The remarkable collection of manuscripts, historical documents and other archival materials of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) will soon be available at the click of a mouse.
The historical library, regarded by scholars as a treasure trove of information, is in the process of a complete digitisation, a small phase of which is likely to be completed in six months.
The first section of the collection of manuscripts, newspaper archives, photographs and other documents at the library will in all likelihood start going online in six months time.
The ambitious project that is under preparation for the past one year has kicked off with the establishment of a new digitisation centre where a group of 30 to 40 people are working on it.
"The first six months of the project are being implemented as a pilot project during which we have chosen a section of documents and archives to be digitised," Prof Mridula Mukherjee, Director of the NMML told PTI.
The initial phase of the digitisation project is to run for two years, focusing on the most historically significant and valuable documents in the archive.
The priority criteria for the collections is determined by which of them are consulted frequently by scholars, what is the frequency of usage and other parameters such as physical condition of manuscripts, volumes of collection and so on.
The overall project of complete digitisation of all collections, however, will take a good time, Mukherjee said.
The NMML, in October last year, signed a contract with HCL Infosystems for the digitisation project, as part of efforts to modernise and preserve its unique collection of historical documents.
Mukherjee says the project, once accomplished in totality, will make the library accessible to people across the country, irrespective of physical accessibility.
"The library has a remarkable collection of historical things including memorable letters of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and C Rajgopalachari. Any person, even in the smaller towns of India, who does not have the wherewithal to come to Delhi and visit the library will be able to access these documents from their
homes. This will help us recognise our vision of disseminating information to as many people as possible," she said.
The process is part of a Culture Ministry project to digitise and upgrade major libraries across the country.