What is a manuscript? List any four shortcomings of manuscripts.
INDIA had a rich and old tradition of handwritten manuscripts in Sanskrit, Arabic Persian and other vernacular languages. Manuscripts were copied on palm leaves or on handmade paper. Pages were sometimes beautifully illustrated.
Shortcomings of manuscripts:
- Manuscripts were highly expensive and fragile and could not be carried around easily.
- They could not read easily as script was written in different styles.
- Production of handwritten manuscripts could not satisfy the ever increasing demand for books.
- Copying was an expensive, laborious and time-consuming business.
- Even though pre-colonial Bengal had developed an extensive network of village, primary schools, students very often did not read texts. They only learnt to write.