In This Issue

From Director's Pen
"Books are lighthouses erected in a great sea of time"
-E. P. Whipple
"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."
-Oliver Wendell
Digitization is an important means of ensuring greater access to cultural material. In some cases it is the only means of ensuring that such material will be available for future generations.

"The struggle of man against power is the
struggle of memory against forgetting"

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

From Director's Pen

On my recent visits to Greece and USA, I have learnt that major trends in today's library point towards increased reliance of students and scholars on material available online. Libraries there are responding by increased digitization efforts and by developing and launching new digital libraries. In doing so even they are faced with challenges of high costs of digitization and safe-guarding of digital data. Managing complex and growing digital operations requires the understanding of new technologies, improving digitization standards and processes and ofcourse collaborative work.

PDL developed its own digitization techniques with primary focus not on creating large quantities of digital material, rather on maintaining quality of the work, still keeping it cost effective and sustainable. We are trying to build strong working relationships with scholars to prioritize digitization of important materials. We see the future of PDL's digital operations in a streamlined and efficient manner that fulfill needs of scholars by providing access to more collections every month. In this vision, we plan to digitize all available material on Sikhs and Panjab, slowly but steadily.

Our strategy to achieve this includes several initiatives, which include induction of large scale digitization technologies such as mobile digitization teams, conducting workshops so that Panjab has a more trained human resource and organize exhibitions for awareness.
Large scale digitization for online access to rare fragile historical collections of Panjab is the most important area for investing in future. PDL sees its priority in developing digitization programs driven by scholars and continuous induction of cost-effective and high-production equipment, increased collaboration with other libraries and institutions holding material on Panjab. At the same time PDL looks at the community to support its operations as this is the right time to help migrate data to a newer, digital format. This has to be done today, right now, we cannot afford for another library to be burnt or looted. Enough has been lost, let us save what has still remained.

We'll keep you posted about our progress with these and new projects in the future issues of the PDL Newsletter.

Achievements (Oct & Nov)

1252 rare books
89 manuscripts
122 pamphlets
300 photographs
260,000 pages in all
1642 GB data created

Adopt-a-Book: An opportunity!

Some readers prefer a particular book for its aesthetic appeal, others for the message of its text. Whatever their tastes or reasons, here is an opportunity for book lovers to have a say in the selection and digitization of the books that PDL selects for online public access. Some of the selected books, manuscripts during the month of November are:
  • Guru Granth Sahib
  • Vichar Sagar(Lithograph)
  • Gurmat Martand
  • Gur Girarath Kosh

During the months of December and January we plan to start digitization of museums in Panjab and Chandigarh. Permission has been granted to PDL to digitize all paintings, miniatures and artifacts in all the eleven museums in this region. Moreover, we will digitize 200 manuscripts and 700 books in the next two months.

Scholars and religious personalities honored us by paying a visit to Panjab Digital Library. Prominent among these were Himadri Banerjee, Nanak Singh Nishter, Jagmohan Singh, Giani Kewal Singh (Ex. Jathedar Damdama Sahib), Paramjit Singh (UKPHA) and Bibi Kiranjot Kaur. Their appreciation and suggestions further boosted our determination.

  • "The issue of the loss of heritage and documents has long been lamented by many Sikhs. In fact, one of my fellow (langarHall) writers blogged about the need to 'preserve what history we have been left with.' One group which has been silently seeking to remedy this problem is PDL. Quietly working on a massive project for over the past 6 years, it has launched the Panjabi Digital Library"
  • "A fantastic project - critically needed. It enjoys invaluable material and moral support from Gurpal Singh Bhuller, people at the Sikh Research Institute and
    many others" 
    - I.J. Singh (New York, U.S.A.)
  • Taking the Bull by the Horns: Preserving Our History
    Gurpal Singh Bhuller

A mobile exhibition was organized from 28th November to 18th December at Chandigarh Carnival. The exhibition was inaugurated by Lt. Gen.(Retd.) S.F. Rodrignes, Governor of Panjab and administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh. The exhibition received an overwhelming response. Over 20,000 people visited. The exhibition visited about 15 educational institutions in Chandigarh.

This could not have been possible without generous donations from you. Sincere thanks to all who have contributed in diverse ways to help build and support this initiative. To maintain the work at the same pace, we seek your inputs on the Perceptions, Possibilities, and Practicalities of our mission to locate, digitize, preserve, collect and make accessible the accumulated wisdom of the Panjab region, without distinction as to script, language, religion, nationality, or other physical condition.

PDL is successful because of your consistent support and belief in us. Thank you!

               Panjab Digital Library
 Revealing the Invisible Heritage of Panjab