Over 300,000 images of ancient Vaishnava manuscripts have to be captured, digitized, processed and preserved in both hard-copy and soft-copy formats. Collaborations have been established to tackle the challenges of image processing and a huge data storage (reliable and secure) system. Shri Bannanje Govindacharya has kindly agreed to lend his knowledge and expertise for this endeavor.
The Adyar library, Institute for Vaishnava studies & the American University microfilm collection of Vaishnava literature (VL), comprises huge collection of rare, ancient manuscripts from India dating back to the 13th century. This collection was established in the 1980s by Dr. Charles S.J. White, who is now professor emeritus of philosophy and religion at the American University. Recently (December 2006), a copy of the entire VL microfilm collection (over 100 microfilm tapes/300,000 images) was gifted by the American University to Dr. P.R.Mukund, Founder of FPK and our sister organization Tara Prakashana, for digitization and further preservation.
The Vaishnava Literature (VL) Collection
The main goals of the project are to digitally preserve and provide access to the entire VL collection through the internet. The first step towards this is to convert the microfilms to digital images. This conversion will be carried out by high-speed microfilm scanners. Once digitized, the images will undergo digital image processing, and their quality will be improved using standard and custom enhancement algorithms. The digitized manuscripts will then be categorized based on the tradition they belong to and within each tradition they will be arranged alphabetically by the name of the author. The easiest way to make this collection available worldwide is to create a digital library of the manuscripts. FPK will provide access to its digital library of manuscripts to any individual/institution that is interested in studying these manuscripts.