Capital’s history to be on the internet as Delhi Archives to go online soon
Delhi Archives has more than 10 crore pages of records and will upload them on the web. Anyone can access them once the site is functional.
Delhi has been built, destroyed and rebuilt several times in the course of its history. Naturally, it has a rich and very interesting past, too. Many pages of its history are in the custodianship of the Delhi Archives department, Delhi Government, which is taking them online in phases. Sanjay Garg, head, Delhi Archives, says, “We have more than 10 crore pages of records and will upload the pictures (scans) on the web in the coming months. We are working on 4 crore pages in the initial phase. Anyone can access them once the site becomes functional.”
However, downloading the scans might come for a minimal price. “Anyone can visit the page and look at the pictures (scanned pages), but if anyone would want to download the images, they have to pay for it,” adds Garg.
Delhiites are super-excited about it. “I am a student of history in Delhi University and I am sure I will end up buying most of the pictures, especially from the British era. I just hope that the price is affordable,” says Harshita Singhal, a second-year graduation student. “I am a sucker for history. I have my own library. I am now going to download all these pages and get them bound and add these to my collection,” says Vaibhav, an IT engineer.
“My friends and I plan to download some pictures of the monuments from the archives, visit the monuments and get clicked there. Wouldn’t it be awesome!” says Sahil Dhillon, who’s in the third year of graduation. The department has pictures from the British era, the under-construction Civil Lines and Lutyens zone and many more. Talking about how they got the pictures, Garg says, “Some pictures are given by the government, some by eminent personalities from the Capital and some we receive from family members of known people. We caption them if all details are available and keep them in both scanned format and hard copy.”
However, he adds that maintaining a hard copy is very difficult. “Since the pages are very old so they have to be handled carefully. Also, we have to maintain a certain temperature to preserve them,” adds Garg.