Guwahati Plus: National Digital Library of India Gives Open Access to All. ” In order to help the students as well as the public to utilize the lockdown period in various literary and academic activities, the Union Ministry of Human Resources has given free access to the National Digital Library of India (NDLI)for all. As such over 3,82,00,000 books and periodicals available with the library can now be accessed by the general public.” There does not appear to be a geographical restriction; I was able to access an Elsevier article. However I did have to have cookies enabled.
The Print: Attorney General KK Venugopal converts his rare book collection into public online library. “It lists over 570 books, some of which date back to the 17th century. The ‘antiquarian’ or rare book collection has been digitally scanned and made available for the public. The publications cover a wide range of subjects, from religion, mythology and the Vedas, to Indian art and sculpture, historical battles, the British Empire in India and tales of travels across the world.”
India Times: Over 100 names added to database of heritage trees. “Paryavaran Sena, a non-profit organisation dedicated to environment protection, has begun compiling data of more than 100 heritage trees that it has identified for preservation. All the heritage trees identified are banyan and peepal trees, and are more than 100 years old.”
Devdiscourse: Satyajit Ray’s film manuscripts digitised. “The National Digital Library of India (NDLI) on Friday launched digitized versions of filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s film manuscripts, IIT-Kharagpur said in a statement. Besides, digitised news reports of Bengali dailies ‘Jugantar’ and ‘Amrita Bazar Patrika’ on freedom struggle and socio-political developments of the pre-Independence era have also been launched, the statement said.”
Hindustan Times: How crowdsourced archives are making Indian history personal and accessible. “Online initiatives such as the Indian Memory Project, The Citizen’s Archive of India (CAI) and 1947 Partition Archives, along with Instagram handles – Brown History and Gulf South Asia, SOAS Postcards – present history in an accessible, unacademic form. They combine an ever-increasing interest in personal stories with modern storytelling techniques to document bygone times.”
New Indian Express: Natural history museum library to go online; rare collections to be digitised. “The library functions under the Department of Museums and Zoos. It has a collection of about 7,000 books, out of which 500 books fall under the rare collection category. Most of the flora and fauna inside the museum premises have been documented along with lesser-known assets. All the artefacts in the museum including ancient coins and original paintings by Raja Ravi Varma are being photographed to form an online database of the museum’s riches and heritage”
Scroll: Rediscovering Indian thought: How a scholar built a database of pre-Independence magazines. “The database indexes 315,000 entries from 255 English-language periodicals that were published between 1837 and 1947. It is, and will always be, a free resource. The database would not exist were it not for the immense hard work by a core group of research assistants – Meghna Basu, Christian Fastenrath, and Nidhi Shukla – and the help of hundreds of students and libraries around the world, and more than $350,000 in grants.” I loved this article until I started thinking about all the other endangered archives in the world and how much irreplaceable history may have been sold as waste paper.
New Indian Express: Tamil University to digitize manuscripts with funds from British Library. “Rare collections of Tamil manuscripts available in the Tamil University (TU) will now be digitized under the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) of British Library in London. ‘The British Library has approved 51,040 British Pound Sterling, which is approximately Rs 48 lakhs for the project’, said Vice-Chancellor of TU G Balasubramanian, adding that as a first instalment, the British Library has already released Rs18.50 lakhs.” Rs 48 lakhs is a little less than $68,000 USD.
Hindustan Times: Online exhibition ‘Crafted in India’ to showcase handicraft heritage. “The exquisite basketry of Angami Nagas from Nagaland, Bell Metal Craft of Payyanur in Kerala, the centuries old ‘Mata Ni Pachedi’ textile art of Gujarat and several other crafts of India are now part of Google Arts and Culture platform.”
NDTV: Film Archive Gets 30 Reels Of Rare Unedited Footage Of Mahatma Gandhi. “The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on Friday said it has obtained 30 reels of several hours of unedited footage detailing several key events from Mahatma Gandhi’s life and his death…. Primary inspection indicates the material is in good condition and NFAI will soon plan to digitise it, [NFAI Director Prakash Magdum] said.”
News18 (India): Central Heritage Database of Archaeological sites, Artefacts through Satellite Mapping Soon. “The government is planning to set up a facility for satellite mapping and documentation to create a central heritage database of archaeological sites and artefacts, sources said Sunday. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will create this digital repository with the help of the Tata Trust, which will build this facility under its Corporate Social Responsibility.”
The Economic Times: Google expands partnership with Prasar Bharati for live, archival content digitisation . “Tech giant Google on Tuesday announced a continued long-term collaboration with Prasar Bharati for live coverage on YouTube and Google Search for events of national importance such as the National Independence Day and Republic Day telecast.” Prasar Bharati is a public broadcasting agency in India.
ThePrint: Not just Modi’s museum for PMs, Indian MPs need archives and oral histories too. “Nearly 500 Members of Parliament have passed away in the last fifteen years, 25 of them belonged to India’s first Lok Sabha. That is loss of history, not just human lives. An old African saying goes: When an old person dies, a whole library burns too. Members of Parliament negotiate, debate and decide on issues that shape our country and are an invaluable part of India’s legislative and deliberative history. With each death, Indians lose valuable institutional history of Parliament and personal memories of their leaders.”
NDTV: In Budget Speech, Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Creation Of ‘Gandhipedia’. “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced the creation of a ‘Gandhipedia’ that she said would help propagate ‘positive Gandhian values’. 2019 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”
The New Indian Express: Database of rare historic records getting ready. “A vast database of rare documents which will throw light on the chequered history of the state is set to be unveiled in a couple of weeks. The database, which includes over one lakh records ranging from palm-leaf manuscripts to colonial-era documents, has been compiled as part of community archives project of State Archives Department and the Kerala State Literacy Mission.” It might not be 100% clear, but this is for India’s state of Kerala.