International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Islamic manuscripts section revamp on the cards

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, March 2: Buoyed up by four of its rare Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit manuscripts getting awarded by the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM), the Asiatic Society is drawing up plans to revamp its Islamic manuscripts section.
As the first step, professional librarians, conversant in Persian, Arabic and Urdu, will be inducted to give better service to the scholars and highlight the priceless manuscripts in the society archives.
The absence of librarians conversant in these languages was hamstringing the Islamic manuscript section, a senior official of the society said. The staff pattern ought to be changed to give more utility to scholars dealing with rare manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
Nearly 6,000 manuscripts were currently housed in the Islamic section, it was learnt. Collections of Tipu Sultan, Radhakanta Deb and Hedayet Hussain, to name a few, can be perused by scholars.
The collection of manuscripts is a veritable treasure trove for scholars. Dating back to the 17th century, the collection boasts Shahnama written by Firdausi as one among its trasures.
Written by Rashid Taleb, a history of the Chengiz dynasty is also to be found in this collection. It was written in the 16th century.
Abul Fazal’s Ain-i-Akabari is also part of this collection. It is a statistical account of the Mughal empire during emperor Akbar’s reign.
Enthused by the recent awards, senior society functionaries felt that a detailed representation of these manuscripts was needed. The lacuna of not possessing librarians conversant in languages the manuscripts were written in was being felt now, a senior functionary said.

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