Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has launched an ambitious project to digitise the research material in its possession.
Under this project, the goal is to ensure the conversion of the entire India House Collection of the NMM consisting of 40,000 books, reports, periodicals (containing around 70,00,000 pages), 55,00,000 pages of archival documents, and of 30,000 microfilms and 57,000 microfiches (consisting of approximately 2.5 crore images) to digital form.
To ensure global accessibility, the digitised research materials will be put on internet through a state-of-the-art digital platform, Open Digital Library and Archives (ODLA) which will allow researchers on modern and contemporary India to search for documents relevant for their research, preview them, and download them after paying service charges.
According to the Culture Ministry, this will greatly facilitate academic research and dissemination of knowledge about modern and contemporary India especially that based on archival sources as well as newspapers and journals, of which NMML is the largest repository in the country.
The ODLA is likely to be developed by Tata Consultancy Services in collaboration with NMML. It is likely to become operational in the next six months, the ministry said.
The digitisation project is being implemented with the help of three outsourced agencies which are working on the digitisation of India House Collection, the archival papers, and the microfilms and microfiches.
To ensure the safety of records and authentication of scanned images, NMML staff is working on the project in collaboration with the outsourced agencies.
This will also help the staff acquire necessary skills for digitisation, so that over the long term the work can be done in house, according to the ministry.
The cost of the project is approximately Rs 7 crore, and the timeline for completion is approximately 12 months.
"Approximately 17,00,000 pages of archival documents, 2,50,000 photographs, rare books, NMML publications, around 3,50,000 newspaper pages and 6000 hours of Oral History recordings digitised earlier are available in the Library on intranet," the ministry said, adding that users can read them on computer and download on payment basis.
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