The "National Library, India" in Calcutta has announced a project to digitize rare, old material. If implemented successfully and made accessible to scholars around the world, this material would have a significant impact on teaching and research about India. Other digitization efforts for older material in India include the following:
- the Digital South Asia Library housed at the University of Chicago where efforts are ongoing to digitize classic dictionaries, gazetteers, and maps. DSAL undertakes manual keying and encoding of each object for greater accuracy, searchability, and manipulation.
- Google Books Google's process is fast and massive but involves machine digitization and computerized character recognition which can generate significant errors.
- Virtual e-text archive of Indic texts at Indology
- See also Emory Libraries' Digitization Program and our Libguide on South Asian Studies for an overview of all sources digital, print, and multi media.
Here's a copy of the original 10/9/2009 report from the Press Trust of India via Yahoo News:
"In efforts aimed at improving services, the National Library in Kolkata has launched a major programme to computerise its services and digitise rare and old material, including old newspaper stocks. The National Library, the largest repository of print resources in the country, has also initiated work to make its website accessible on-line, which will be launched soon, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.
"The National Informatics Centre has been assigned the work of updating all digitised and computerised data through a dynamic website and make them available for on-line access. The website will be launched very shortly," it said.
The library, which has already digitised 32,00,000 pages from 9,141 books published prior to 1900 in English and different Indian languages, has also constituted an expert committee to identify, select and recommend materials for digitisation. Besides digitisation of reading material and launching a website, the library will microfilm and later digitise old newspaper stocks for conservation and preservation.
The library has 5000 rolls of microfilms. As part of its programme to computerise and modernise its services, it has also replaced the old ICT infrastructure with new computers and networking system.
The popular Esplanade Reading Room at the City Centre Library will be converted into a city hub, where all the digital records of the Library will be made available to the scholars. "
Submitted by Tim Bryson, South Asia and Religious Studies Librarian, December 17, 2009.
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