Friday, 15 September 2017

Symposium: Rethinking the Dutch East India Company?

Dear all,
The National Archives of the Netherlands finished the digitisation of its VOC collection earlier this year. To mark this special occasion, the National Archives and the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University are pleased to invite you to our symposium on the VOC archives on 23-24 November 2017 titled Rethinking the Dutch East India Company? Old genres new trends in research and analysis. Asides from this, an exhibition on the VOC is hosted by the National Archives this year, which is attracting much attention.
Content and subjects
The symposium will address a diverse number of subjects related to the VOC archives, with the following question as the central theme:
To what extent has research in the VOC archives changed compared to a few decades ago and where will it go – or does it need to go – in the future?
Special attention will be given to the possibilities digitisation offers to non-western researchers and the study of Asian/African history and to the study of the negative sides of colonialism as well as to questions concerning the decolonisation of archive management and research. The preliminary programme is attached to this message.
Registration and enquiries.
The symposium will be held at the National Archives in The Hague and admission is free. The language of the symposium is English. Participants can choose to attend one or two days of the symposium. Registration can be done by filling out the form at More information and updates can also be found on this page. We advise you to register in time since availability of places is limited and we are expecting these to fill up fast.
We would greatly appreciate it if you would share this message in your professional network. Questions on the symposium can be sent to the project secretary at We hope to welcome you in November.
In behalf of the National Archives and Leiden University,
Kind regards,
Thomas Dresscher
Project Secretary VOC symposium
Nationaal Archief/National Archives of the Netherlands

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Naval Kishore Press - digital

The Naval Kishore Press was founded in Lakhnau in 1858 by Munshi Naval Kishore (1836-1895) and grew in the following decades to one of India's most important publishing houses.
The Library of the South Asia Institute at Heidelberg University holds with its ca. 2,000 titles - 742 on microfilm -  issued by the Naval Kishore Press a representative cross section of the Press' publications.

Naval Kishore Press - Thematic portal on CrossAsia
On our thematic portal Naval Kishore Press you now have access not only to the Naval Kishore Press Bibliography, but also to digitised Sanskrit and Hindi works from the collection.

Among the 44 digitised works 22 titles have already been OCRed and converted to searchable and editable digital texts in Devanāgarī script and Latin transliteration. They can be accessed on Naval Kishore Press – digital.
The presentation platform offers a full text search in both scripts. A word or phrase found by searching the full text will be highlighted in the facsimile. Furthermore users can download a high quality OCR-PDF of the facsimile, where the text is fully searchable either in Devanāgarī script or in Latin transliteration.

OCRed Devanagari text from "Samasa cakra", highlighting "Visnu"

Facsimile page from "Samasa cakra", highlighting "Visnu"

 Some of the already OCRed texts are:
  • Tulasīdāsa: Rāmāyaasaīka. Lakhanaū, 1894.
  •        Kanhaiyālāla: Samāsa cakra. Lakhanaū, 1883.
  •        Dūdhadāsa: Rāmāśvamedha bhāā. Lakhanaū, 1900.
  •        Jacobi, Hermann: Jaina aura baudha ka bheda: Jain and baudhs taken from the introduction to the Bhadrabahu's Kalpasutra. Lakhanaū, 1897.
  •        J̱ālimasiha: Brahmadarpaa: upanyāsa. Lakhnaū, 1917.
  •        Jayadeva; Rāyacanda Nāgara: Gītagovindādarśa: arthāt Rāyacanda Nāgara-kta Gītagovinda saskta kā bhāā-pratibiba. Lakhnaū, 1926.
  •        Jānakī Prasāda Ātma Pyārelāla: Rāgavinoda: jisame bhajana, humrī, dādarā, pūrvī, bihāga, khammāca, kajarī, addhā, g̱aj̱ala, lāvanī va dohe ādi anekarāga varita haiṃ. Lakhnaū, 1914.
More texts are in preparation. We are looking forward to your feedback!

For questions and suggestions please contact:
Nicole Merkel-Hilf
Subject librarian, Digital Collections