VVRI Hoshiarpur (fwd)

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Tue Nov 28 05:08:10 EST 2000

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this is an interesting report on work going on at the vvri, hoshiarpur
(now chandigarh) to microfilm and digitize (mainly) sanskrit manuscripts.
i thought this might be worth forwarding, since it appeared in the web


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Date: Monday, November 27, 2000, 11:44 PM +0000
From: Jeevan Deol <jeevandeol at hotmail.com>

Subject: vvri hoshiarpur

tribune, 28 november 2000:

Hi-tech project to save old manuscripts
By Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service


DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, housing the historical Lal Chand Shodh
Pustakalaya founded in Lahore, is working on a war footing to conserve a
valuable collection of more than 8000 manuscripts and 9000 rare books into
something more lasting and easily transferable than paper.

Not many researchers in the field of history or literature would know that
the DAV College is home to some of the oldest manuscripts and rarest text
books of vedic literature in their original form. Some of these have been
written on palm leaf, others on paper and some others on birch bark.

The story behind the library's shift from Lahore to India is as intriguing
as the collection. The DAV Management Committee had in 1917, founded the
Raibahadur Lal Chand Research Library to encourage research in Indology.
During partition the manuscripts and the books were secretly brought by DAV
workers in trucks, buses, military vans to India and later the whole
collection was compiled in Sadhu Ashram Hoshiarpur and became a part of the
Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute. In 1996, this collection was
shifted to Chandigarh.

The manuscripts include copies of the Vedas, Samhitas, Brahamanas,
Upnishads, Dharamsutras, Puranas, Upuranas, Ayurveda and Smritis alongwith
the rare books on subjects as varied as art, architecture, astronomy,
astrology, mathematics, economics, ethics, lexicons, polity etc. The
college is now cataloguing the complete collection of books and
manuscripts and will be printing the catalogue for reference.

Also, the library is busy converting this ocean of rare knowledge into
more accessible and retrievable form of CDs. Every leaf of the manuscript
is scanned and transferred onto the computer where it is cleaned off
marks, numbered and then printed if required or transferred into CDs for
reference.  Photostat copies of many of these rare manuscripts are also
being made available by the research centre to all those who are involved
in research of this variety. In fact the library gets most of its research
scholars from abroad who are impressed with the state of these documents.

With the manuscripts and books in thousands, the college has already spent
almost 28 lakh rupees on this monumental work of conservation of this
valuable collection. The college has also written to the Government of
India to help them in their effort but no positive response has been
received by the college authorities. Says Dr KK Dhawan, honorary director
of this library, the Government wrote back asking if the DAV college was a
registered body or not. We here at the library need more funds than what
we can afford here at the level of the college and it will be a great
service to the nation if some effort is shared in the preservation of its
rich heritage.

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