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March 13, 2018

‘Punjab historical archives being digitised’


March 13, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Information Technology University (ITU) are jointly collaborating with the Punjab Archives and Libraries Department and Columbia University’s Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities to start digitising historical archives to open up a treasure trove of historical records for academia and historians worldwide for research by involving international experts.

Dr Umar Saif, PITB Chairman, said this in his opening remarks on the first day of the seminar on “Knowledge Architectures and Archives” here on Monday. Umar Saif added: “We were opening up our centuries old archives to the world, which had limited access earlier and were being saved in traditional manner, while now through use of technology and recommendations of the participating experts and analysts such rare and precious asset would also preserve our shining art, culture and history.”

Umar Rasool, Punjab Additional Chief Secretary, said digitisation of archives would bring them on the radar of the government for research as things good for people always sustained. The precious historical material from Ranjeet Singh Era to date would be made available to everyone to have knowledge about evolution in the region, which would also include undisclosed documents such as manifesto, death sentence order of Bhagat Singh scheduled to display on March 23 on Pakistan Day at tomb of Anarkali.

Tahir Yusuf, Punjab Secretary Archives and Libraries, said the archival documents being digitised have been shortlisted, which would preserve the historical documents for generations to come and save them from getting mutilated due to weather conditions.

Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Director Centre for Governance and Policy, ITU said the outcome of the seminar would help in the digitalization of archives, being initiated from April for the first phase to complete over one year. It was our endeavour to bring technology and archives together to engage and interact with the World and to create better understanding of our culture and history, he added.

The seminar being participated by scholars from the world’s leading universities for two days of discussion, deliberation and action on the nature and role of knowledge in modern world, the importance and use of archives, and the application of technology in bringing together different strands of knowledge and information together.

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