The Oriental Research Institute (ORI) at Mysore, is a research institute which collects, exhibits, edits and publishes rare manuscripts in both Sanskrit and Kannada. Formerly it was known as the Oriental Library. The Oriental Library was started in 1891 on instructions from Chamaraja Wodeyar, the then Maharaja of Mysore State. It is located at one end of the road Krishnaraja Boulevard, in the architecturally attractive Jubilee Hall built in 1887 to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria`s accession to the British throne.
The ORI houses over 33,000 Palm leaf manuscripts. The manuscripts are palm leaves cut to a standard size of 15 cm by 3.5 cm. Brittle palm leaves are sometimes softened by scrubbing a paste made of ragi and then used by the ancients for writing, similar to the use of papyrus in ancient Egypt. Manuscripts are organic materials that run the risk of decay and are prone to be destroyed by silverfish. To preserve them the ORI applies lemon grass oil on the manuscripts which acts like a pesticide. The lemon grass oil also injects natural fluidity into the brittle palm leaves and the hydrophobic nature of the oil keeps the manuscripts dry so that the text is not lost to decay due to humidity.