A manuscript of a 200-year-old dictionary of ten languages, including English, Assamese, Bengali, Manipuri, Garo, Rabha, Koch, Kachari, Panikoch and Mech, has been traced in the British Library in London.
The British Library, is the national library of the United Kingdom with a wide collection of over 150 million items from many countries, has in its shelves ‘Comparative Vocabularies’. The manuscript was written by Dr Francis Buchanan Hamilton (1762 to 1829), a British polymath of the 18th century. He was an explorer and naturalist who came to India when it was under the East India Company.
The manuscript of the 200-year-old dictionary, was traced in the Library by Rini Kakati, NRI Assam Coordinator for UK and the Director, FASS (Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters). She took up the initiative after been approached by Asomiya Jatiya P rakash, the publishers of the encyclopaedic dictionary, Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan (Assamese National Dictionary).
This ‘Comparative Vocabularies’ book was written circa 1800 AD, has 155 pages of landscape-sized paper. There are 18,000 words in all with 1,800 words in each of the 10 languages.