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The glorious past of Indian culture lies in manuscripts. These are basic historical evidence which have great research value and its need and importance has been recognized internationally. It is estimated that India possesses more than five million manuscripts, making her the largest repository of manuscript wealth in the world.

But today, thousands of valuable unpublished Indian manuscripts on varied subjects are lying scattered or fragmented in both Indian and foreign collections making them no longer accessible to research scholars. Since most of the manuscripts have been written on materials such as birch, palm leaf, handmade paper and cloth, it requires specialized care and conservation. Although our ancestors had tried to preserve them with the means available at the time, at present this tremendous pool of knowledge is under threat and manuscripts are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Recognizing the need to encompass and preserve this aspect of Indian culture, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has made a pioneering attempt by serving as a major resource centre. The manuscript microfilming programme at the IGNCA is a landmark project in cultural heritage preservation. The Reprography Unit of the IGNCA is fully equipped for the proper augmentation of the reprographic resources, its preservation & conservation.

The IGNCA has approached many private and public institutions/organizations and individuals who are in possession of valuable manuscripts preferably in Sanskrit Language and has signed an MOU with them to do microfilming of their manuscripts. In return the IGNCA provides them with a positive print of the Microfilm rolls.
The IGNCA has, so far, developed a rich microfilm/microfiche collection in its Reprography Unit. At present, the reprography unit is in possession of a rich collection of more than 2.5 lacs manuscripts in more than 21500 microfilm rolls. The entire collection has also been digitized.





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