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UNESCO helps preserve Indian documentary heritage

04-04-2008 (New Delhi)
UNESCO helps preserve Indian documentary heritage
Cover of the DVD published
under the project
© UNESCO
A UNESCO-supported project “Preservation and Conservation of Rare Documents of St. Xavier’s College Library, Kolkata” has recently been completed. Several thousands of pages of rare documents from the College library have been recovered, preserved and digitised.
St. Xavier’s College was established in 1860. It is now one of the oldest colleges in the South Asian sub-region. The College library holds a golden treasury of very old printed documents, providing from donations of books by the provincial governments and European missionaries in the last century.

The documentary collection includes philosophical thoughts of eminent thinkers of eighteenth century, philosophy of sciences, historical accounts, religious scriptures, etc. Unfortunately, this heritage is continuously decaying towards extinction, which would be an enormous cultural loss for India.

Selected rare documents of the College library have been recovered, preserved and digitised under this collaborative project. Physical preservation was carried out for 31 614 pages from 52 volumes of books through fumigation, de-acidification and tissue lamination processes. 24 686 pages from 51 volumes of rare books and 99 reproductions of paintings were digitally preserved on DVD-ROMs and intranet server.

An exhibition of rare documents took place in March 2008 in the College premises. The oldest article among the exhibited pieces was published in 1632.
Related themes/countries

      · India
      · E-Heritage: News Archives 2008
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