Access to the collection

The teachings of the Buddha were initially transmitted orally, on the organizational model of the Vedic schools, but without their insistence on a linguistic standard and immutability of textual form. As a consequence, Buddhist texts adopted the dialects of the new regions to which they were brought and began to develop in new literary genres. It is the far northwestern region of Gandhāra (modern Pakistan and Afghanistan) that has preserved the oldest written Buddhist texts for us (dating as far back as the first century BCE), laid down in the local Prakrit Gāndhārī and the local script Kharoṣṭhī on birch-bark scrolls. The rediscovery and study of these manuscripts since the 1990s has cast much new light on the early history of Buddhism, its transmission to Central Asia and China, and processes such as the beginnings of literacy in South Asia and Buddhist canon formation and hermeneutics. This lecture will present an overview of these new manuscript discoveries and what we have learned from them so far, and take a detailed look at the transmission of selected early Buddhist canonical texts in Gandhāra and their treatment by local exegetes.


Dr Stefan Baums is a well-known specialist in Gandhāran texts, author of many articles on the subject and, together with Dr Andrew Glass, a winner of the Aming Tu Prize for the outstanding website Dr Stefan Baums studied in Göttingen and London and received his PhD from the University of Washington. Since 2012 he has been Lead Researcher at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and is responsible for the project “Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhāra”.


baums monks1 Relief with the Buddha during the school visit (The Museum Fünf Kontinente, Munich)






Mariusz Kraśniewski, PhD


Patrycja Kozieł, PhD


Phone: + 48 22 657 27 47


African studies conducted at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences (IMOC PAS) are a direct continuations of the research policy inaugurated in 1963 by Professor Józef Chałasiński,   ordinary member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the creator of the Centre for Studies on Social and Cultural Issues of Contemporary Africa, which later developed into the Center for Studies on Non-European Countries PAS. Therefore, the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures (IMOC PAS), created after the merger of the Center of Studies on Non-European Countries and the Centre of Mediterranean Archeology is the second oldest institution in Poland devoted to African studies. Current research is conducted within the Division for Research on Sub-Saharan Africa (DRSSA) inaugurated in 2020 as one of the two research pillars of the Department of Modern Cultures of Asia and Africa.

DRSSA's research topic: Dialogue of cultures – cultures of conflict. Socio-cultural transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa concentrate on multiethnic and multireligious societies of Africa south of the Sahara. The research concentrates on cultural and religious matters in regard to African statehood and society while giving the field for the in-depth analysis of the changes and cultural transmission within societies and ethnic groups. Moreover, the research topic recognizes and evaluates the role of the traditional, modern and popular cultures as possible state-building or conflict-generating factors and analyses various aspects of social development and social changes inspired by the cross-cultural dialogue and incited by the local and global cultural products.
At its launch, the Division introduced two, subject-oriented, research teams, with dynamic staff fluctuations:
1/ Popular and traditional culture in West Africa
2/ Cultural aspects of migration


IMOC PAS representative for promotion - dr Anetta Łyżwa-Piber
IMOC PAS representative for grants - Katarzyna Molga, Joanna Rądkowska






The Division of Research Documentation of the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures PAS (IKŚiO PAN, Pałac Staszica, 72 Nowy Świat Street, room no. 146) provides access to its collection for research purposes and for making copies of the materials for scientific and popularization purposes on the basis of completed Card of loan/access (Karta wypożyczenia/udostępnienia dokumentacji archeologicznej).

The collection is in the process of digitalization.

Access is granted to employees of the Institute as well as former and current heads of archaeological missions and holders of written recommendations issued by the heads.

Access to unpublished materials can be provided only by permission of the current head of the mission*.
* In some cases (connected with issues of scientific/intellectual rights to the material) consultation with the former head of the mission might be necessary.

Persons without affiliation to scientific institutions are required to submit a written statement concerning the intended use of the materials.

The materials can be used in IMOC PAS office if they have not been digitalized yet. The copies which can be made at the office of the Division include: photocopies, scans and scan printouts of both the descriptive and photographic documentation (negatives, photographic documentation cards and slides), as well as of architectural documentation (A4 format).
The head of the Division of Research Documentation and the director of IMOC PAS are authorized to issue a permission for the loan of materials out of the Institute office.

Access to the materials:
•    Małgorzata Radomska – Head of the Division of Research Documentation
Mondays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

•    prof. dr habil. Barbara Tkaczow
      Mondays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

•    Dorota Bielińska
      Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

We kindly request for earlier notice by phone (phone 22 657-28-04).

Karta udostępnienia dokumentacji archeologicznej

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