Panjab Digital Library - Jul-Aug 2017 Newsletter
  ਚਿੱਠੀ-ਪੱਤਰ | ਸਾਵਣ-ਭਾਦੋਂ 549  Newsletter | Jul-Aug 2017  
"We are our culture and tradition; if there is no culture or tradition, we are no one." - Tamerlan Kuzgov

Culture is "the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another", in the words of Geert Hofstede. The distinctiveness and uniqueness that a culture provides to its people cannot be measured in material terms. No culture can be isolated from the history of its people. Each act of ours adds something to our culture and tradition, and therefore we automatically become actors in this large, endless project called culture. And as actors, we all have to play our roles living which becomes our responsibility and saving which becomes our prerogative.

In This Issue
Digitization Project
Outreach Activities
Support PDL
Thank You


Digitization Project
Digitization project in the last seven months has given mixed results. Due to resource crunch we had to retrench some staff, which led to decrease in the number of pages we could digitize. The good part is that we could digitize a lot of very rare records. Out of these a lot of records do not have a second copy.

Some of the instances being official files of Departments of Home and Foreign Affairs of British Punjab (1880-1947), pre-partition records of Commerce & Industry, Finance and Education Departments, proceedings of Home, Political and Municipal departments, Ruchi Ram Sawhney collection and Records of Revenue. A whole lot of Photographs, Books, Phulkaris, Magazines, Documents and Manuscripts were also digitized.

The prominent of these are Liaison Agency records of 1947-49. The Liaison Agency was established in October, 1947. The agency was established on both sides of Panjab’s to trace missing people. Social workers were associated actively with the scheme. The District Liaison Officers were to supply information regarding abducted persons to be recovered. The East Punjab Liaison agency operated till 30th November, 1948 alongwith the Women Recovery Organization which was associated with it.

The following opened their strong rooms for us to digitize their records. Department of Culture, Punjab; Punjab State Archives; Sheesh Mahal, Patiala; Ranbir Singh; Giani Gurdit Singh; Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa; Kanwarjit Singh Kang; Raja Budhishwar Pal; Amarjit Chadda; Amrinder Singh; R P Singh; and Manpreet Singh.

  Total Pages 768,028
  Files (British Records) 8920
  Photographs 2661
  Books 1694
  Negatives 942
  Magazines 599


Outreach Activities

Exhibition: During the worldwide celebrations of the 350th Gurpurab of the Tenth Master Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, Panjab Digital Library collaborated with the Bihar Government to setup an exhibition on January 05-11, 2017 portraying all the important chapters from the life and times of the Guru. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Shiv Chandra Ram, Hon'ble Minister, Art, Culture & Youth Department, Bihar. The exhibition had an average footfall of over 20000 persons per day. Shri Nitish Kumar, Hon'ble Chief Minister, visited the exhibition and he was given a guided tour of the exhibition by Davinder Pal Singh, Executive Director, PDL. The CM was astonished at the information he gathered from the exhibits which he read enthusiastically, and spent over an hour appreciating the exhibition.

Catalogue: PDL had also come up with a catalogue titled "Emperor-Prophet Guru Gobind Singh Sahib" which is based on the theme of the exhibition. It portrays all significant incidents and chapters from Guru Sahib's life. Bihar government also released a trilingual book in English, Panjabi and Hindi containing articles about the Guru on this occasion.
The catalogue can be purchased from here.

Monuments & Artifacts: PDL has also bagged a project from Punjab Tourism Department to photograph all protected monuments of Panjab. Approximately 2,500 photographs of about 60 digitized monuments have been accummulated so far. In addition, another project to digitize all the artifacts of museums in underway which PDL has got from Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board.

Curation: PDL had accumulated a large collection of photographs, lithographs and paintings. To bring these personal collections with great historical and social significance out of confinement, PDL has been working towards cataloguing and curating this bulk of images. Over double than the promised 5000 photographs (10750 photographs) have been catalogued and curated. Metadata is being created. The photograph collection of PDL has crossed the figure of 100,000.


Infrastructural Advancements

PDL has made some infrastructural advancements in form of a new Archives Room which will enhance the way rare records are preserved. This addition will help PDL preserve hundreds of rare records in a more sophisticated and professional way. PDL is also in process of designing a Display Gallery and it will be set up as soon as we have funds for the same. A Conference Room has also been made functional with a show of a documentary on Dalip Singh, arranged by the filmmakers for a select audience. ACs and a compactor have been procured for making the premises of PDL air-conditioned.

It is not just digitization standards, policies and software that PDL has designed and developed for its day-to-day functioning, PDL has rather also designed some incredible hardware which is customized for caterning to the needs for digitizing different types of material. The recent addition is the machine which has been designed to digitize large-sized paintings and phulkaris. The machine helped PDL digitize over 1000 phulkaris and big paintings during last couple of months. The device has specially been designed to digitize these important ingredients of Panjabi heritage which could otherwise not be digitized at such a high resolution. The traditional devices available for digitization could not give even 5% of the output quality being generated by this machine. The machine cost PDL about Rs 8 lakh.



News from the Archives

(From The Tribune, 01 Jan 1939) image-1

Ad from the Archives

(From India Quarterly, Jul-Sep 1971) image-1


This time, we have selected two books and three collections for adoptions. You may also choose to adopt from the complete list of books.

  Punjab's Glorious Heritage In Delhi   Book   $20 Adopt
  Folk Heritage of Pakistan 1977   Book   $48 Adopt
  Dr. Surinder Singh Collection   Manuscripts   $514 Adopt
  Dr. Gurdarshan Dhillon Collection   Books/Magazines   $4745 Adopt
  Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi Collection   Manuscripts   $10349 Adopt

PDL is also offering an opportunity to adopt three complete collections of Dr. Surinder Singh, Dr. Gurdarshan Dhillon and Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi. The collections, respectively, consist of 3 manuscripts, 203 books and magazines and 85 manuscripts. Your support by adopting these collections will help us digitize around 90,000 pages and keep these collections online for all times to come.


  Support PDL


Thank You

We thank our contributors who extended monetary, in-kind or voluntary support. We appreciate it.

Panjab Digital Library
Plot No. 1, Sector 28-A Chandigarh (India) - 160027 Revealing the Invisible Heritage of Panjab
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