| Ravenshaw University in Cuttack. Telegraph picture |
Cuttack, July 23: Efforts have been initiated for the restoration of old records of historical importance at the record room at Ravenshaw University.
Most of the records, in the format of office file and correspondence, are stacked up in bulk shelves without any chronological or subject-wise categorisation. They are now being segregated and will be preserved digitally.
“History of Ravenshaw University is synonymous with the history of Orissa. Ravenshaw University record room is a treasure house with a lot of information about colonial and modern history, which could be of importance for students as well as researchers,” said vice-chancellor Devdas Chotray.
The record room contains documents of home, finance, revenue departments of the Union government and a copy of those letters and correspondence, which were used to be sent to varsity for necessary information.
The database of students, notification regarding scholarships, resolutions of civil, civil services and educational services, hand-written notes, letters of noted personalities of Orissa are also available in the record room.
The preservation and restoration work at the record room is being conducted with the assistance from Lalatendu Dasmohapatra, regional record officer of the National Archives, Bhubaneswar.
As per Dasmohapatra’s suggestions, the documents and other records are being classified as per their dates and chronological importance.
A total of around 10 members led by Professor Umakant Mishra of Ravenshaw University are engaged in the classification and segregation of old records.
“We are working on the record room and all documents are being segregated and converted into excel format after scanning. Later, the records will be hosted on the University website through various hyperlinks,” said Mishra.
Mishra said many important documents, including the “original war bond” that was issued by the Union government in 1918 to raise funds for the British government during the World War I, had been recovered and preserved.
Similarly, many affidavits signed by students and their parents for assuring not to indulge in various political mobilisation and even the non-cooperation movement had also been recovered.
Moreover, documents relating to legendary Madhusudan Das as part of the board of selection for state technical scholarship giving permission to two Oriya’s to pursue technical education in Europe had been found.
So far, the old records from 1912 to 1955 have been segregated and digitally preserved. However, the records before 1918 are yet to be recovered and classified.
According to Mishra, Ravenshaw University has a rich past history as the records of its establishment and documents relating to the opening ceremony when the Ravenshaw University campus was established way back during the colonial period in 1922.