Rare documents to be added on PDL website

Punjab Digital Library (PDL) will be adding 2.5 million pages by the mid of 2014 on its website, so that rare works and manuscripts written long ago can be accessed online anywhere around the globe.

These pages will include the manuscripts present in City Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, the thesis written by various scholars from Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, various scriptures collected on Punjabi culture and history from rural parts of Punjab, 5,000 rare books on the records of British India government and various other culture-specific manuscripts written decades back.

The process of digitisation in Chandigarh, which includes the conversion of manuscripts and documents available in City Museum in digital form, was announced by Dr NPS Randhawa, former director of Government Museum and Art Gallery, in 2009.

"The documents of City Museum such as the letters written by legendary architects like Le Corbusier, his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, Mathew Nowicki and Albert Mayer, who worked on the concept of the city, were digitised by the end of of 2010", said P C Sharma, present director of City Museum.

Earlier, it could only be accessed in the reference library of the museum, but now it can be accessed through the PDL website anytime, anywhere. The present documents that are being digitised are the architectural layouts and maps which had planning details of Chandigarh by Le Corbuiser, he added.

PDL is also handling the project of converting 780 manuscripts available in Punjab Archival Library, which dates back to the period of Independence, said Davinder Pal Singh, director, PDL, Chandigarh.

The access to these documents is free, he said, adding that it is an important step to preserve and expand the cultural heritage of Punjab. "We are planning to start workshops through which we can create awareness among school students regarding the digital information available in the library," he added.

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