THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The National History Museum located within the Napier Museum contains invaluable possessions such as a rare collection of models comprising mammals, birds, skeletons, vertebrates and invertebrates in separate galleries. A reference library is also present but most of the public has been deprived of this rich repository of knowledge.
But, soon the public will be able to explore the books available in the reference library online through the ‘Digital Publication’ app which is being developed as part of the project of the National Archives of India. The library functions under the Department of Museums and Zoos. It has a collection of about 7,000 books, out of which 500 books fall under the rare collection category. Most of the flora and fauna inside the museum premises have been documented along with lesser-known assets.
All the artefacts in the museum including ancient coins and original paintings by Raja Ravi Varma are being photographed to form an online database of the museum’s riches and heritage. The development of the app for the reference is in the tendering stage. “Besides a large collection of books available in the library, there are many rare collections which aren’t popular with the public. By digitising, we aim to popularise such collections,” Vijayalakshmi P V, superintendent, Natural History Museum.
The reference library includes books of different genres such as plant species, ornamental species, agriculture, taxonomy and fine arts. Besides these, seminars conducted in the library are being documented to educate students and the public about the rare varieties of flora and fauna. “The library also comprises documents from the 12th and 13th century. Digitising the library will also help in maintaining a permanent record,” said Vijayalakshmi.Besides digitising the library, the authorities are also creating videos and some presentations on the flora and fauna found inside the museum premises.