THANJAVUR: Rare collections of Tamil manuscripts available in the Tamil University (TU) will now be digitized under the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) of British Library in London.
“The British Library has approved 51,040 British Pound Sterling, which is approximately Rs 48 lakhs for the project”, said Vice-Chancellor of TU G Balasubramanian, adding that as a first instalment, the British Library has already released Rs18.50 lakhs.
Under the programme, 3,000 out of a total of 4,500 bundles of preserved Tamil Manuscripts would be digitized, told M K Kovaimani, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Palm leaf Manuscripts of the University to TNIE. He said that the cleaning works of the manuscripts wound commence from November 1, 2019.
“Under the project, two scanners for digitizing the manuscripts will be purchased. It will arrive in a month’s time and eight staff will be deployed for the work,” he added. The remaining 1,500 bundles of Tamil manuscripts would be digitized under the Digital Library scheme of the Government of Tamil Nadu through the Anna Centenary library, Chennai.
“Under the scheme, the agency entrusted with the work will bring scanner and also deploy three staff”, he said, adding an additional three staff would be deputed by the University. In addition to the Tamil manuscripts around 1,000 bundles of manuscripts in the languages of Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam available in the University would be digitized under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). “For this an MoU has been signed with the NMM”, the Vice-Chancellor said.
The mission has already been providing Rs 7 lakhs per annum for the Manuscripts Conservation Centre (MCC) at the University. With all these works expected to be completed by another two years period, the manuscripts could be accessed on-line through the website of the Tamil University, he added.
The digitization process will be held on the Tamil University premises.