Category Archives: South Asian Digital Archives

Early print literature on the history of Tamil Nadu

The Roja Muthiah Research Library (RMRL) proposes to preserve early print literature on the history of Tamilnadu by microfilming the publications and later by digitizing the microfilm reels. A wealth of 19th & 20th century material lies scattered in different libraries and private collections in Tamilnadu. These libraries are under-funded and struggle to preserve their collections. RMRL has as its highest priority the preservation of important Tamil publications before they deteriorate beyond the point of use. Some of the items that have been located are related to Dravidian movement, political movements, history of Vaishnavism, Saivism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

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Archival records of pre-1947 Telugu printed materials

The objective of this project is to microfilm/digitise 2,000 pre-1920s printed materials, in Telugu located in old libraries, which are fast disintegrating.

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The collections that will be selected for copying under this project are the books and periodicals published during the 19th and first half of 20th centuries in Telugu language in South India. Some of them are typical local/small town publications that were preserved in village and town libraries. The Telugu language is considered the Italian of the East. The first stirrings of cultural and religious renaissance were felt in the Telugu speaking districts of Madras Presidency under the British rule. The most powerful expression of social and cultural interaction between the East and the West could be seen in Telugu print culture. From the revival of medical knowledge to various forms of literary genre – classical Prabandha, Ithihasa and Puranic tradition and Panchangas [from 1860s] and Satakas, western forms like novel, short story, poem, drama and literary criticism – could be seen in Telugu printed materials. The print materials are the only living source for the reconstruction of South Indian history. This region is attracting a lot of attention by global community of scholars working on South Asia. Making this valuable material available to the wider audience is therefore imperative.

Most of the print materials are now housed in old village and small town libraries, mostly started during 1890s and 1930s.

Tasveer Ghar: Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture

Tasveer Ghar is a trans-national virtual “home” for collecting, digitizing, and documenting various materials produced by South Asia’s exciting popular visual sphere including posters, calendar art, pilgrimage maps and paraphernalia, cinema hoardings, advertisements, and other forms of street and bazaar art. Some of the key fields of exploration within the network are: (a) the social and performative life of images; (b) the histories and everyday lives and voices of producers, disseminators and ‘consumers’; (c) various techniques of visuality/media of visualisation (for instance, ritual or theatrical per­formance, or political spectacle).

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Digital Himalaya

A project to develop digital collection, storage and distribution strategies for multimedia anthropological information from the Himalayan region.

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The Digital Himalaya project was designed by Alan Macfarlane and Mark Turin as a strategy for archiving and making available ethnographic materials from the Himalayan region. Based at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, the project was established in December 2000. From 2002 to 2005, the project moved to the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University and began its collaboration with the University of Virginia. From July 2014, the project has relocated to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and is engaged in a long term collaboration with Sichuan University.