E-Preservation of Old and Rare Books: A Structured Approach for Creating a Digital Collection
Antique books, old and rare documents are fragile and vulnerable to different hazards. Preserving them for an extended period is a real challenge. From ancient times people started expressing their knowledge by writing and keeping records and subsequently started collecting and storing these at later ages as antique materials. These can be seen in different museums, libraries, archives, individual households, and other places all over the world. Preserving and conserving these antique, old and rare books, documents etc. in good condition is a challenge for librarians, conservators, preservation administrators or persons associated with storing these. In this paper, details of the digital preservation of such a collection available in the Directorate of Historical and Antiquarian Studies (DHAS), Guwahati, Assam, India, are discussed. DHAS is a Government of Assam wing and is mainly mandated to collect, preserve and research historical and antiquarian resources. The collection of DHAS is one of the oldest collections and has been serving as a study and research centre in Assam since 1928. A special drive has been taken for the digital preservation of an identified part of the collection, with grant support from the National Archive of India. This paper discusses the entire project process starting from the project proposal formulation to the structuring of the digital collection. The paper sequentially discusses the different steps of the entire work of digitization of a collection of 241 old and rare books from the main collection of DHAS.
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