Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sikkim delegates attends Seminar On Digitisation of Ancient Manuscripts

GANGTOK: The Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department recently attended a three-day seminar on the ‘Status of Digitisation, Digital Preservation and Access to Libraries and Archives in North-East India’. The seminar was conducted in Guwahati between 28 -30 April and was jointly organised by Anwesha, a non-profit organisation which promotes the culture of reading and quality books and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
There were delegates from all the states of the North East. The main purpose of the seminar was to study the possibilities of sourcing and digitising ancient manuscripts from around the region to facilitate intellectual resource sharing and also preserving them digitally. It is especially important in the North East for as the pamphlet informed, “the climatic conditions in the North East and its proneness to natural calamities make the preservation of valuable books and manuscripts an uphill task in the region.” Another purpose was the discussions on easy access to books and manuscripts in regional libraries and to introduce librarians to the digital cataloguing.

The discussions were led by Dr Ramesh C Gaur, Librarian and HoD, Kalanidhi, IGNCA and Mrs Kalpana Dasgupta, Former Director, CSI and Former Librarian, National Library of India. Dr Gaur spoke on ‘Digital Preservation: Issues and Challenges” and also stressed on the commitment of IGNCA towards projects that work towards the preservation of manuscripts. Mrs Dasgupta drew on her extensive experience in her field to illustrate the advantages of digitising and microfilming, while maintaining that mere digitisation isn’t enough if it is not followed up by cataloguing and resource sharing.
Sikkim was represented by C Shrestha, who gave a presentation on “Archiving in Sikkim”. Other speakers included Dr I Majaw from Meghalaya, Dr ARD Prasad from Bengaluru who spoke on softwares such as KOHA and DSPACE, Dr Shyam Kishore Singh from Manipur, Dr K C Satpathy from NIT Silchar and Dr Manoj Sinha from Assam, Dr A L Moorthy, DESIDOC, new Delhi, who spoke on Copyright Issues in Digital Era.
The seminar was informative and useful. It ended with a resolution to chalk out a status report which would also serve as a road map for future policy making and execution of the digitisation process of ancient manuscripts. These would include recommendations to be implemented in a phased manner. There is also to be a booklet comprising of reports culled from the different presentations.

No comments: