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.