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Evans-Wentz (W.Y.) Buddhism and Eastern Religions Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation:
  • Provenance
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection
    source: Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (Walter Yeeling)
    Identifier/Call Number: M0205
    Identifier/Call Number: 915
    Physical Description: 20 Linear Feet (27 boxes, one oversize folder)
    Date (inclusive): ca.1600-1922
    Abstract: Collection of Buddhist and other Asian religious texts, the majority of which are 19th century manuscripts. There are also a small number of objects.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection relating to the religions of Asia, principally Sri Lanka, but also China, Tibet, and Southeast Asia. The bulk of the collection consists of Buddhist textual works assembled by Evans-Wentz on his travels, including palm leaf manuscripts and other medical and religious texts. Note that some material was added later to his collection and may not have been originally collected by him.
    Identification of the works in this collection is based on the notation of Evans-Wentz. Similarly, the descriptions (dates, nature of the work, etc.) are as quoted from him, as well as from a pamphlet entitled, Catalogue of Pali, Sinhalese, and Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Colombo Museum Library (Colombo, Government Printer, 1901). Although there was consultation with various scholars in the process of reorganizing the collection in 2017-2018, some items remain unidentified.


    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 traveled 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.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Evans-Wentz Buddhism and eastern religions collection, M0205, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    Gift of Dr. Evans-Wentz, 1923; Louise Evans, 1975, and transfer from Stanford Museum, 1981.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    These materials are believed to be in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use of public domain materials.

    Related Materials

    Stanford Libraries holds the following related collections:
    W. Y. Evans-Wentz papers, 1894-1961 (M0278) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4083052
    Walter Y. Evans-Wentz collection (SC0821) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/6523491
    Notes concerning W.Y. Evans-Wentz (MISC0862) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4335715
    Ed Reither collection of W. Y. (Walter Yeeling) Evans-Wentz correspondence and ephemera, 1935-1960 (M2008) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/11380133
    Yoga Institute of America papers (M1135) donated by Louise Evans https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4383808
    Evens-Wentz was attending Stanford at the time of the 1906 earthquake, and letters discussing his experience have been digitized and transcribed here: https://www.fromthepage.com/stanforduniversityarchives/1906-earthquake/sc0206-b01-f14-evans-wentz-incident

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Buddhism -- Sri Lanka
    Buddhism -- China -- Tibet Autonomous Region
    Taoism -- China
    Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (Walter Yeeling)