Endangered Archives

EAP066: Preservation of historic and rare Nepali monographs and periodicals

Mr Kanak Mani Dixit, Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya
2006 award - Major project
£49,832 for 12 months

Archival partner: Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya

Project Overview

The project aims to preserve through microfilming, and expand accesibility of, rare, historic and endangered material published in Nepali. A total of 105,000 exposures will be microfilmed through the project which will cover around 137 monographs and 56 titles of periodicals. All the materials have been chosen from the collection at Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP). The main reason for this is that MPP is the largest archive of published materials in Nepali. It has been dedicated for the last five decades in the collection and preservation exclusively of materials published in Nepali (both from inside and outside Nepal). No other institution comes closer in terms of the collection at MPP. However, the status of preservation of Nepali published materials in general also leaves much to be desired. A combination of lack of resources, expertise and proper housekeeping has resulted in an unfavourable conditions of materials in Nepali.

Apart from the much important preservation work to be accomplished through this project, MPP also plans to use this work to create awareness regarding the importance of preservation among the stakeholders in Nepal. The notion till now in Nepal (among the four institutions that do archiving work in some capacity and that includes MPP) has been doing archiving work for the sake of archiving. Improving and expanding accessibility has not been propagated enough. This project aims to achieve preservation of important materials as well as their easy accesibility to the users.

The materials proposed for the project have been selected for various reasons. Some of the materials selected are some of the earliest works to be published in Nepali hence their historical value. Some are selected because they are really rare (and they only exist at MPP). Others are selected because of their political significance as they derive from politically and historically significant periods of Nepal. This is a significant and a unique collection, which is currently housed in a very old building, with the whole area subject to the threat of earthquakes.

Visit the project's website

Project Outcome

This project was successful in microfilming 133,781 exposures, including selected runs of 57 titles of periodicals and 142 monographs. This collection of materials is not available elsewhere and is of both historical as well as scholarly value.

The initial filming was undertaken at Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP) after which the master negatives were sent to Roja Muttiah Research Library (RMRL) where the duplication and digitisation was carried out. Two circulating positives and one duplicative negative were made for each master negative. The British Library received one circulating positive whilst MPP received a circulating positive and a duplicate negative. Each of the master negatives was also digitised at RMRL and the digital images deposited with MPP.

Information on the project as well as brief information on the titles filmed have been made available online for easy accessibility to users on the project website. The images themselves may be made available online in due course.