The project will make accessible a corpus of documents and texts relevant to the history of religion and law in pre-modern Nepal. This corpus has so far been dealt with only partially, and the aim of the project is to make it available in printed and digital form.
The rare historical corpus material, which originated between the interactive poles of India and Tibet and between Hinduism and Buddhism, is unique in terms of content and also of the volume of it. It was preserved on microfilm by the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP) of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (and others) but has only been partially catalogued and evaluated. It includes temple documents (edicts, land grants, contracts, deeds of donation, letters, etc.), legal documents (verdicts regarding moral conduct, letters granting absolution, caste regulations), and, to a much lesser extent, narrative or eulogical texts on local shrines.
These groups of texts essentially form the basis of our knowledge about not only the history of numerous temples, religious institutions and other sanctuaries in Nepal (primarily in the Kathmandu Valley) but also about the history of legal practice in South Asia, all topics still to a large extent unexplored. Furthermore, the corpus material provides information on the development of elite cultures, the legitimation and affirmation of rulership, and the significance of textualization and codification of law in the context of ethnologically recorded jurisprudence.