Project History and Goals

The University of Washington Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project was initiated in September 1996 in order to promote the study, editing, and publication of the new manuscripts. The project was located in the University of Washington's Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the invitation of the authorities of the British Library. The directors of the project in London and Seattle have placed the highest priority on publishing the manuscripts as quickly as possible without comprising appropriate scholarly standards. All concerned parties are eager to avoid the sorts of delays and misunderstandings that have beset other important discoveries of ancient manuscripts in the Indian world and elsewhere.

Since the inception of the project, several other collections of similar materials have come to light. These additional manuscripts have come under the purview of the EBMP for study and publication (see "Publications" for further information). The amount of material now under study by the EBMP has thus approximately tripled since the project began in 1996.