Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00291 2B Annex - Venkatacharya Collection

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00291 2B Annex


Venkatacharya Collection


  • 1700-1900 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

62 boxes and items

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Prof. Tuppil Venkatacharya (1924-2015) was Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto and a scholar of Sanskrit and South Asian studies. His academic work focused on the grammatical study of Sanskrit in the Pāṇinian system and the exposition of various Sanskrit texts.

Born in Tirupati, India, Prof. Venkatacharya attended the Madras University (Vyakarana Siromani, 1944; B.A., 1949) and the University of Calcutta University, where he received his M.A. in 1952. Following his studies, Venkatacharya worked as both a researcher and lecturer at institutions including Nalanda University (1955 -1958) and Gauhati University (1958 - 1961). In 1961, he was invited to work with Professor Giuseppe Tucci at Rome’s Istituto per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente and while in this position also lectured at the Sapienza University of Rome.

In 1963, Prof. Venkatacharya was invited as Assistant Professor to lecture at the University of Toronto within the Department of East Asian Studies. While teaching in various departments, including Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Linguistics, and the Centre for South Asian Studies, Prof. Venkatacharya spent the following 28 years at the University of Toronto. He was awarded the distinction of Professor Emeritus in 1989 and retired from teaching in 1991. In 1996, he received an honorary degree from Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha (Deemed University) in Tirupati.

Prof. Venkatacharya published multiple books where he edited and provided extensive commentary on early Sanskrit manuscripts. These texts included the Krsnacarita of Agastyapandita, the Ubhayabhisarika, and Nalakirtikaumudi of Agastyapandita. The works that Venkatacharya studied ranged in content from literature and poetry to dramatic and dramaturgical works, and represented multiple scripts and languages including Telugu, Pali, and Devanagari. His writing and reviews are also found in academic publications from both North America and overseas. In both 1989 and 1991, Venkatacharya donated extensive collections of palm-leaf and paper manuscripts to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto (Collection MS291).

Active within Toronto’s South Asian community, Prof. Venkatacharya participated in several community based organizations. In particular, he was involved with the Hindu Institute of Learning as well as teaching a Saturday Sanskrit class out of his home for multiple years.

Prof. Venkatacharya was married to Vijaya Venkatacharya and is survived by two sons, Hari and Patañjali.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of T. Venkatacharya in 1989, Gift of T. Venkatacharya in 1991.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection of palm-leaf and paper manuscripts [ca. 1700-1900] of Sanskrit works mainly in Telugu and Bengali, and manuscript transcripts, microfilm and photocopies of Sanskrit works mainly in Devanagari and Telugu.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Bengali
  • Telugu

Script of material

  • Bengali
  • Devanagari
  • Telugu

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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