Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today asked the Culture Department to adopt the latest scientific techniques to preserve the ancient/old historical records and manuscripts for the reference of future generation. He also stressed for making out efforts for coming up with digital libraries besides promoting the book reading culture in the state.The Advisor made these observations while addressing the senior officers of Culture Department during a meeting convened to review its functioning and the activities being carried out by the department.Commissioner Secretary Culture Department Mohammad Saleem Shishgar, Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums Munir-ul-Islam, Director Libraries Masrat-ul-Islam, Director Finance, Deputy Secretary and other concerned officers of the department.Commissioner Secretary made a detailed presentation about the working of Directorate of Archives, Archaeology & Museums, Directorate of Libraries and Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums apprised the Advisor about the primary mandate which is to preserve the tangible cultural heritage of the State - Archaeological monuments, sites, manuscripts, historical records, rare books and latest reference books, paintings, art object, textiles, gold & silver coins, etc.Detail was also given out about the total number of state protected monuments. It was told that there are 18164 manuscripts & old records which has been registered by the department while as 1876 in Kashmir and 3864 Antiquities have been registered in Leh.It was also informed about the status of ongoing works at New Museum Complex at Lal Mandi, Srinagar which involves cost of around Rs 72.77 crore and ongoing works to renovate or develop important monuments in the state.
The Advisor enquired about the historical records/antiques which is available with the department and the techniques of preserving the same. Keeping in mind the importance of these ancient and historical records, the Advisor asked for adopting some latest scientific techniques of preservation so that it remains with us for years to come.Besides, he also stressed for looking out some best models being used in other parts of the country for the categorization of records.The meeting also discussed various issues that need to be addressed for strengthening the department for further making it rich in terms of having ancient records, monuments and antiques.With regard to the functioning of Department of Libraries in the state, the meeting discussed it briefly along with the steps taken to get the books digitized for coming up with digital libraries.It was informed that presently there are 140 Public Libraries with 8 lakh books of different genres, including rare old historic manuscripts books in the state. A separate Research & Publications Wing who is the custodian of 5500 rare manuscripts in Arabic, Sanskrit, Persian, Dogri, Balti, Urdu and English besides multi-lingual manuscripts.Two historic Central Libraries exist in the state including Ranbir Singh Library at Kachi Chawni Jammu set up in 1879 which showcases rare Tibetan manuscripts and Partap Singh Library set up in Srinagar at Lal Mandi in 1898 with 74 old historic Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic manuscripts.The Advisor asked for the initiatives taken so far to develop the libraries in digital form. Replying to the query, the Director Libraries said that automation has been done but the books have not digitized yet.K Vijay Kumar asked for expediting the process of making digital libraries and take maximum benefits out of the Internationally/Nationally sponsored projects. He also asked have focused attention to organize special book reading sessions involving renowned persons of the state.The meeting also discussed the working of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKACL) and the activities it carries out for role for promotion of Literature, Music/Dance and Fine Arts.