The Pondicherry Library

Pondicherry Library

Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient
Centre d'Indologie Po Box 151


16-19 rue Dumas
605 001 Pondicherry, INDIA
Tel. : + 91 413 233 45 39
Fax : + 91 413 233 08 86

Library: Shanty Rayapoulle

The coordination of various research programmes by the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO has resulted in a collection of documentary resources comprising of 11400 printed volumes, 46 periodicals and 1633 palm-leaf manuscripts. The collection covers different branches of Indology: art, archaeology, epigraphy, grammar, linguistics, literature (Sanskrit and Tamil), traditional medicine, philosophy, religion, etc. and also includes the private collections of Marguerite Adiceam and Françoise L'Hernault. The Centre is also able to benefit from the well-stocked indological library of the French Institute of Pondicherry, which it helped develop and housed in its own premises until 2002.

The Centre's Library has always catered to the specific needs of the philological projects undertaken by indological teams and this has resulted in several unique collections such as the collection of Vaishnava.

The Centre has launched a Archive named SITA (South Indian Temple Archives).

The Centre also holds a precious collection of plans and elevations of South Indian temples, Tamil and colonial houses as well as maps of South-Indian towns and cities.

The Centre houses a collection of about 1633 palm-leaf manuscripts, most of which transmit vaishnava texts in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Manipravalam, which is a mixture of both these languages. In recognition of the importance of the manuscript holdings of the EFEO and of the French Institute of Pondicherry, the "Shaiva Manuscripts of Pondicherry" were in 2005 deemed a UNESCO "Memory of the World" Collection. A project aiming to catalogue this collection is presently underway.

Conditions of use and opening times

From Monday to Friday, 8.30 to 12.30 am and from 2.00 to 5.30 pm

  • Closed on public holidays
  • Loan restricted to EFEO staff
The Pondicherry centre
Head: Dominic Goodall

École française d'Extrême-Orient
16-19 rue Dumas
605 001 Pondicherry, India

Tel: +91 413 233 45 39
Fax: +91 413 233 08 86
goodalldominic@gmail.com
administration@efeo-pondicherry.org

Read more on the Pondicherry centre
Visit the Pondicherry blog
EFEO News
Émile Sénart Prize 2021
Paris, France, 17 November 2021

The Émile Sénart Prize 2021 of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres was awarded to Ramyatna Shukla for the body of research devoted to vyākaraṇa, an Indian technique of grammatical description and philosophy of speech, exegesis and logic.
Pilot project ''Safeguarding for Posterity Two Private Collections of Palm-Leaf Manuscripts from the Tamil Country (EAP1294)''
Pondicherry, India, 13 September 2021
The pilot project "Safeguarding for Posterity Two Private Collections of Palm-Leaf Manuscripts from the Tamil Country (EAP1294)" has been awarded a grant under the British Library's Endangered Archives Program, supported by the Arcadia Fund!

Suganya Anandakichenin (PI), Giovanni Ciotti (University of Hamburg) and S. A. S. Sarma (EFEO, Pondicherry) lead this ten-month project (August 2021-May 2022) aims to clean, digitize, and catalogue a portion of about 180 manuscripts belonging to two collections (called "Kalliṭaikuṟicci" and Villiampākkam).

These manuscripts, many of which date from the mid-19th century, contain texts of various genres, in Tamil, Sanskrit and Manipravalam, written in Tamil and Grantha. Previously neglected, these relics of the past will give us a clear idea of the reading and study choices of a Tamil and Vishnu Brahmin scholarly family from the 19th century onwards. Work on the project is currently underway at the EFEO Center in Pondicherry.
In Memoriam: V. Venkataraja Sarma
Pondicherry, India, 16 July 2021
It is with deep regret that we learned today of the demise of Professor V. Venkataraja Sarma, quondam principal of Tiruvananthapuram Sanskrit College, who after his retirement worked for 29 years as a senior Sanskrit scholar at the Pondicherry Centre of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, finally leaving the institution in December 2016 at the age of 86.  On Wednesday, 14 July 2021, at the age of 91, he passed away in Trivandrum, where his son lives.
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