Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia inaugurated ‘Digitisation and Micro-filming of Archival Records of Delhi Archives’ at the Delhi Secretariat on Thursday. With the inaugural, over four crore records will now be digitised over the next 30 months, reported the Indian Express. This way the Delhi government will digitise nearly two-centuries worth of history. The government is claiming this to be the ‘first-of -its-kind’ exercise in Asia. The records would include farmans issued by Mughal emperor Shah Alam II in the early 19th century and documents written in Urdu about Delhi of 1803. It will also include private manuscripts in Awadhi and Braj as well as Tihar Jail records from 1948 to 1973, as per the report.
Sanjay Garg, Archivist from Department of Archives, Delhi said that the digitisation will make the records more accessible to people, therefore cutting down the legwork.
The department’s office in Qutab Institutional Area is spread across two floors. There are 12 brand-new high-tech scanners from Germany. A team of 14 has begun work with a mask around their mouth and white gloves as most of the documents are very brittle and dusty. The team is planning to upload the first document in 45 days, said Ravi Chandran, Vice-President of Concept and Design department for this project.
Manish Sisodia said that once the data is posted online, it will be available to the public for reading. People will also be able to download the records at a cost. He also said that he is planning to take this to schools as well.