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.
Scroll .in: On a new Instagram account, Indians and Pakistanis are sharing their memories of living in the Gulf. “In today’s world, when migrants are increasingly being viewed with fear and suspicion, one story that successfully endures is that of the migration of South Asians to the Persian Gulf. Several centuries after the exchange of cultures and commerce began between the regions, around 3 lakh Indians still travel to the Gulf nations every year for work, adding to the range and complexity of the diasporic experience. These varied experiences are what a new Instagram account, called Gulfsouthasians, has set out to capture, with photographs connecting the Persian Gulf and South Asia in the 20th century.”
Mid Day: Tracing the India that existed before Instagram!. “By uploading the archives of the Photo Division of India on an Instagram account, Sarkari Shots, writer Alexander Keefe is doing what the sarkar should be doing.”
Hindustan Times: Delhi’s archives and records, dating back to 1803, go online. “Centuries-old land records of the national Capital and other important government documents were made available online on Wednesday after deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia launched the web portal of Delhi Archives … Delhi Archives is a custodian of Delhi government records and was established in 1972 to preserve the archival heritage of the city. The department has archival records dating to 1803.”
Millennium Post : Treasure trove: KMC unveils online archive of information about Kolkata & its history . [Kolkata used to be known as Calcutta.] “Now everyone will be able to access authentic information about Kolkata and its history from any part of the globe by a simple mouse click. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has unveiled the website of its archive… to enable people across the world gather information about the City of Joy simply by logging onto the website.”
H-HistBibl: Launch of the digital archive “The Long Emergency. Media and Democracy in India”. “The government of India declared a national emergency citing internal instability in June 1975. By June 26th, the day after emergency had been declared, media outlets in the country had received instructions on news that must be censored. Some newspapers ran blank editorials as protests. In the eighteen months that followed, the press censorship rules remained in effect and additional forms of pressure were exerted on the media. These ranged from the withdrawal of state advertisements to income tax raids on media owners and phone calls to journalists conveying ‘helpful suggestions’ about the news they might (or might not) carry. Many journalists were arrested for protesting the emergency, or for holding views that were considered inimical to state authority. Many others supported the emergency as a necessary measure. Most, however, lay low until the emergency was lifted and the media began reporting actively on the news that they had not covered in the years of the emergency, in a burst of ‘new journalism’ that would shine a light on post-emergency abuses of power as well.”
New-to-me, from Pacific Standard: Saving The Library Before It Burns. “In July of 1947, Surjan Singh Sood sensed a coming danger. The British government had announced a plan to divide colonial India into two separate states and Surjan, having already received threats on his own life, wanted to move his family to safety. He loaded his wife and children into a friend’s car and sent them away, across the Punjab province of British India, from Lahore to the city of Ludhiana. At the time, there was no border to cross between Pakistan and India, and the family made the trip with only one or two boxes, leaving most of their possessions at home. To Surjan’s middle son, Kulbhushan, it seemed inconceivable that they would not return. But a month later, Lahore became part of Pakistan. His father’s decision to move the family quickly to Ludhiana may have saved their lives.” This story is about a digital archive for the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.