Thanks to Dr Tilman Frasch, Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and a leading expert on Burmese history, we have been able to discover more about our Burmese palm leaf manuscript.
The manuscript, which dates from April-May 1741, was commissioned by Maung Tha Kyaw and his wife, royal tax collector of Ywa-pulai, and is a commentary on the Buddhist scriptures. Its full title is Vinayavibhanga-Atthakatha (i.e. the Samantapasadika by Buddhaghosa, the main commentary on the Vinaya or rules for monks). Each page has seven lines, and the leaves are contained between two teak blocks. There should be 295 folios but all before folio 123 are missing as well as the final folio. There are three folios with colophons and after each of these leaves, paper slips have been inserted showing in modern handwriting the title of the following section.