LAHORE: The Punjab Information Technology Board in collaboration with Punjab Archives & Libraries Wing, S&GAD has launched a web portal containing 7 million unique documents and rare books along with digitized data of historical record from the 17th century.
The web portal launched at the Civil Secretariat on Friday includes the digitized data which covers the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras in South Asia and the web portal also has more than seven million files of unique documents and rare books which have been given online publicly for the first time.
Punjab Archives & Libraries Secretary Tahir Yousaf and PITB Chairman Azfar Manzoor inaugurated the portal.
The website developed under the project of ‘Digitization, Preservation and Modernization of Punjab Archives’ aims to digitally preserve 500,000 pages of historic documents present in the Punjab Archives.
A professor, Tahir Azeem, appreciated the project and said, “Archives hidden in the Anarkali’s Tomb were not accessible by the people who wanted to learn more. It is a very good initiative by PITB to come up with such a unique portal for the students, researchers and all those who love reading.”
A student Shehla Abbasi said, “It was really difficult for us to access the archives because a huge line of permissions was required. Now it will be easier for me to get the required documents online. It is an excellent idea and I appreciate the government for this step as it will benefit the students.”
The PITB official informed that the portal would safeguard the material digitally and reduce the need to displace the fragile original documents, minimizing their wear and tear. The scanned items will be high-resolution images in an uncompressed format.
The web portal carries the information and digitized documentation about societal norms, caste and lineal descent information, the formulation of municipal and urban policies, land settlement and many more.
These records would not only preserve our heritage but also make it easily accessible for general public. This information will further be linked with places like Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia.
“The portal will significantly improve our understanding of the society around us. Such portals are available worldwide but it was lacking here in Pakistan. It was an uphill task and the teams have technically handled the project,” PITB spokesperson said.
The portal can be accessed at archives.punjab.gov.pk.