Oriental Research Institute (ORI) is situated near the Crawford Hall
. It has an invaluable collection of over 50,000 palm-leaf manuscripts in Sanskrit
and other major South Indian languages. The institution was established by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1891.
It was started in the form of a library under the administrative control of the Department of Education. Later, the library was managed by the Mysore University. It altered its name as Oriental Research Institute in 1943. In 1966, the collection of Kannada manuscripts was transferred from ORI to the Institute of Kannada Studies (situated in Manasa Gangotri campus).
It houses an office and four sections that include manuscript collection, publication, printed books and research works. It has more than 100 to 300 researchers that consists of foreign students and scholars.
The Institute also holds descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts. The Ford Foundation and the Government of India provided financial assistance to collect and protect the old manuscripts.