Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2001 11:34:59 -0500 To: Indology List <INDOLOGY@LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK> From: "Aditya, the Cheerful HIndu Skeptic" <aditya2@MEDIAONE.NET> Subject: Bihar's oriental library to go on Net
In case you have not read it else where it may be of interest to you.
Patna, Mar 2 - A beautiful catalog of ancient and rare manuscripts will now be available online. The internationally acclaimed Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library here is soon going to put its collection on the Net.
The library has 21,000 rare manuscripts and 200,000 printed books in various languages including Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Turkish and French.
"Jehangirnamah," or memoirs of Jehangir, and "Padshanamah," having 18 exquisite miniatures and seven drawings of buildings, and 113 paintings by the famous court artists of emperor Akbar are the major attractions of the library. It has preserved a unique copy of the manuscript of diwan (minister) Hafiz Shiraji containing autographs and writings of Mughal emperors Humayun and Jehangir.
Besides putting all these rare manuscripts, books and paintings on the Net the library is also planning to reproduce them in English, Hindi and Urdu languages for mass circulation in a bid to fulfill the wish of the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who wrote in the visitors book here in 1953 "I should like to see the manuscripts being reproduced using the latest techniques so others can see them and enjoy".
"Under the development program of the library, all the details about its activities, other matters and future plans would be made available on the Internet for the benefit of the scholars and viewers the world over," director of the Khuda Baksha library, Mohammad Zaiuddin Ansari said.
He said the library was already computerized. The library is planning to put on the Net its entire background, history and its activities and functions in the first phase, Ansari said adding the library authorities would take up digitization of the rare manuscripts in the second phase of the program.
And in the third phase, the director said, the online catalog of all the printed books would be completed. The library has instituted a research fellowship on the lines of the one offered by the university grants commission, in a bid to popularize and accelerate research work.
Ansari said the library had won international recognition for having rich collections of manuscripts, rare books and original paintings of Mughal, Rajput, Turkish and Iranian schools. The library is also planning to publish the biography of the architects of modern India like Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Mazarul Haque, Zakir Hussain and Fakruddin Ali Ahmed in Hindi, English and Urdu languages, he added.
Meanwhile the Indian government is planning to send "Tarikh-e-Khandan-Timuria," which is the prized possession of the Khuda Baksha Oriental Library, for display at the festival of India in Malaysia in April. The manuscript, the only one of its kind available in the world, contains 132 paintings by the court painter of Akbar the great and also the writings of Mughal emperor Jehangir.