Andhra University is digitizing an entire collection of palm leaf books available in its VS Krishna library. The decision was taken with the intention of passing on the valuable collection of centuries-old manuscripts of stories, poems, science and myths to future generations, the ANI news agency reported. Books are centuries-old treasures of rare texts rich in knowledge. Speaking about the decision, university vice-chancellor Prasad Reddy said the digitization exercise would help make the scripts available to young academics for research on the topics. The subjects of these leaf books range from Ayurveda, medicine, agriculture, law, religion, art, and astronomy.
The university has thousands of palm leaf books and up to 5 lakh books are currently available in its VS Krishna library. Additionally, there are several rare palm leaf manuscripts which are stored in separate sections and are protected by special measures to prevent damage. According to the New Indian Express, the manuscripts include that of “Dasarupaka” and “Rupaka Paribhasha” from “Natya Sastra” by Sage Bharata, and “Parashar Smriti” written by Sage Parashar.
A special section for the preservation of hundreds of years old palm leaf texts was established at the university almost 90 years ago under the direction of the Palm Library Department.
According to an official, when it was created, the department received leaves from various donors. Arsha Library Representative for Visakhapatnam Embar donated 1,368 leaf books, Bobbili Samsthanam donated 220, Imani Venkateshwarlu donated 119 from Thumpala, Annapoornayya donated 40 from Gavaravaran and Nishtala Ramanayya donated 66 Nandipalli palm leaf books at the AU Library. The university also bought a few books of leaves in the following years.
Currently, Andhra University has 2,663 palm leaf texts in its library. The books are digitized by Informatics Publishing Limited, a Bengaluru-based electronic publishing company, and will be uploaded to the AU website once the process is complete.
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