays for instance.* Certain rather important texts and papers thereon it has been found necessary to pass over in silence in the present Catalogue, from the fact of their being printed in Journals and Transactions of "Academies" not specially devoted to this class of publications, and hence not fitted, as a whole, to find a place here.†

Other omissions will be doubtless discovered of books that one should expect to find in a collection aiming so ostensibly at completeness as the Library of the British Museum. The best plea that can be advanced for the absence of the books is that they have not hitherto been obtainable, and that those who possess any knowledge of them owe this either to the advantage of private connection with people in India, or to some other fortuitous circumstance. To the Trustees of the British Museum it is due to acknowledge that no effort has been spared by them to collect all the materials within reach, and to take full cognizance of the beginning revival of oriental literature in the East itself. With a view to further promoting the interest felt in Sanskrit literature in continually widening circles of scholars, they have likewise granted a liberal sum of money towards the expenses of printing and have thereby materially assisted the publication of this volume itself.

Adverting more particularly to the descriptions of the books, it should be understood that they are all given in the wording of their own title-pages which are quoted with all that is essential in the main-title under the author's name, or under the title of the book itself, as the case may be. A complete system of cross-references to the main-title from the names of other contributors, such as commentators, editors, translators, etc., mentions in as short a form as possible the share that each holds in such publication.

In blending together in one catalogue the productions of European and Oriental printing presses, one incongruity becomes at once apparent in the different habits of characterising the contents of a book by descriptions more or less adequate given on the outside page. In the one case the whole scope of the book is generally announced on the title-page, whereas in the other the most necessary information is commonly there withheld and has to be worked out by a close examination of the body of the work. To counterbalance this inequality in the treatment of detail, the bibliographer has to supply, as it were, the missing title-pages in order to develop thereby, after some system, the varied materials of names and subjects lying hidden in volumes that afford no outward indication of the contents. This Another representative work of this class is Prof. Max Müller's "History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature," the omission of which in its proper place is only due to an oversight at the time of printing.

Thus, for instance, Prof. Weber's notable contributions to Prakrit literature in the "Abhandlungen der K. Akademie der Wissenchaften zu Berlin" will be found wanting.


has been done in the present case with persistent scrupulosity, even when such descriptions seemed to give undue prominence to matters of small import, or to statements of a dubious nature. Such supplementary information is always distinguished by being inserted in brackets [ ], while marks of parenthesis () are employed for textual quotations from the book itself, taken either from a second title-page, or preface, or from the body of the work. Another use assigned to the parenthesis is that of quoting, in the absence of a regular title-page, the title of a book from the colophon, or of giving the equivalent of Sinhalese, Tamil and Malayalim titles in Devanagari or English characters, the proper type not having been at hand when the present Catalogue went through the press.

In the descriptions as well as in the headings an uniform system of orthography was necessary so that one might obtain a rallying-point for the varied modes of spelling, and sometimes mis-spelling, prevalent in the different countries of Europe and India, which, when brought face to face with each other, impart such a chequered appearance to a work like the present. The mode of spelling that seemed best adapted for this purpose was that which has obtained general currency in England through the works of Max Müller, Muir and Aufrecht. When applied to the modern dialects, the innumerable variations of sound into which the letters have split up are not represented thereby, but it does afford, at least, a complete picture of what a name looks like in its native garb as well as in its Sanskritic origin. The discrepancy between the spelling of a name and its habitual pronunciation may sometimes appear absurdly great, for instance when names sounded Mookerjee, Chatterjea and Banerjea are represented in writing by Mukhopadhyaya, Chattopadhyaya and Vandyopadhyaya. But the incongruity is hardly less when in Scotland they pronounce the common name "Turnbull" Trummel, while preserving its etymology in writing. The forms Mookerjee, etc., could simply not be ventured on in Bengali characters, and none but those we have adopted are in reality written. If a choice has to be made. between transcription by sound or by the etymological reason underlying it, there can be little doubt as to which is the principle that ensures unity of treatment in the varying pronunciation that the same letter is often subject to in kindred languages and dialects. The specialist in any of these languages may sometimes wonder at the strange representation in writing of what he knows to be the real spoken sound, and may point at the seeming pedantry one is led into by the too strict application to individual cases of the principle advocated. In order, however, to reconcile scientifically so many conflicting claims that have to be considered in a compilation of this kind, all such objections should be waived. Were each case to be decided on its merits, endless confusion in the arrangement would inevitably result, and more serious blame than that of a seeming ignorance of living languages would befall the compiler. The historical ground is after all the only safe one on which to build throughout a system of uniform transcription. All the native Indian alphabets having been constructed on the same principle of syllabic values attached to the characters, the Sanskrit alphabet, as the oldest, naturally offers itself as the standard whereto all the others would conform. The syllabic principle is sometimes apparently ob scured, as in the case of the northern Prakrits, which under certain conditions admit of, nay even require, the elision of the "a" that inheres to every consonant not otherwise marked. But nobody will doubt that this is owing to the irresistible influence of the rhythmic laws of the Persian-Arabic language, and can consequently not be taken into account here. The only expedient suggesting itself by way of compromise was to put the unpronounced "a" in parenthesis, indicating that it is to be treated like e mute in French and English.

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