In the basement of Soudha, a treasure trove

The archives section has preserved documents dating back to 1799

This is a luxury that research scholars from across the world get to experience in a small area carved out for them in the basement of the imposing Vidhana Soudha, where historic records dating back to 1799 are being preserved and maintained by the Archives section of the Department of Kannada and Culture.

Renovation

The department has now embarked upon a project to modernise this area, which is expected to be completed in three to six months.

The PWD, which has been entrusted with the renovation work, has begun its job, according to Kanchivaradaiah, Director of the State Archives. The project will cost Rs 17 lakh.

The section has over three lakh records and documents of historic importance. As a good number of researchers make use of the available records, seating area is being spruced up, the director said.

Lamination

Around 60 research scholars have spent precious hours in this section in the last three years, to research on subjects including – political development of education in Karnataka; works pertaining to Sir M Visvesvaraya; colonisation of Mysore; Role of Women in Panchayat Raj System, etc.

A large number of documents and records are getting laminated. In the present year, Rs 25 lakh was spent to laminate 1,788 records.

The work of de-acidifying the yellowing and musty pages, and laminating them using German tissue has been outsourced to a private company in Thiruvallur in Chennai. The firm charges Rs 32 to laminate a page.

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