This expo is a historic delight

The two-day exhibition of documents pertaining to the pre-independence era, compiled by the State Archives department, is a treat to bibliophiles and researchers.

The exhibition inaugurated by Kannada and Culture Minister Govind Karjol at the Venkatappa Art Gallery on Thursday includes a collection of letters, photographs and newspaper articles regarding Karnataka’s history, governance, and administration, dating as far back as the 19th century.

It also throws light on the administrative matters during the pre and post British rule and the rule of the Mysore Maharajas and gives a glimpse of the way the then Diwan of Mysore, Sir M Visvesvaraya, handled issues of various departments, be it the dam projects or something as mundane as the design of a chandelier at the palace.

A letter proposing Visvesvaraya’s pension amount (Rs 1,250) to be paid by the Mysore Maharaja, after the statesman’s retirement as diwan in 1919, is also on display. There is also an interesting letter written by noted artist K Venkatappa seeking a scholarship amount from the Maharaja of Mysore to help him learn to play the ‘veena’.

After inaugurating the exhibition, Karjol said the department had successfully archived over five lakh documents and many  court’s verdicts were also based on the documents available at the department.

The Minister added that the department is in talks with the British Library in London with regard to accessing some of the documents belonging to the State housed at the Library. The exhibition concludes on Friday evening.

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