Guide to the W. Y. (Walter Yeeling)Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection, ca.1600-1922

Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
© 1999
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the W. Y. (Walter Yeeling)Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection, ca.1600-1922

Collection number: M0205

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
R.L. Ginns
Date Completed:
1971 Mar.
© 1999 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: W. Y. (Walter Yeeling)Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection,
Date (inclusive): ca.1600-1922
Collection number: Special Collections M0205
Creator: Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (Walter Yeeling), 1878-1965.
Extent: 20 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions


Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights are held by Stanford University. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Use Restrictions

No photocopies of the material are to be made.


Gift of Dr. Evans-Wentz, 1923; and Louise Evans, 1975.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] W. Y. (Walter Yeeling)Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection, M0205, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, born February 2, 1878 in Trenton, New Jersey, attended Stanford University where he received his B.A. and his M.A. Evans-Wentz travelled extensively in Mexico, Europe, and the Far East. He spent several years in Tibet where he became a Buddhist monk. He was a pioneer in the field of Tibetan Buddhism and authored several books on the subject.

Scope and Content

Description: A collection relating to the religions of Asia, principally Ceylon. The bulk of the collection consists of items gathered by Mr. Evans-Wentz, including palm-leaf manuscripts, pamphlets, photographs.
Identification of the works (Sinhalese and Pali) in this collection is based solely on the notation of Mr. Evans-Wentz. Similarly, the descriptions (age of ms., nature of the work, etc.) are quoted directly from Mr. Evans-Wentz, or from a pamphlet entitled, Catalogue of Pali, Sinhalese, and Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Colombo Museum Library (Colombo, Govt. Printer, 1901).

Container List


1 - 1 (Sinhalese) A Folk Treatise On Astrology, (as applied to man's daily life and occupations).

Scope and Content Note

The auspicious moment for doing particular acts or the time when they should be avoided, as indicated by the Planets and constellations.

1 - 2 (Sinhalese) Medicine Books In Verse.


1 - 3 (Sinhalese) Neket Pota, an horarary astrology.


2 - 1 (Pali-Sinhalese) Satipatthána Sutta.

Scope and Content Note

The Satipatthána Sutta is a sermon by the Buddha on Meditation and is one of the most frequently copied of the Suttas, being one of the best known portions of the Buddhist scriptures amongst the people of Ceylon who are Buddhists. This sort of ms. in paraphrase is made use of by students in the monasteries in studying the Pali language, the language of all the cononical writings of the Ceylon Buddhists. See 5 - 3, below.

2-2 (Pali) Visuddhi Magga, (Dates c. 1800 - 1820).

Scope and Content Note

A Pali prose work, being a compendium of the Buddhist scriptures, by Buddhaghosa Théra. This is a very important work, and is considered by all Southern Buddhists to be of the highest authority on questions relating to the Buddhist religion. It is considered to be Buddhaghosa's first work during his three years' sojourn in Ceylon, 930 A.D.

3 - 1 (Pali) Aguttara Nikaya, (also known as Aguttara Sangiya.)


4 - 1 (Sinhalese) Aguttara Nikaya, (wrapped in a cotton shroud.)

Scope and Content Note

One of the (5) sections of Sutta Pitaka: miscellaneous discourse and sermons of Buddha.

4 - 2 (Sinhalese) Majjhima Nikaya (Dates c. 1800).

Scope and Content Note

One of the (5) sections of Sutta Pitaka: miscellaneous discourses and sermons of Buddha.

5 - 1 (Sinhalese) Syámópasampadávata (Dates c. 1780).

Scope and Content Note

An account of the embassies to Siam and the introduction of Siamese ordination of Buddhist monks to Ceylon.

5 - 2 (Pali) Milinda Panha (Dates c. 1800).

Scope and Content Note

A well-known Pali work, being questions on Buddhism by King Milinda, and replies thereto by Nágaséna Théra.

5 - 3 (Sinhalese) Satipatthána Sutta

Scope and Content Note

A sermon of Buddha On Meditation.

5 - 4 Fragments of Sinhalese and Pali manuscripts (transferred from the Stanford Museum).


Palm leaves, blank.


6 - 1 (Sinhalese) Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Scope and Content Note

One of the three great divisions of the canon of the Buddhist scriptures, treating the metaphysics of Buddhism.

7 through 10 A four volume Tibetan work. One volume is covered with a shroud of religious significance. [UNK] sutra [UNK] 100,000 [UNK] vols. [UNK]


11 - 1 Tao Kung, Manchu Emperor of China.

Scope and Content Note

Evans-Wentz inscription on wrapping paper flyleaf inside, describes work as a second edition. In 4 volumes, printed on rice paper with wood blocks.

11 - 2 a) Small Sinhalese fortune-telling book, approximately 3" in length.


b) 3 leaf fragment of Patimokkha.


11 - 3 Blank palm leaves.


Sketches and prints of inscriptions and relics.


Metal foil offerings.


12 Books and pamphlets on oriental religions, mystics and mysticism; see attached list.


(No # 13) See MS 278


14. 3 Palm leaf mss - [given by Mrs. Evans in 1975?]

Scope and Content Note

(See xeroxes in Ref. file)



Alcyone and Mizar, Chicago, 1912.


Ali, Moulvi Mohd, Islam: The Religion Of Humanity, Lahore, 1920.


Antony, K. J., Rebirth and the God Idea, Colombo, 1921.


Arabic primer.


Besant, Annie, The Basis Of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, 1910.


Besant, Annie, Islam In the Light Of Theosophy, Adyar, 1912.


Besant, Annie, The Masters and the Way To Them, Adyar, 1912.


Besant, Annie, The Mysteries, Adyar, 1917.


Besant, Annie, The White Lodge and Its Messengers, Adyar, 1911.


Besant, Annie and H. T. Patterson, The Theosophical Society and H.P.B., London, 1890.


Bhashyacharya, Pandit N., The Age Of Patanjali, Adyar, 1915.


Blavatsky, H. P., Ancient Egyptian Magic, Adyar, 1914.


Blavatsky, H. P., My Books, Adyar, 1917.


Blavatsky, H. P., The Origin Of Evil, Adyar, 1917.


Brahmabandhav, Upadhyaya, The Infinite and the Finite, 1906.


Catalogue of Páli, Sinhalese, and Sanskrit Manuscripts In the Colombo Museum Library, Colombo, 1901.


Central Hindu College Magazine (The Monthly Organ Of Benares Hindu University), Vol. XIX, No. 1, January 1, 1919.


Ceylon National Review, Vol. III, January 1907.


Thomas Cook and Son, India, Ceylon, and Burma: A Select Tour Under Personal Escort, London, 1914.


Coombes, J. W., The Seven Pagodas, London, 1914.


Dharmapala, The Anagarika, Arya Dharma Of Sakya Muni, Gautama, Buddha, Calcutta, 1917.


Essentials Of Hinduism, Madras.


Evans-Wentz, W. Y., The Christian Doctrine Of Re-birth, Colombo, 1921.


Evans-Wentz, W. Y., The Doctrine Of Re-birth, Colombo, 1921.


Farquhar, J. N., A Primer Of Hinduism, London, 1914.


Kamaluddin, Khwaja, Four Lectures On Islam, Lahore, 1911.


Le Goc, M. J., The Doctrine Of Rebirth and Dr. Evans-Wentz, Colombo, 1921.


Livera, Charles de, Transmigration and Metempsychosis, Colombo, 1922.


Lye, T. K., Modern Science and the Revealed Word On Re-birth, Colombo, 1921.


Nanavaty, Chhaganlal Paramanandadas, Diet and Health, Bombay, 1914.


Newell, H. A., Madura, The Hall Of a Thousand Pillars, Madras.


Newell, H. A., Rameswaram, The Sacred Island, Madras.


Newell, H. A., Seven Pagodas, Chingleput, and Conjeeveram, Madras.


Noble, W. J. and H. Highfield, Karma and Rebirth: Esoteric Christianity, Colombo, 1921.


Olcott, Henry S., The Buddhist Catechism, Adyar, 1915.


Olcott, Henry S., The Life Of Buddha and Its Lessons, Adyar, 1912.


Olcott, Henry S., The Peril Of Indian Youth, Adyar, 1916.


Our Own, (The Organ Of the Buddhist High School, Badulla) Vol. I, No. 2, 1917.


Pantulu, G. R. Subramiah, Folk-lore of the Telugus, Madras.


Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: His Life and Teachings, Madras.


A Peep Into Sikhism, Amritsar.


Prakasar, S. Gnana, The Historical Aspect Of Christianity and Buddhism, Colombo, 1921.


Puri, Bhai Bishan das, Was Guru Nanak Dev a Mohammaden?, Amritsar.


Royal Asiatic Society, Ceylon Branch, Journal, 1858 - 1859,Vo. III, No. 11.


Saradananda, Swami, Stray Thoughts On the Literature and Religion Of India, Mylapore.


Senanayaka, R., Comparison Of Buddhist and Christian Doctrines, 1899.


Scott-Moncrieff, C. W., The Coming Christ and The Order Of the Star In the East, Adyar.


Silacara, Bhikkhu, Lotus Blossoms, London, 1914.


Silva, F.M.D., Some Impressions Of Recent Lectures On Kharma and Re-birth, Colombo.


Singh, Bhagat Lakshman, The Balm Of Life, Amritsar.


Singh, Bhai Puran, My Baba, Amritsar.


Singh, Jodh, Religion and Religious Life As Conceived By Guru Nanak, Amritsar.


Singh, Pritam, A Paper On Maharaja Ranjit Singh, The Lion Of the Punjab, Lahore, 1906.


Singh, Puran, Guru Govind Singh, Amritsar.


Singh, Puran, Guru Nanak's Rabab, Amritsar.


Sinha, J. Wettha, The Four Retentions Of Memory, Colombo, 1921.


Sinha, J. Wettha, The Visible Fruits Of the Life Of a Buddhist Monk, Colombo, 1921.


Subasinha, D. J., Buddhist Rules For the Laity, Madras, 1908.


The Vedic Magazine, Vol. Xii, No. 7, December 1918.


Swami Vivekananda: His Life and Teachings, Madras.


Walter, H. A., The Fact and Meaning Of Islam, Calcutta, 1918.


Weerakkody, D. J. C., Buddhist Doctrinal Points, Kandy, 1909.


The following works originally in the Evans-Wentz collection may be located in the stacks of the main library's collection:


Aston, W. G., Shinto: The Ancient Religion Of Japan, London, Constable and Co., Ltd., 1910.


Blavatsky, H. P., trans. and annotator, The Voice Of the Silence... from the Book of the Golden Precepts, Point Loma, The Aryan Theosophical Press, 1909.


Durga Prasad, An English Translation Of the Satyarti Prakash Of Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Lahore, Virjanand Press, 1908.


Evolution Of Mrs. Besant. Madras, Justice Printing Works, 1918.


Giles, Herbert A., Religions Of Ancient China, London, Archibeld Constable & Co., Ltd. 1905.


Marshall, Sir John, A Guide To Taxila, Calcutta, Superintendent Govt. Printing, 1918.


Pal, Bepin Chandra, Mrs. Annie Besant: A Psychological Study, Madras, Ganesh and Co.


The following works originally in the Evans-Wentz collection may be located in the Bender Room:


The Path To The Masters Of Wisdom, London, The Theosophical Publishing Society.


Williams, W. J., Hindu Mythology; Vedic and Puranic, Calcutta, Thacher, Spink, and Co., 1913.


The Works Of Late Pandit Guru Datta Vidyartui, Lahore, Aryan Printing and Publishing and General Trading Co., Ltd, 1912.

Box 13





Covis from Old Delhi and Taxila (in Kodak film canister)


Urn from Kandy, Ceylon


Seal, Hanuman, Lingam, Vishnu, Feet of Vishnu, Talisman, and Armpiece from Benares


Lingam from Kashmir


Buddhas from [Mt.] Isaya, India


Buddhist Temple Lamp, Kandy, Ceylon


3 Styluses from Ceylon (one in case) - used for writing palm leaf books


2 Indian votive offerings or Talismans


Seal from Ceylon


Sandalwood Rosary from [Risbi?] Kesh, and several unidentified objects.

Scope and Content Note

[Printed leaf, folded, removed from box and placed with manuscripts, MZ 78/8/9 Tirukalukundrum Patchi Dharisana Chart, Viadras: Counian Press, 1918. 15th ed. 4,000 copies]

Votive offering (?)


Link chain with unidentified objects


Incense burner (?)