India‘s national virtual culture library has documented over 2.98 lakh digital artefacts and more than 34 lakh bibliographic entries. This project of a national digital repository was implemented by the government in collaboration with IIT Bombay, Mumbai.
Aimed at providing a platform for the 'digital preservation of diverse cultural artefacts and to create awareness and a sense of collective ownership among citizens about their shared heritage’, the portal Indian Culture is also available as an app.
As Minister of Culture G Kishan Reddy elaborated in the Lok Sabha yesterday (4 April), the portal has a collection of Rare Books, E- Books, Archives, Paintings, Stories, Snippets, Historical Cities and Forts etc. under 28 categories.
As per the release, the portal is a one-stop source for information related to history, heritage and culture and hosts data of cultural relevance from various repositories and institutions all over India and was developed ‘recognising the ongoing need to position itself for the digital future‘.
As Reddy informed, it is an all-inclusive Digital Platform to provide access to multiple cultural resources such as the national and state archives, libraries and district gazetteers which will cater to all sections of society. Its salient features as per the release are as follows:
The data has been collected from various organisations under the Ministry of Culture and curated, then harvested onto a common repository. The portal enables free access to archival resources and documents and easy navigation of the portal allows the user to reach the desired result quicker.
The portal has specific features and functionalities that allow visually impaired to read and access the portal without difficulty. Faceted search allows the user to look through the different layers of the portal with the use of filters. Advanced search helps look for books and other resources using specific fields such as author name, title etc.
The portal is bilingual and is available in English and Hindi language.
The Digital Flipbook for Rare Books and E-books is an exclusive feature and is available for all books on the portal. Rare Books on the portal are also downloadable.
Content related to history, heritage and culture is written in an easy to read format to cater to people from all walks of life.
Data on the portal can be easily shared using unique QR codes. Once scanned, the desired page can be easily accessed on phone and other devices.
The portal is constantly growing with new content and curated data. The portal hosts' lakhs of data in the form of books, manuscripts, archival documents, images, videos and other resources.
At present, the following categories are available on the portal - Rare Books, E-Books, Archives, Gazettes and Gazetteers, Manuscripts, Museum Collections, Paintings, Audios, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Photo Archives, Images, Videos, Content from UNESCO, Research Papers, Indian National Bibliography, Reports & Proceedings, Union Catalogues and Other Collections etc.
Stories, Snippets, Photo Essays, Forts of India, Textiles and Fabrics of India, Historic Cities of India, Musical Instruments of India, Food and Culture, Virtual Walkthroughs and Freedom Archive – Unsung Heroes etc.
Harsha is an Associate Editor at Swarajya. She tweets @bhatinmaai.
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