Now, you can access 10K rare books from BORI online, take courses

Published on Sep 21, 2022 12:03 AM IST

Lovers of antiquity may rejoice, as the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI), in Pune, is offering access to some very rare books from the institute online

Library at Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Library at Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Lovers of antiquity may rejoice, as the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI), in Pune, is offering access to some very rare books from the institute online. The institute is also transforming its online courses in languages, philosophy, science, arts, medicine, among others, and will develop a mobile application for people who are interested in the courses.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will inaugurate the initiative on Wednesday.

BORI has digitised 20,000 books and 28,000 ancient manuscripts from Sanskrit, Prakrit, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Devnagari, Kannada etc. Ten thousand rare books, over 100 years old, and 14,000 manuscripts will be available to the public on its official website.

“It’s noteworthy that this treasure will now be open to the public. People can access it in the library section of BORI’s website. This online platform is a first-of-its kind experiment,” said Bhupal Patwardhan, chairman of BORI’s executive board. The institute has over 1.50 lakh books on various subjects.

Shailesh Kshirsagar a researcher of history in Vedic science has been studying the culture, especially Vedic mathematics over the last few years. He and a group of researchers, often visit BORI to study and take notes from rare books and manuscripts on the subject. “Now we will have direct access online, which will help us study at any time and from anywhere,” said Kshirsagar.

While some courses are free, others will come at a small fee.

Some of the institute’s oldest rare books are from 1813. “Apart from this, there is the first edition of the Rigveda Samhita, translated by philologist Max Muller, into German,” he added.

“We want to reach out to people across the globe who are interested in studying and researching our culture and its diversity. The courses run for around 100 hours. We had the content, which had to be edited curated and validated for the online platform,” Patwardhan added.

BOX

BORI’s rare gems online

‘Moliere’, a rare book in English by Tom Septieme, published in 1882, in Paris.

‘A Primer of Psychology’, by Edward Bradford Titchener, published by The Macmillan Company Ltd. in 1912, in London.

Krishna Yajurvediya Taittiriya Samhita, by Dhupkar, Ananta Shastri, published in 1957 in Surat.

‘Song Of Roland’, by Sayers L.Dorothy, published in 1957, in England by Penguin Publication.

‘Bukhoro va Khevaning Rossiya Bilan Munosabatlari Tarikhiga Doir Babzi Manbalar’, in Russian by A R Mukhamedzhanov, published in 1957 in Tashkent.

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