GUWAHATI, April 28 – In all, 30,000 manuscripts from the NE region have been digitised and micro-filmed by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA). The IGNCA has also digitally photo-documented both the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected and non-protected monuments in the NE States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.
This was disclosed by Dr Ramesh C Gaur, Librarian and Head of the Kalanidhi Division of the IGNCA. He was speaking to this newspaper on the sidelines of a three-day seminar on status of digitisation, digital preservation and access to libraries and archives in the NE India that got under way here today.
Dr Gaur said that most of the manuscripts digitised in the NE region belong to the States of Manipur and Assam. About 82 of them also belong to the Kamarupa Anusandhana Samiti (KAS). The IGNCA has also digitised the materials available with the Assam Directorate of Historical and Antiquarian Studies.
The IGNCA has also received the personal library of eminent Sankardeva scholar Prof Maheswar Neog. It has been donated by Prof Neog’s son Pranabswarup Neog. The IGNCA will be happy to receive such personal libraries of the renowned scholars of the region and these will be preserved under the names of the scholars concerned or the donors concerned, Dr Gaur said.
Both public and private libraries and archives can avail the help of the IGNCA in digitization and digitally preserving their collections on condition that one digitized copy of each of the materials should be made available to IGNCA Kalanidhi reference library for access by the scholars world over.
The IGNCA is also making microfilm copies of the rare manuscripts, books, etc., considering the fact that microfilm is the best media for long-term preservation of such materials.
Earlier, inaugurating the seminar, jointly organized by the IGNCA and the voluntary organization Anwesha at the Indian Institute of Bank Management (IIBM) here, retired IAS officer Jatin Hazarika pleaded for covering the sanchipat manuscripts and the district gazetteers under the initiative undertaken for digital preservation of the rare manuscripts, etc.
He also suggested that the institutions like the Tai Museum should also be involved in the process.
Speaking on the occasion as the guest of honour, former Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University (GU) Prof N K Choudhury suggested that the personal libraries of the region’s eminent scholars and well-off people should also be covered under the initiative.
The function which was presided over by noted anthropologist and former Vice-Chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh Prof AC Bhagabati, was also addressed by former director of the CSL, New Delhi Dr Kalpana Dasgupta, Dr Gaur, Paresh Malakar and Dudulmoni Sarma of Anwesha.
In all, 50 library experts from all over the NE region are taking part in the three-day deliberations on digitization and digital preservation of the region’s important records.