News Nine: Bhasha Centre’s new digital library aims to engage with theatre community, further collaborations between playwrights

News Nine: Bhasha Centre’s new digital library aims to engage with theatre community, further collaborations between playwrights. “The Drama Library is a free-for-all, open-access digital library of ‘unpublished’ Indian plays from English to Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, Arabic, Sindhi and Dakhni Arabic.”

H-Asia: Announcing the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive

H-Asia: Announcing the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive. “The product of many years of work by many, many hands, the online archive is a portal to the private collection of Syed Sajjad Zaheer (1905-1973), renown Urdu litterateur and political activist. As the personal and working archive of an author, activist and family member, the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive is a rich collection of materials from letters to manuscripts to photographs.”

Buried in dust: Birth, death certificates from Jaipur circa 1890 (Times of India)

Times of India: Buried in dust: Birth, death certificates from Jaipur circa 1890. “Sheaves of birth and death certificates written in Urdu and dating back to 1890 lie wrapped in a dust-caked piece of cloth atop a cupboard in the basement of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation. These are the first birth and death records of the erstwhile princely state of Jaipur, predating the national registration system by almost eight decades.”

Daily Times: After Zamindar, PUCIT launches digital archives of Urdu paper Inqilab

Daily Times: After Zamindar, PUCIT launches digital archives of Urdu paper Inqilab. “The Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT) has launched digital archives of Inqilab, a famous Lahore-based Urdu newspaper started in 1922…. The college had also launched the digital archives of Zamindar earlier this year as part of a larger effort to make a digital library of historical documents and make it available to public at large free of cost.”

British Library: Endangered Urdu Periodicals

British Library: Endangered Urdu Periodicals. “EAP839 produced digital images of rare Urdu periodicals from the 19th to the first half of the 20th century in order to preserve and make them available to researchers. During this period the project team has successfully produced 3,832 issues. Urdu journals played a significant role in the development of Urdu literature, especially fiction, religion, history, poetry and culture of the South Asian region as a whole, particularly in Pakistan and India.” The material is not yet available online, but should be later this year.

Pem nem: a 16th-century Urdu romance goes on-line (British Library)

British Library: Pem nem: a 16th-century Urdu romance goes on-line. “One of the treasures of the Urdu manuscript collection at the British Library has been digitised and made available online. The Pem Nem (Add.16880) is one of the finest examples of manuscript illustration from the court of Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II, who ruled the kingdom of Bijapur from 1580 to 1627. Containing 34 miniature paintings illustrating the Sufi love story of prince Shah Ji and princess Mah Ji, the manuscript was written by an author by the name of Hasan Manju Khalji, bearing the pen name of Hans.” Gorgeous!

Now Available: Collection of Old Music Recordings from India

Now available: a very old collection of musical recordings from India. “Over the crackle of an old record, you can hear a woman singing in Urdu. Though listening to her is as easy as clicking a few buttons on the British Library website, her voice comes to you across vast distances in space and time. Sometime in the early 20th century, engineers recorded the voice of a woman called Malkajan for the German company Odeon, which pressed shellac discs for Indian record collectors in the 1910s and 30s. Now her work is part of a series of recordings called The Odeon Collection, digitized by Mumbai record collector Suresh Chandvankar with help from a grant from the British Library.”