Friday December 02, 2022

Lok Virsa joins hands with US institute for strengthening its archives

By our correspondents
April 05, 2017


Lok Virsa on Tuesday launched an initiative to strengthen Lok Virsa archives and research programme in collaboration with a world famous institute, Smithsonian based in USA and Interactive Resource Centre (IRC).

The main objective of this program is digitization and organization of Lok Virsa National Sound and Video Library, undertake collaborative research to improve the museum and generate programs for youth which will serve the scholars and cultural organizations and to save archives for the future generation.

Lok Virsa has been the torch bearer of preservation of the folk traditions of Pakistan since its inception in 1974. This year Lok Virsa extended collaboration with the international research institute Smithsonian, USA to integrate a curatorial-capacity program and the development of National Sound & Video Archives through digitization, preservation and digital cataloguing.

Executive Director, Lok Virsa Dr Fouzia Saeed, said that for the last 2 years, the current administration is reviving it’s capacity and has been working to preserve, collect and disseminate culture in the purest form especially the folklore and folk music for the past three generations. “We are proud to announce that this year we are going to celebrate our relation to the land and traditions of Pakistan in the form of the online database of digital archival records which mark a historical example of good relations between public private institutions”.

“This archive currently represents a considerable contribution to the availability of material on musical traditions of Pakistan and its digitization is essential to ensure both the archive’s preservation and its ability to be easily dispersed in the future,” she further said.

Dr. Paul Taylor, Director Smithsonian Institution while speaking on the occasion said they are honoured to be in Pakistan as this country is important to Smithsonian because of its rich and multi lingual heritage.” We are very pleased to be working with Lok Virsa and see it as a long term partnership,” he said. Muhammad Waseem from Interactive Resource Centre (IRC) emphasized reclaiming of creative spaces for youth and will be forming youth cultural clubs in several universities.

The project team expressed that one of the primary goal of the  collaboration with Smithsonian is  improving local and global understanding of Pakistani multi-culturalism, as well as strengthening the curatorial-capacity of local institutions; subsequently the component to the development of the Digital Sound and Video Library at Lok Virsa will entail the arrangement of modes of access for the archive that will facilitate its use by both local and international scholars, as this function of the archive greatly contributes to its usefulness as a repository of knowledge and culture. The international expert from Smithsonian Institute is currently visiting Pakistan to assess and suggest procedure for archival conservation, expressed that by developing this digital library, Lok Virsa will be improving the National Audio and Video Archives to conform to modern museum best practices and strategies for preservation.