Conservation of Knowledge Heritage and National Mission for Manuscripts in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala

Priyanka Jaiswal, Ajay Pratap Singh


The paper surveys the manuscript digitization project in India with special reference to National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) activities. Stress is given to the work NMM undertook in Uttar Pradesh (UP), one of the largest states of India and Kerala, one of the smallest states, both having special characteristics in their heritage stock. In terms of cultural heritage UP is one of the richest states of the country. Kerala has the most extensive palm leaf manuscript collection in the world. Every country recognizes the necessity of preserving its cultural legacy and establishes special organizations to undertake the work. Digitization helps to conserve and protect heritage, especially text, for generations to come. The NMM is one of the important organizations of India established for the conservation of heritage and has the largest network of institutions to cover the manuscripts spread over the country mandated to digitize make available digital version in a common platform for access and use. This paper surveys its work at various centers in UP and Kerala. NMM has digitized a large number of cultural heritage resources, including photographic slides, digital images, photo-negatives, motion pictures, microfiche and films, LP records, endangered manuscripts, audio and video tapes, palm leaf documents etc. The mission has digitized a large part of collections in UP and a small portion of collections in Kerala for conservation and access.

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