BENJAMIN LEWIS RICE Benjamin Lewis Rice, one of the great European orientalists, was born on July 17, 1837. After completing his education in England he served there for a few years. Then he came to Bangalore in 1860, and was appointed as the Head-master of the Central High School. He was the Inspector of Schools in Mysore and Coorg between 1865 and 1868. In 1868 he became the Director of Public Instruction in Mysore State which position he held till 1883. He was also the Secretary to the Hunter's Committee in 1882. In 1883 he became the Secretary to the Government, Education Department. When the Department of Archeology was established in the Mysore State in 1884 he was appointed part-time Director of Archæological Researches, in addition to his duties as the Secretary. Finally, in the year 1890, Government of Mysore recognising the value of the archæological researches, appoicted Rice as the full-time Director of the Department. He continued in this position till 1906. After 22 years of strenuous and valuable service, at the age of 70 he retired from Government Service. Rice acquainted himself with this country, its people and language at a very early age. His extensive tours in the State both as Inspector of Schools and as Director of Public Instruction enabled him to acquire a first-hand knowledge of the then Mysore State. He also collected a large number of manuscripts, local traditions and historical records. His experience and collection of these materials enabled him to edit his two famous volumes of the Mysore Gazetteer, first published in 1877-78 and again revised in 1897, in such a comprehensive manner. It was he who prepared the first Census Report of the Mysore State in 1881. Inscriptions which were prominently visible in front of the villages or near temples naturally attracted the attention of Rice. He began to study these inscriptions as a hobby and published research articles. In the very first volume of Indian Antiquary, started in 1876 by Burgess, Rice's article on Mercara copper plate records appeared. In 1879 his ‘Mysore Inscriptions' was published. In it he gave trasslations of many inscriptions discovered at various places in the State. Immediately after taking charge of the Department of Archæology he began the publication of the series entitled Epigraphia Carnatica and issued Volume I “Coorg Inscriptions” in 1886. His next volume was “Inscriptions at Sravanabelgola ", published in 1889. When he took over the Department of Archæology as a full-time Director in 1890, systematie survey for the materials of archeological interest became possible. Ap enthusiastic organiser and a zealous scholar, Rice toured all parts of the Mysore State and collected thousands of inscriptions. In the course of sixteen years of his directorship he brought out ten more large Volumes of Epigraphia Carnatica. Each volume generally consists of the inscriptions discovered in a District. Shimoga District, however, is represented in two volumes. Total number of inscriptions he published in these twelve volumes is 8869. Most of them are of great value in elucidating the history of Karnataka. These inscriptions form an indispensible source of information for the study of the history and culture of Karnataka. Epigraphical discoveries made by Rice enabled him to trace the history of Karnataka back to the 3rd century B.C. The results of these collections were summarised by Rice in a separate volume entitled Mysore and Coorg from Inscriptions. Side by side, he also collected thousands of manuscripts. These were deposited in the Mysore Government Oriental Library which was established for this purpose. In 1884 he also initiated the series entitled Bibliotheca Carnatica in which he brought out a few highly important Kannada classical works, viz. Karnataka-Bhasha-Bhushana, Karnataka-Sabdanusasana, PampaRamayana, Pampa-Bharata, Kavirajamarga and Kavyavalokana. UIT .