Introducing the Pandit Project

[The following is a guest post by Yigal Bronner and Andrew Ollett.]

We would like to introduce the readers of this blog to the Pandit Project at www.panditproject.org. This is a new resource for students of the intellectual traditions of South Asia, including all aspects of Indian philosophy. Pandit is a prosopographical database that provides relational information about people (authors, scribes, patrons, readers), works (in different languages and genres), and places, as well as scholarship on all of these. The mission of Pandit is to share knowledge, and as such it is an open, collaborative, community-based initiative, and of course free.

Currently Pandit has close to 51,000 entries, including all the data from Karl Potter’s Bibliography of Indian Philosophies. As an example, take a look at the record for the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century grammarian Bhaṭṭoji Dīkṣita. If you start by looking at this record, you can follow any number of paths to the people, works, and sites that Bhaṭṭoji is associated with, and from them to many others. And all of this information can be improved by members of the Pandit community: by adding to existing records, creating new records, and creating new links between records. In the future, we hope to introduce sophisticated tools of network visualization and analysis, such as family trees, webs of influence, maps of textual transmission, and so on.

What we all know collectively is deeper and broader than what any of us know individually. Pandit helps us learn from, and build upon, each others’ contributions. This is especially important in Indian philosophy, where it’s often difficult to situate an author or work in a larger social or intellectual context. We invite you to check out Pandit (follow this link for its ‘about’ pages) and see how it might connect with your interests. If you would like to contribute in any way, please register.

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