Patna: Panjab Digital Library (PDL) has added a new project in its kitty when it started digitizing the rare manuscripts available at Takht Sri Patna Sahib on December 5, 2011. The collection of Patna Sahib has 96 manuscripts along with innumerable rare books. Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has facilitated PDL to take up this project. Anurag Singh, while welcoming the initiative, said, “This project is an important step towards digital preservation of heritage. Now this material will be available to research scholars on their computer screens which will save their time and energy.” He added, “PDL is consistently preserving archival and heritage material stored in remote areas in individual as well as institutional collection. We have lost lots of valuable heritage material due to lack of timely initiatives but it is never late to be cautious about future losses.” Patna Sahib is one of five Sikh Takhts and it had been associated with Ninth and Tenth Sikh Gurus, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.
Sukhdev Singh, Incharge, Sikh Itihas Research Board, is closely associated with the project. He said, “There we have fifty manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth belonging to Guru period and immediately after that. The contemporary manuscripts of Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh have their signatures.”
He says, “Digital technology has increased the possibilities of preservation and accessibility immensely. This project will help us compile heritage material scattered at different places on digital-scape. This is a step forward to preserve community’s heritage for posterity. With this initiative we are trying to match the world of growing technology in the field of knowledge.”
PDL has already digitized over six million pages of rare literature out of which one million are online at www.PanjabDigitalLibrary.org. Digitization of Patna Sahib’s archive was on PDL’s agenda for long. Davinder Pal Singh, Executive Director of PDL explains the importance of this project, “This is a major project of PDL which we were pursuing for many years. Gurus’ signed and dated copies of Guru Granth Sahib are of immense significance. It is a privilege, which cannot be comprehended in words that we got the chance to digitally preserve these copies; a very valuable addition to PDL’s database for posterity.” We can be sure that accessibility to these manuscripts is not a lesser privilege.
Friday, December 16th, 2011 | Posted by The Weekly Voice