and Europe to build large-scale digitallibraries, especially for the preservation of national heritage. Apart from these, severalnational projects on building digitallibraries of national heritage are beinginitiated in UK, Germany, China,Indonesia, Russia, Japan, etc. It isinteresting to note that while all these projects are Government initiatives withsubstantive funding, both for technologicaldevelopment and digital content creation,PDL is the only project in the region whichis a non government initiative run byindividuals without a grant.
Digitization of Newspapers
This February, a wide format scanner wasacquired by the PVDI. It can scandocuments of up to 42” width of anylength. Whether it is large color posters,architectural sketches, detailed maps,drawings or newspapers, the 42” scanningarea can handle them all with highresolution and accuracy. Initially, we intendto use this for digitizing all the major newspapers published from Pañjāb in the past. Concerned newspapers are beingapproached for permission to let us digitizetheir collections. Once permissions aregranted the transformation from analog todigital will begin. The next leap in thedigital world is the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology whichtransforms flat images into livelysearchable text images. All digital imageswill be made computer readable using OCR software, thus making all newspapers inRoman script, searchable. After the projectis over, one can search through theenormous data of all the previous issuesonline with a single click within minutes.
The Sikh Review
In November 2007, PVDI completeddigitization of the entire collection of TheSikh Review, since 1953. The management,digitizing project. Nānakshāhī constituted an Advisory Boardto give able guidance to the organization.Lately PVDI formed two Working Groups,‘Content Selection Working Group’ and‘Digitization Standards Working Group’.Experts from the respective fields aretaking extra pains to give it their maximum.We welcome all to join hands in forming aglobal pool to preserve Pañjāb’s heritage.
Pañjāb Digital Library
The Pañjāb Virsā Online Catalogue project planned last year, was later dropped, asPVDI decided to make the entire collectionof digitized data online in the form of aDigital Library. This was a major policyshift, keeping in view the demand for suchwork and the encouragement we receivedfrom our supporters. The management isworking full time on priority basis to makethe website functional by the end of thisyear. With this, PVDI will be a pioneer inthe field, transforming the way Pañjābheritage is seen and accessed. It will giveunprecedented exposure to the culture of the place, opening up enormous possibilities in research with an easy accessof resources to the geographically distantseated researchers. The nation or society,which does not identify with its heritage,cannot fully comprehend its present andhence is incapable of steering its future.Pañjāb Digital Library (PDL) willeffectively address this issue by presentingPañjāb’s heritage to the world. Manyscholars and researchers would like to seeand study the original texts and their authentic interpretations, which are noteasily accessible today. Common peoplewould also like to have access to suchinvisible heritage. With the developmentand spread of Information Technology,several projects have been initiated in USAThe launch of the website is slated for later this year. PVDI continues to explorecollaboration opportunities, statewide andinternationally. In the meanwhile PVDIdirector Davinderpal Singh attended twoconferences on Digital Libraries, one inSingapore and the other in Greece. He alsovisited National Archives of Malaysia tosee their digitization project. The PVDIinitiative is getting recognition and the project is gaining more visibility, while weaddress issues on how to connect with themasses. Nonetheless, we managed tosecure some big projects and wererecognized ‘India’s Best e-Content-2007’ by Manthan Awards, New Delhi.Initially the biggest challenge and handicapwas the human resource, which has beenovercome to a great extent. Now PVDI isready to offer its expertise to libraries andeducational institutions, both public and private. Expertise of professionals from therelevant fields is essential for running sucha project. Otherwise, many first-timedigitizers typically overestimate the production costs and underestimate theintellectual costs such as those associatedwith making the right selections and providing the most helpful metadata. Evena sophisticated library team at theUniversity of Virginia reports that they“dramatically underestimated the labor andtime” in preparing the documents for a
Digitized...2268 manuscripts923 rare books1675 issues of periodicals3600 issues of newspapers2448 photographs2,48,000 legal documents160 hours of video recordings1.5 million pages in all 7000 GB data created