A catalogue of South Asian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries



This page provides information on searching and browsing the catalogue. For information on how to order material, please see the Order special collections page.


You can browse the catalogue by clicking on the following buttons:

  • Manuscripts (identified by their classmarks/shelfmarks)
  • Works
  • People (personal names of authors, translators, donors, etc.)
  • Places

Results can be filtered using the "Limit results by" options on the left, such as by language (for manuscripts and works) or role (for people).


For a simple search, type your query into the search box at the top of every page and press enter. You can then filter your search results as explained above.

To search for something specific click one of the four buttons - manuscripts, works, people or subjects - then enter your search terms.

Search tips

Search terms can be entered in all languages and scripts present in the records. For searching in Roman script please use the LC transliteration standard. Diacritical signs may be omitted. For example, instead of SÅ«tra you can search for Sutra.

You can use additional formatting to more precisely define your search query. These include:

  • Quotation marks (")

    • You can place quotation marks around multiple words so that only that specific phrase will be found. For example, Bhagavad Gita (without quotes) produces more results than "Bhagavad Gita" (with quotes)

  • Boolean operators (AND / OR)

    • You can combine words into groups using these logic operators and brackets. For example you could search for divination AND (texts OR fragments) which will find only records containing divination and either texts or fragments (or all three).

  • Plus (+) / Minus (-)

    • With the plus and minus you can define which phrases must be found and those which must not be found. For example history -Hinduism will return everything with containing the word history except records containing the word Hinduism.

  • Wildcards (*,?)

    • You can use wildcard values to match only part of words. A question mark (?) will match a single character while the asterisk (*) will match one or more characters. A search for poe* will match words like poem, poet and poetry. Generally, you don't have use wildcards to allow for plural/singular versions, and other common forms of English words, so searching for commentary also matches the word commentaries, and vice versa.

  • Combinations

    • You can combine these options into a single query, such as (lit* -liturgy) AND Sanskrit. This will find records containing words beginning with "lit", except for the word liturgy, that are in Sanskrit.