The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been digitising lakhs of books and thousands of doctoral theses at its library.
Books are being digitised under the Digital Library of India programme, which provides for digitisation of freely accessible rare books collected from various libraries in India. The premier institute is also giving importance to digitisation of doctoral theses and journals.
The process of digitisation began six years ago. So far, the IISc has digitised 2,500 books and as many theses. Now, 10,000 bound volume journals and more than 5,500 titles are available online. The library subscribes to 2,500 e-journals. Since 2009, all journals are being subscribed online, except for some Indian journals.
The library has more than 8,000 theses and at least two lakh books, according to Puttabasavaiah, deputy librarian at the IISc. Six months ago, a firm approached the institute to digitise the theses in the library. This proposal is under consideration of the library committee and it is looking into the cost factor and the time frame, he said.
The committee had outsourced scanning thesis papers. The remaining work like preparing the index, making data legible and easy searching with links was done by the library staff. If the committee approves outsourcing, the organisation will do the complete work. The onus of maintaining authenticity and accuracy will be on the organisation, Puttabasavaiah said.
While only non-copyright books can be digitised, the main task is to digitise theses. Each thesis has around 250 pages and around 5,000 theses are to be digitised.
The earliest thesis of 1983 as well as books dating to 1888 have been digitised. The aim of digitisation is to back up data and make it easily available to students and researchers associated with IISc round the clock. Since the library has timing restrictions and information may be required at late hours, the digitisation will help. The library will get to know which journal and book is popular and searched the most.
Presently, the digitised data is accessible to the IISc community alone. Those from outside the IISc can only see the abstracts. They have to register with the IISc to access the data and there is a separate portal for theses.