April 7, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/ Punjab (April 07, 2014): To preserve the state’s heritage and literature, old manuscripts, documents, drawings and pictures related to Punjab are being digitised. The relevant information is being uploaded to provide online access to rare writings on Punjab.
The Punjab Digital Library has a whopping 3 million pages of old and new writings. Nine million pages have been digitised till date and 10,000 pages are being digitised everyday.
The mammoth project was started by Davinder Pal Singh and his associates in 2003. They did not realise at that time that they had started an endless exercise. A 15th century Sanskrit document has been digitised. One of the oldest manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib dated 1653 is now available in a digital format.
Some rare books on Punjab are being re-discovered and digitised for online access. One of these is an 1844 book by Emily Eden, titled ‘Portraits of Princes and People of India’. It includes a portrait of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Another little-known book is by Prince Waldmer of Prussia (in 1850) written in the German language.
The library’s head office is at Mohali. The digitisation work is underway at the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, and the Punjab State Archives Department with Ludhiana-based researcher Anurag Singh is playing a key role.
“The efforts are paying off. The response on the webpage is increasing gradually. It is now visited by more than 10,000 serious readers every month. We get insightful comments on the social media,” says Anurag Singh.
“More such pages are being identified. People approach us almost everyday to share old documents and texts lying with them,” he adds.
Source: “Web of information on Punjab“, by Gurvinder Singh – The Tribune (April 07).