JK’s DAAM digitizes 70 lakh pages of archival records dating from 1724 to 1985 AD
In a major positive development, Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums (DAAM) has successfully digitized 70 lakh pages of archival records—dating from 1724 AD to 1985.
According to officials, recently, the department started web portal which contains 70 lakh pages of archival records dating from 1724 AD to 1985. They said that these archives which date back to the order of Afghan, Mughal, Sikh and Dogra period were bursting with historical records which shed light on numerous aspects of the trade, agriculture, traditions, and records of administration which have been forgotten over the passage of time in Jammu and Kashmir.
A web portal containing digitized records of the State archives having important historical and culturally valued documents started by the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums will start functioning in March.
Author and Historian, Khalid Bashir Ahmad told Rising Kashmir that it is a great step to digitize all the historical data as both the buildings containing the historical records are vulnerable to any natural calamity.
“They have digitized only the section of the history. There are lakhs of other historical records which need to be brought online. We have lost the precious historical records including rare manuscripts and artifacts during floods in 2014. So the government should digitize all the records. It is very important to preserve the rich history of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Ahmad said that the government should also focus on preservation of the artifacts in the state.
“The government should also recover the precious and rich artifacts which are missing in the state. They should also recover the precious nine terracotta tiles which are missing from Harwan Buddhist Site since 1989,” he said.
State Convener of the Indian Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Saleem Beigh said that the parts of digitized archival records are historic and contemporary.
“But to digitize both the historic and contemporary parts was very important. At least, the records would not go waste. It is a very nice step to preserve history as well. This archival record has huge historical importance,” said Beigh.
He said that the archives are digitized with superior technology. “It is a great step and will be helpful to the scholars, researchers and others. The archives contain the current as well as past records.” He said the web portal contains digital records will start functioning soon.
Director, Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, J&K Government, Munir-ul-Islam, said that department has successfully created a repository of archival material. He said that the department under rules and regulations would be providing access to the genuine scholars—who are researching on varied topics. He said it was a remarkable development in the department and it would certainly give a flip to the research area.
The director informed that the department was duty bound to identify and preserve the rich cultural heritage of the State in different forms like archival records, archaeological monuments and antiquities through its various establishments
Pertinently the DAAM with its primary mandate to preserve the tangible heritage of Jammu and Kashmir is looking after 2-museums, 48-State protected monuments, 3-Archives repositories, 2-Museums. The department has its establishments in 3-divisions of the State. The department has the distinction of possessing one of the oldest Archival repositories in the sub-continent with record holdings dating back to Mughal period (1724 AD). There are two multipurpose museums one each at Jammu and Srinagar. Both the Museums are known for their collection world over.
Commissioner Secretary, Department of Culture, J&K government, Saleem Shishgar told Rising Kashmir that the web portal would help scholars, historians and researches across the global.
“It was a necessary project to digitize the. It has records of trade, traditions, education, administration department, government departments including GAD/chief secretary’s office, former governors, cabinet orders, revenue, agriculture, finance, industries, estates, administrative reports, council orders, and council resolutions are also being digitized under the project,” he added.