The Hyderabad Deccan English Daily

Mission to preserve vast wealth of Manuscripts of India

Hyderabad 01 Nov 2011 (Hyderabad Deccan News) : India posses an estimate of five million manuscripts , probably the largest collection in the world including rare manuscripts of Persian, Arabic and Urdu which are in the custody of Institutions, Libraries, Shrines and individuals.

To unearth and preserve this vast manuscript wealth of India , a unique project ,National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) was established in February 2003 by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture , Govt of India.

The millions of manuscripts cover variety of themes, textures, aesthetics, scripts, languages, calligraphies, illuminations and illustrations. Together, they constitute the memory of India's history, heritage and thought. These manuscripts lie scattered across the country and beyond, in numerous institutions as well as private collection, often unattended and undocumented. The National Mission for Manuscript aims to locate, document preserve, and render these accessible to connect India's past with its future, its memory with its aspirations

A.P.State Archives and Research Institute was chosen as one of the branches of South to facilitate this National Mission.

A Manuscript Conservation Centre (MCC) was established in State Archives Premises in collaboration with NMM ,which gives financial assistance, in the month of May 2011. The objective of the center is to provide preventive and curative conservation of the rare and historical palm leaves and manuscripts besides collecting data of palm leaves and manuscripts for a comprehensive data base at National level.

The MCC has taken up the conservation or preventive and curative treatment from primary repair to permanent repair, which also covers fumigation , hole filling and lamination to give long life to palm leaves and manuscript.

Since, the inception of MCC the curative conservation of different categories of records have been undertaken from different organizations.

Many of the Rare and Historical Persian Manuscripts have been given preventive and curative treatment. Nearly about 5000 folios have been treated and given long life.

Many departments, libraries, Institutions approached the State Archives seeking assistance to repair and provide curative treatment of palm leaves and manuscripts kept in their custody. The MCC branch is currently working on the old manuscripts of National Institute of Indian Medical
Heritage (in O.U. Medical College) and Original Texts of Ayurveda, Unani Siddha ,which are in Sanskrit

Under another MoU, the transcribing work of the two Persian manuscripts, Tarikh-i-Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah and Maasir-i-Nizam by Lala Mansaram, which are rare manuscripts of Medieval era has been taken up in the month of May 2011.The transcribing work is in the last stages . This work will definitely be benefited to the scholarly world in general and
for those working on Medieval Deccan history in particular.

A 5-day work shop from 2ndto 6th November 2011, is being conducted on" Preventive and Curative Conservation of Historical Palm Leaves, Paper Manuscripts ." with an objective to
promote the mission. The workshop is being jointly organized by State Archives and National



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