National Archives of India
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Shyamal Lakshminarayanan
2018-07-03 06:36:22 UTC
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Dear fellow Wiki[p|m]edians/ independent researchers,

This is just to bring to your attention that the National Archives of India
have made a major advance with digitizing their contents and it presents an
opportunity that will be quite exciting for those inclined to research.
They are available through http://www.abhilekh-patal.in and require free
registration. Many documents are yet to be digitized and there is an option
to pay for priority digitization after which the digitized contents become
readily available (very similar to the French Digital Library
http://gallica.bnf.fr/) Because of the understandable size of the contents
and limitations of personnel, it appears that the metadata is often
defective or in need of work. The content has been OCR-ed but with serious
issues which make discovering relevant content a matter of requiring some
search-engine-fu and even pure luck while browsing the contents. We can
however improve the ease of discovery of relevant content.

What volunteer researchers can do
* Search the contents for topics of your interest - if you find something
relevant - you can cite it using cite web (a custom wrapper for the
Archives may be desirable)
* You can add links to the material on the relevant pages - as external
links - perhaps future researchers will make a more careful examination and
use it for referencing
* Include in the edit comment - a suitable #tag - just so that others can
find the archival research of colleagues via
https://tools.wmflabs.org/hashtags/- for now I have been using #NAI but
alternatives can be considered
* Some of the files contain interesting attachments or portions -
signatures of notable persons - photos or more - to give an example - a
file discussing the proscription of a newspaper / magazine for carrying
certain content will include a copy of the newspaper / magazine - these can*
- if they are identified as being in the public domain* - be extracted and
archived - possibly on the Internet Archive <https://www.archive.org> or to
Commons <https://commons.wikimedia.org>. (these may however require some
web tricks, PDF-hacks, and tools)

Partnerships with the National Archives may also be possible in future.

Interesting content discoveries and research stories are welcome also on
the Facebook group - Open Research India

best wishes