Rare Assamese journals and books to be digitized

Guwahati, May 12 (IANS) A community project, ‘Digitizing Asom’ has been launched aiming at the digitization of rare Assamese journals and books published between 1813 and 1970, for public use.

The launching ceremony was attended by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday evening.

An initiative of the Nanda Talukdar Foundation and supported by the Assam Jatiya Bidyalay Educational & Socio-Economic Trust, this project is going to digitize every possible rare Assamese language book and journal, regardless of their location, and making them available to the public for posterity through a dedicated website.

In the first phase of the project, journals published between 1840 and 1970 have been included encompassing 3071 editions of as many as 161 journals with a total of 2,45,680 pages. The second phase of the project, under process, shall cover books published between 1813 and 1962.

Sarma said that launch of this project would prove decisive in conferring the world of Assamese literature its rightful exalted status in days to come. Referring to the 19th century as the era that led to a new dawn for Assamese literature, he credited literary stalwarts such as Lakshminath Bezbaruah, Chandra Kumar Agarwala and Hemchandra Goswami for its forward march.

“The 20th century brought with itself greater avenues for growth of Assamese literature,” Sarma added.

Referring to the 21st century as the “digital era”, he said digitizing rare Assamese literary works would go a long way in preserving such remarkable works for ages.

“The coming generations would be able to appreciate the works of literary gems in the Assamese language through such initiatives. I appeal to members of the general public in possession of such rare works to come forward so that all books can be digitized,” he said.

–IANS

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