Google Blog: Explore the rich legacy of Hindi cinema. “Journey through our collection of over 7,000 cinema artifacts and learn from stories curated by our partners— or, play our first-ever Hindi cinema puzzle party game. And with the help of augmented reality technology, project the poster of your favorite Hindi movie anytime and anywhere.”
The Hindu: Servants of Knowledge to digitally archive Motilal Banarsidass’ out-of-copyright books. “Servants of Knowledge and Public Resource… are set to take up digital archiving of some of the publications of Motilal Banarsidass, a 120-year-old Delhi-based publisher. Motilal Banarsidass recently arrived at an agreement with Public Resource and Servants of Knowledge to create a free and open archive of all its out-of-copyright books or old books that will not be republished.”
Nagaland Page (India): Tetso College Launches Digital Language Archive At The Listener Nagaland Festival. “An initiative by Tetso College, [North East India Indigenous People’s Archive] is a comprehensive digital repository dedicated to host cultural and linguistic materials of the region and is one of the first of this kind in the region.”
New-to-me, from MIT Technology Review: The grassroots push to digitize India’s most precious documents. “The museum building houses the largest reference library for Gandhian philosophy in the state of Karnataka, and over the next year, the large assortment of books—including the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, a translation of his autobiography, Experiments with Truth, into the Kannada language, and other rare items—will be digitized and their metadata recorded before they join the Servants of Knowledge (SoK) collection on the Internet Archive.”
Indian Express: National Film Archive of India seeks donations for digitisation, restoration of films. “National Film Archive of India, which is now a part of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), has sought funds in the form of sponsorships and donations for carrying out film digitisation and restoration projects.”
Mid-Day: Art Deco Mumbai creates exhaustive database of city architects responsible for its magnificent architecture. “Iconic buildings like Regal Cinema in Colaba or the Sona Mahal at Marine Drive may have made for terrific backgrounds for your Instagram Reels, but how much do you know about the people who made these buildings possible? Art Deco Mumbai, a not for profit organisation that documents the history of Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings, has compiled an exhaustive list of architects and designers of yore to specifically fill this gap in the city’s history.”
Telegraph India: Independent filmmaker sets up digital archive on Adivasis named after Father Stan Swamy. “The Stan Swamy Archive of Adivasi Narratives is available on YouTube as a repository of videos on the tribal way of life, their culture, interviews with achievers and common people from the community and the problems the Adivasis face, including displacement from agrarian land because of government projects.”
Reuters: Sidelined from academia, India’s Dalits archive caste history. “Vijay Surwade may have worked as a bank manager by day – but for five decades he spent his evenings building one of the world’s biggest archives dedicated to India’s pioneering Dalit rights campaigner BR Ambedkar.”
The Print (India): 80 years of qawwali in Bombay cinema — one man is archiving Hindi music’s crown jewel. “Much before Indians started grooving to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, qawwalis were a jewel in the crown in scores of Bollywood movies through five decades. It featured Muslim characters, showcased the lyricist’s poetry and quickened the pace and plot twists in the storylines. And then the qawwalis in Hindi films started to dwindle. Now, it is largely a phenomenon that has moved on to the realm of scholarly research and study. And Yousuf Saeed, has done just that with The Cinema Qawwali Project.” . I didn’t know what qawwali was, so I checked MegaGladys. The response, sourced from Wikipedia, was “Qawwali is a form of Sufi Islamic devotional singing, originating in South Asia.”
Press Information Bureau (India): Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has launched an ambitious project to digitize the research material in its possession. “Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has launched an ambitious project to digitize the research material in its possession. Under this project, the goal is to ensure the conversion of the entire India House Collection of the Library consisting of 40,000 books, reports, periodicals (containing around 70,00,000 pages), 55,00,000 pages of archival documents, and of 30,000 microfilms and 57,000 microfiches (consisting of approximately 2.5 crore images) to digital form.” If you’re not from India and confused by the commas in the numbers, this will enlighten you.
Hindustan Times: The custodial death of Indian history. “The custodial death of Indian history is all but certain. The funds or expertise required to preserve and manage archives will not be available on the required scale. A few high-profile archives will survive, but the bulk will perish. The only hope is to digitise all surviving records and make them freely available on a well-designed, user-friendly platform.”
The Hindu Business Line: National Film Heritage Mission ramping up digitisation and restoration of heritage films. “The Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur last Saturday reviewed the progress made under the National Film Heritage Mission at National Film Archive of India. NFHM is tasked with preservation and digital restoration of heritage Indian films, in a bid to make them available to audiences worldwide.”
British Library Endangered Archives Blog: New online – February 2023. “This month we would like to highlight five new collections that can be accessed via the EAP website. Two of these are from India, with the others from Mali, Mongolia, and Brazil.”
The Hindu: NCBS archives receive $440,000 grant to collect, preserve history of science in contemporary India . “The Archives plans to collect, preserve and digitize artefacts, including manuscripts, photographs, oral testimonies and histories of individuals and groups who have played a vital role in the development and dissemination of knowledge and practices in ecology and conservation.” NCBS is the National Centre for Biological Sciences.
One India: No war record with NAI shocks historians. “The assertion of National Archives of India (NAI) that it does not have the records of India’s three major wars – one with China in 1962 and two with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 – has shocked the nation, especially the historians. For any civilized country, the records of wars are an important repository of historical facts. But the governments of that time failed in their duty to hand over the records to NAI.”