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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Soon, download and print Delhi’s history dating back to early 19th century

Officials said the committee will take about two months to decide the process and rates after which the records will be made available.

delhi Updated: Jun 12, 2019 07:57 IST
Adrija Roychowdhury
Adrija Roychowdhury
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Delhi archives, which went online in February this year, has formed a committee of professionals from different fields to decide on the process and rates for downloading the records.
The Delhi archives, which went online in February this year, has formed a committee of professionals from different fields to decide on the process and rates for downloading the records.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
         

Scholars from across the world working on the history of Delhi might soon be able to download and print digitised archival records dating back to the early nineteenth century. The Delhi archives, which went online in February this year, has formed a committee of professionals from different fields to decide on the process and rates for downloading the records.

“The committee will recommend different rates for the different categories of scholars such as Indian independent researchers, international scholars, general public, and students,” said Sanjay Kumar Garg, head of Delhi Archives. Officials said the committee will take about two months to decide the process and rates after which the records will be made available.

The Delhi Archives is a custodian of the Delhi government’s records and was established in 1972. Significant records of Delhi’s history are part of the records, including the ‘farmans’ of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, the trial of Zafar, records of the deputy commissioner that tell the story of how land was acquired for the construction of the new capital city, property records, cartographic records, among others.

“We have around four crore pages in our archives. As of date, we have digitised 2.15 crore pages,” says Garg. Significant among the records that is currently under the process of digitisation includes the chief commissioner confidential series which consists of information on Delhi’s role in the freedom movement between 1911 and 1960.

“The archives were almost lost. In the 1960s, a junior official in the chief commissioner’s office on Alipur Road found a bonfire in progress. They were burning old records to reduce the clutter in the small office. He ordered them to stop. What remained was to become the core collection of the Delhi Archives. M L Kachroo needs to be credited for what has become a large and growing collection,” said historian Narayani Gupta, reflecting upon the significance of the archives

“I thought the advantages of digitising, downloading and printing were self-evident. This has been done in the Institute of Labour History in Noida and possibly in many other archives. It keeps the documents in good condition, without too much handling by readers,” she added.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 06:42 IST

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