Endangered archives blog

News about the projects saving vulnerable material from around the world

2 posts from March 2011

16 March 2011

EAP261 Digital Archive of Early Bengali Drama

Last week the EAP received material from project EAP261: Digital Archive of Early Bengali Drama. The project digitised a selection of the vast array of theatre materials collected by Dr Devajit Bandyopadhyay, a noted musician and scholar of Bengali theatre.

The collection dates from the 19th to early 20th centuries, and is primarily constituted of play texts for 'formal' Bengali drama (based on western models), Jatra or traditional Bengali folk theatre, song books from musical theatre, and ephemera.

Part of this collection - a small selection of 20th century theatre booklets - was previously digitised as part of the project EAP127 Archiving Popular Market Bengali Books, and is currently available to researchers in the British Library Reading Rooms. EAP261 was run by staff at the Jadavpur University School of Cultural Texts and Records; the SCTR also undertook project EAP071 Archiving Texts in the Sylhet Nagri Script, and two projects to digitise private collections of North Indian Classical Music (EAP132 and EAP274). 

In addition to material created as part of EAP funded projects, the SCTR maintain digital and physical collections of Bengali literary and cultural material; further information is available on their web pages.

Front page of pacis bachar purti utsab, a booklet detailing the plays performed at the Bohurupee Theatre Group Silver Jubilee celebration, 1973.




04 March 2011

February Accessions

Last month we received material from five very different projects:

EAP231: Social History of the Gambia: rescuing an endangered archive, police and court records

This pilot project is undertaking a survey of court records from the Department of State for Justice in Banjul, the Gambia. It is also copying a selection of these records. The records chosen for copying originate from the Muhammedan Court, the Police Court, the Court of Requests in Bathurst, the Police Magistrates Court and the Supreme Court. The records held by the Department of State for Justice date back to the 1820s. 

EAP248: Preserving more Marathi manuscripts and making them accessible - major project

Carrying on from an earlier pilot project, EAP248 is microfilming Marathi manuscripts currenlty held by libraries and private homes in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Some of these manuscripts are unique in that they have not been published. The project will thus make valuable material widely available to scholars for the first time.

EAP262: Retrieval of two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika

The Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika are two leading newspapers from colonial and post-colonial Bengal. Both newspapers cover important periods in history, including the partition of Bengal in 1905, both world wars and the independence of India. Here is a page from the Amrita Bazar Patrika from December 1872:

EAP262 Amrita Bazar Patrika Dec 1872 1 

EAP284: Before the war, after the war: preserving history in Sierra Leone

Also a pilot project, EAP284 is surveying records held by the Sirerra Leone Archives, and digitising a selection of these that relate to the Atlantic trade in slaves. Among the records held are Registers of Liberated Slaves and Letter Books that contain details of captured slave ships and Africans who disembarked at Freetown. Significantly, these latter records include details on individuals.

EAP285: Preservation of Gypsy/Roma historical and cultural heritage in Bulgaria - major project

This project has continued copying material identified by a previous pilot project, and new material found during the current project. Included in this are photographs, posters, political flyers, publications and political documents. The project has copied a mix of administrative, political records, and material relating to the legends, history and customs of Gypsy communities in Bulgaria. Here is an image of a wedding group:

EAP285 N_31