Conservation is part of a series of routine archiving activities at MPP. Recently, our staffs have prepared three bound volumes of ephemera comprising around 600 items, and another bound volume comprising around 200 letters written by major litterateurs.
In recent years, digitization has proved to be a cost-effective method for preservation world over. Since the past four years, MPP has also taken up digitization for preservation of archival materials. This year we are attempting a new initiative in our digitization program. Our team will digitize around 200 titles of periodicals (daily newspapers and weeklies) published throughout the year (July 2010 – June 2011) and make them available online. Earlier MPP had digitized 7,500 photographs, 215 manuscripts, and 1400 ephemera. Though the library has some experiences on digitization, this is the first time the library is doing digitization of periodicals on this scale. The materials will be available online from February 2011.We hope it will prove to be an important online resource for scholars.
Information and records are being generated in the web space, in proportions unimaginable until two decades ago. The trend is only growing, and heading toward a future when internet might become the most influential medium of communications. However, the digital contents thus generated are highly ephemeral, hence, fraught with the possibility of being lost forever, or simply forsaken and forgotten in the cyber space. Realizing this, several major library/archives of the world, like the Library of Congress, the British Library, among others, have started web archiving; in effect, bringing the digital realm within the scope of ‘archiving’.
Nepal is also witnessing a huge increment in the volume of the digital contents being generated on the web. Like other traditional records and transactions of the Nepali society, they also need to be collected, cataloged, preserved and made available for researchers in future. With this view, MPP has started the process of web archiving. As a pilot case, the library has chosen few of the Nepali websites to begin with.
The library uses a simple web archiving tools, and plans to finalize the proper methodology by 2010 – 2011. In future, MPP will not only give continuity to web archiving, but provided the resources, would also like to take it to a larger scale, incorporating as many websites from Nepal as possible.