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Sindh University to digitize rare books, manuscripts

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The University of Sindh (SU) Jamshoro’s Institute of Sindhology management has decided to digitize the rare books, manuscripts and other valuable materials lying in the research library in a bid to preserve and make them available online through the website of the university.

The Institute of Sindhology and M.H. Panhwar Institute of Sindh Studies inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the project of digitization.

In this regard, a prestigious ceremony was held at the Institute of Sindhology, in which the Director Ghulam Murtaza Siyal and his counterpart of the M.H. Panhwar Institute Ghulam Sarwar Panhwar put their signatures.

According to the agreement, the rare and priceless books, manuscripts, antique records and other valuable literature kept in the research library of the Institute of Sindhology will be digitized and preserved.

As per the agreement, in the initial phase, as many as 25 books of the research library were experimentally scanned and stored in the computer, which has been successful.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Institute of Sindhology Ghulam Murtaza Siyal said that the rare and infrequent literature and literary manuscripts kept in the research library was feared to be obsolete due to its manual nature, for which he said it was being digitized and then uploaded on the varsity’s official website.

“This will have two benefits, firstly, the researchers based around the world including Pakistan and people interested in the history and culture of Sindh will be able to easily gain access to these rare books and other literature online, secondly, the valuable prescriptions will also be safe and protected”, he said.

He said that after the world had turned into a global village, the valuable books and academic prescriptions of the research library were also being digitized and put online so that the knowledge-loving people, poets, scholars, writers, historians, archaeologists and writers could benefit.

Mr. Siyal went on saying that the exceptional books available in the library of the institute were very informative based on various academic topics, which were very useful when it came to research.

He said that keeping the books stored in the shelves for years could only benefit those researchers who thronged to the library for study but with the help of technology, the literature would be accessed by any person sitting anywhere in the world including every nook and corner of Pakistan.

“After digitization, people will be able to access the books, manuscripts and other prescriptions online for free, but no individual will be allowed to publish them, as the rights are only with the Institute of Sindhology”, the director said.

He thanked SU Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro for his all-out cooperation in this regard and said that without his approval, support, vision and guidance, it woul not have been an easy task to materialize the project.

On the other hand, Director of M.H Panhwar Institute of Sindh Studies Ghulam Sarwar Panhwar said that he was elated with the MoU inking, because it will actually be the service of Sindh to preserve the manuscripts written on its culture, language, civilization, history etc.

He said that the developed countries had rapidly abandoned paper and entered the digital world; therefore, the academic and literary institutions of Sindh also had to go with them to survive in the modern age.

“This is why, the Institute of Sindhology has undertaken to digitize the antique academic literaure and records”, he said and added that SU Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro and Director Institute of Sindhology Ghulam Murtaza Sial deserved felicitations and accolades for this very important project.

He lauded the services of Mr.Siyal as Director Institute of Sindhology at Sindh University and said that it all had been possible due to his great enthusiasm and eagerness to digitize the rare books of the library.

Mr. Panhwar further said that by digitizing and preserving books based on Sindh’s culture, civilization, advancement, history, its glorious past and other topics, the lifespan of these books will increase by many decades and a number of coming generations will benefit from them.

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