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DHAS to digitize rare manuscripts of Assam history

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 Feb 2020 6:01 AM GMT

* Rs 2 crore 40 lakh approved for the digitization process

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI: The Department of Historical and Antiquarian Studies (DHAS) is going to digitize the ancient manuscripts including the resourceful stock of historical documents. DHAS is one of the oldest government departments of Assam and will complete 93 glorious years in June 2020. The Director in charge of DHAS Dr. Anita Choudhury said that the administration has approved a total of Rs. 2 crores 40 lakh for the digitization of the information and documents that it has been preserving.

The Sentinel had a visit to DHAS, which was established by the government of Assam with an aim to serve as a knowledge hub for research and study on history and literature.

After the visit, it can be said that DHAS is a treasure house of heritage resources and documents. It includes - 2800 Ancient Manuscripts, 20,680 valuable books, old newspapers like Sadiniya Assamiya from 1924 to 1956, Tinidiniya Assamiya from 1930 to 1994, Dainiak Assamiya from 1946 to 1949, Natun Assamiya from 1949 to 1981, 376 nos of old coins which are now at the Assam State Museum, 16 nos of Copper plates, 222 nos of transcripts, 240 nos of Ahom and Tai manuscripts, 25 Farmans, maps and old photographs as well.

Talking to The Sentinel, Director in charge Dr. Choudhury said that the department is putting continuous efforts in documenting the historical resources. Hence the project of digitizing the same will be carried by AMTRON and the process will start within a few days.

Choudhury said, “We have a resourceful stock of many historical documents. Preservation of these documents is helpful especially for research purposes and to those who want to learn about the history of Assam. Besides research scholars, teachers and students, DHAS is mostly visited by scholars from China, Thailand and also from different parts of India.

It is to be noted that the department has preserved a total of 25 farmans and according to the officials, it belongs to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The officials said that even after countless efforts no one has succeeded to decode the meaning of the farmans.

Pradip Kumar Choudhury, who works as a librarian in DHAS said that research scholars from Thailand often use to visit DHAS as there are preserved documents from Thailand.

“The department is full of resources that include medicinal manuscripts and many other famous manuscripts such as Hastirvidyanava, Asom Buranji, Ahom Lexicon, Copper plates of Rajeswarsingha to Naranarayana, Sri Sibasingha to Sri Soubhagya Mahhab Devalaya and several others. We are trying our best to showcase what we have by publishing about it. We want the interested people to know and learn about the resources”, said the director and the librarian in unison.

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