Category Archives: Library System

British Library plans to digitize 11 million old manuscripts

The project called “Two Centuries of Indian Print” will scan books in 22 languages, dating from between 1714 and 1914. It is part of the celebrations for the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture, announced in 2015, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Kingdom. The British government-funded project was inaugurated at the library by Britain’s Indian-origin Employment Minister Priti Patel. Patel is the senior-most person of Indian origin in Prime Minister David Cameron’s cabinet.

“Digitising the world’s largest collection of historic South Asian books, many dating back hundreds of years, is an important milestone in our shared history which will further strengthen the deep cultural ties between our two great nations. This reflects Prime Minister Modi’s aspirations to make India’s cultural treasures accessible and builds on his momentous visit to the UK last year where we first announced these plans,” said Patel, who is also the government’s official Indian Diaspora Champion.


The project’s first phase will begin soon, and the British Library is also requesting donations in addition to the government’s sponsorship. 200,000 pages from around 1000 books in the Indian language of Bengali will be scanned in this phase, including the first Bengali book published in 1778. The project has chosen the Bengali titles to begin with because demand for them is quite high. The library plans to digitize the sruti and smriti texts of the Indian scriptural canon next. The srutis primarily include the Upanishads and Vedas, while the smritis include epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharat.

“It is the mission of the British Library to make the vast intellectual and cultural resources we hold accessible to anyone, anywhere,” said Roly Keating, the library’s Chief Executive. “By digitising some of the riches held in our South Asian printed collections, we want to enable people all over the world to appreciate India’s great cultural heritage in new and innovative ways. In India itself, the National Virtual library of India is ushering in a new era for digital research – this exciting project will make millions of pages of historic content available to researchers in the subcontinent.”


IISc library to digitise all books, doctoral theses

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been digitising lakhs of books and thousands of doctoral theses at its library. 

Books are being digitised under the Digital Library of India programme, which provides for digitisation of freely accessible rare books collected from various libraries in India. The premier institute is also giving importance to digitisation of doctoral theses and journals.

A view of Connemara Public Library. (Below) Representatives of public libraries in India at a meet in Chennai. Express

The process of digitisation began six years ago. So far, the IISc has digitised 2,500 books and as many theses. Now, 10,000 bound volume journals and more than 5,500 titles are available online. The library subscribes to 2,500 e-journals. Since 2009, all journals are being subscribed online, except for some Indian journals.

The library has more than 8,000 theses and at least two lakh books, according to Puttabasavaiah, deputy librarian at the IISc. Six months ago, a firm approached the institute to digitise the theses in the library. This proposal is under consideration of the library committee and it is looking into the cost factor and the time frame, he said.

The committee had outsourced scanning thesis papers. The remaining work like preparing the index, making data legible and easy searching with links was done by the library staff. If the committee approves outsourcing, the organisation will do the complete work. The onus of maintaining authenticity and accuracy will be on the organisation, Puttabasavaiah said.

While only non-copyright books can be digitised, the main task is to digitise theses. Each thesis has around 250 pages and around 5,000 theses are to be digitised.

The earliest thesis of 1983 as well as books dating to 1888 have been digitised. The aim of digitisation is to back up data and make it easily available to students and researchers associated with IISc round the clock. Since the library has timing restrictions and information may be required at late hours, the digitisation will help. The library will get to know which journal and book is popular and searched the most.

Presently, the digitised data is accessible to the IISc community alone. Those from outside the IISc can only see the abstracts. They have to register with the IISc to access the data and there is a separate portal for theses



e-library in Cuttack soon

The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) plans to turn the Biswanath Pandit Central Library at Khannagar into an e-library. With the implementation of the Rs 20 lakh project, readers can access textbooks, reference books, journals and other publications online. The library will have improved infrastructure for online reading. “More than 15 computers will be installed with internet connections in the library along with an air-conditioned reading room in the first phase,” said A. Sridevi, chairperson of BMC’s standing committee on education, recreation and culture.

“There are 57,700 books and manuscripts in the library. With the funding, we will digitize a few books now to start with and cover all the books in phases,” added Sridevi.


A team of officials will visit various metro cities to learn about the e-library system. “Soon after the review, we will start work, which we aim to finish in the next 12 months,” she informed, adding “This is for the first time an e-library will be launched in the city.” swanath Pandit Central Library was run from Saheed Bhawan in 1981 till it was shifted to a permanent address in Khannagar in 1998.


Source- timesofindia