Date of this Version
Before the coming of print technology in Assam, the handwritten manuscript was the sole medium for the spread and dissemination of knowledge. These manuscripts comprising of different categories were often composed under royal patronage and in certain cases by religious institutions in pre-colonial Assam. The tradition of manuscript writing in Assam can be traced back approximately to the 5th century A.D. However, it shows a remarkable growth after the 13th century mainly due to the support given by royal patronage and later on by the Neo-Vaishnavite Satra institution. In this paper, the focal point of discussion will be centered on the tradition of manuscript writing in pre-colonial Assam as well as how they were preserved. The preservation aspect of these manuscripts reveals a fascinating story of the history of the evolution and development of libraries in Assam and the paper will try to locate it within the development of the library and literary tradition of pre-colonial Assam.