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Andhra University begins digitization of palm-leaf manuscripts

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India], December 30 (ANI): Andhra University has embarked on a massive program of digitization of the entire collection of palm leaf books available in the varsity library.

The decision of digitization was taken to pass on the stories, poems, sciences and myths to future generations. Andhra University began digitization of palm-leaf manuscripts at its VS Krishna Library. We have taken up this exercise to make the scriptures’ content available in a digital format. It will serve as a powerful tool for young researchers”, said Prasad Reddy, Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University. The digitization programme is being done at the VS Krishna Library under the varsity.

As per information from the varsity, stories, poems, sciences, myths, etc. were written on palm leaf books in the early days. There is an unprecedented wealth of knowledge in the palm leaf texts and scholars say that palm leaf texts are a valuable national treasure of India. Andhra University also has thousands of palm leaf books. As many as five lakh books on many fields are now available at AU’s VS Krishna Library. In addition to these, there are many valuable, rare palm-leaf manuscripts. These are stored in a special section and are being protected and measures are being taken to prevent damage, as per the information. “A special section for the preservation of hundreds of years old texts was set up at AU some 90 years ago under the name of the Palm Library Department. There are a total of 2,663 palm leaf texts here. At that time Bobbili Sansthanam donated 220, Arsha Library representative for Visakhapatnam Embar donated 1,368, Imani Venkateshwarlu donated 119 from Thumpala, Nishtala Ramanayya donated 66 from Nandipalli and Annapoornayya donated 40 from Gavaravaran palm leaf books to the AU Library. The varsity has also purchased some palm-leaf manuscripts from various regions”, said an official.