Friday, November 12, 2010

Panjab Digital Library


The Nanakshahi Trust based in Ajit Singh Nagar, Punjab - has started a well thought out initiative by creating the Panjab Digital Library. The main objective of this library is to preserve the history of Punjab and the Sikhs by digitizing books, records and documents, and making them available online even after the originals cease to exist. This library would ensure that the literary heritage is not lost entirely when the original hard copies are destroyed due to natural calamities, fires or at times by humans themselves in the name of religion. These virtual copies would also solve the storage problem to a certain extent.

The library was launched in 2003. Till date, it has installed 35 working stations and digitized five million pages—3,400 manuscripts, 2,990 issues of periodicals, 6,200 books, 15,578 issues of newspapers and 6,152 photographs.

A wide variety of documents have been digitized ranging from an 1866 copy of the Bhagvad Gita, texts from the Quran, Guru Granth Sahib circa 1653, even periodicals such as The Indian Express, the Akali Patrika, the Hind Samachar, The Tribune, issues of the Sikh Review (pictured below) and some other rare magazines from the pre independence era.
Read the entire article here. You can visit the website and also volunteer or adopt a book. The website also has a few pictures that document the process of digitization and also a useful page which lists out case studies that would be of use to people who are doing similar projects.

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