Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lack of preservation puts rare books, manuscripts at decay at DU library

Due to lack of proper preservation, century old 'puthis' and manuscripts, rare books, newspapers and periodicals printed in Bangladesh during the last century, have been decaying at the Dhaka University Central Library.

About 300 rare manuscripts and at least 600-microfilmed newspapers have already been damaged, although there is a supervisory committee to look into this.

Another 500 hundred 'puthis' and newspapers are going to face the same fate if preventive steps are not taken, said sources at the library.

The university library has a collection of more than 30,000 such books and manuscripts, dating back to the medieval period, written on palm and banana leaves, barks, stone slabs and handmade papers in Sanskrit, Bangla, Arabic, Pali, Urdu, Persian, Maithili, Uriya, Hindi and a few other dialects.

About 20,000 among the manuscripts have been identified and 6,500 almost decayed manuscripts have been microfilmed and laminated, the sources said. Work on identifying other manuscripts is on but they are in such decrepit condition that it is difficult to work with those, sources said.

"Sharada Tilok", a Sanskrit puthi more than 550-year old and rare Bangla works from the middle ages like "Padma Puran", "Yusuf Zulekha" and "Padmabati" by Alaol are some of the notables among the most decrepit volumes.

Full report here New Nation

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