Preserving the past

The workshop, rooted in the belief that every individual’s history contributes to the broader social and political fabric, inspired participants to embark on their own preservation journeys.
The workshop was hosted by Srilagna Majumdar, a researcher and cultural history practitioner, with the aim of helping people preserve their own histories.
The workshop was hosted by Srilagna Majumdar, a researcher and cultural history practitioner, with the aim of helping people preserve their own histories.

HYDERABAD: In an era dominated by digital advancements and rapid technological changes, an event was organised celebrating International Archives Week, which drew enthusiasts from all walks of life, eager to learn the delicate art of maintaining their cherished heirlooms.

Attendees were treated to a series of informative sessions on techniques for preserving everything from vintage photographs and letters to antique equipment and textiles. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement and nostalgia as participants shared stories of their treasured possessions, united by a common goal — to preserve the past for future generations.

The workshop was hosted by Srilagna Majumdar, a researcher and cultural history practitioner, with the aim of helping people preserve their own histories. Participants shared their cherished objects, discussing how to protect and preserve them for the future. Srilagna also shared her personal experiences, demonstrating various methods for preserving old photographs, albums, books, and other material memories.

Chelsea Santos, a 28-year-old freelance consultant, shared her experience of attending the workshop, “What I particularly liked was that her teachings included a personal touch, with examples from her efforts at creating her family’s archive. I am happy to have had the chance to learn her process and experimentations with collection care and documentation.”

Srilagna Majumdar
Srilagna Majumdar

Through captivating storytelling and hands-on demonstrations, Srilagna explained various archiving processes that could be done in the comfort of one’s home. “I have always felt very passionate about family history as well as public history. Generally, the history taught to us in school is about kings and politicians. But I feel ordinary people have a huge stake in the social and political dynamics of any region. That is why it is important for us to document and preserve it because even when we are gone, these will stay,” she emphasised, highlighting the importance of preserving ancestral heritage.

During the workshop, Srilagna shared her personal experiences of archiving her grandfather’s artworks and vintage items. She revealed how she carefully preserved a detailed ink painting of Rabindranath Tagore made by her grandfather on tracing paper. “It was one of the first pieces I archived on my own. It is very dear to me. I still remember when I first saw it, there was a tear in the paper, and I carefully worked on it,” she recounted.

The workshop, rooted in the belief that every individual’s history contributes to the broader social and political fabric, inspired participants to embark on their own preservation journeys. This initiative demonstrated that the true value lies not just in the techniques learned but in the understanding that each preserved item holds a story worth telling. By preserving these stories, we ensure that the histories of our ancestors remain vibrant and accessible, continuing to inspire long after the digital age has transformed yet again.

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