Pali Text Society

Text publication society founded in 1881 by Thomas William Rhys Davids for the study of Pāli texts

Childers published the first Pāli-English dictionary in 1874. This was superseded in 1925 by the new dictionary which had largely been compiled by T. W. Rhys Davids over 40 years, but was finished by his student William Stede. Currently another dictionary is being compiled by Margaret Cone, with the first of three volumes (A - Kh) published in 2001.

By 1922, when T. W. Rhys Davids died, the Pāli Text Society had issued 64 separate texts in 94 volumes exceeding 26,000  pages, as well a range of articles by English and European scholars.

The Pali Text Society signed an MoU between the Dhammakaya Foundation, Thailand, on 1996 for collaboration to publish the entire PTS edition of the Pali canon on CD-ROM.

In 1994 the Pāli Text Society inaugurated the Fragile Palm Leaves project, an attempt to catalogue and preserve Buddhist palm-leaf manuscripts from Southeast Asia. Prior to the introduction of printing presses and Western papermaking technology, texts in Southeast Asia—including the Pali scriptures—were preserved by inscription on specially preserved leaves from palm trees. The leaves were then bound together to create a complete manuscript.

The Pāli Text Society created the Fragile Palm Leaves project to collect, catalogue, and preserve these artifacts, including scanning them into electronic formats in order to make them available to researchers without threatening their preservation. In 2001 the project was formalised as a nonprofit in Thailand as the Fragile Palm Leaves Foundation.