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Andhra’s Vedic University to build bunkers to preserve ancient manuscripts

Representational image. Tirupati's Sri Venkateswara Vedic University is planning to construct bunkers to preserve ancient manuscripts (Pic. Courtesy svvedicuniversity)

Ancient manuscripts which provide a wealth of information on varied subjects are fragile and need to be preserved. Aiming to do this, Tirupati’s Sri Venkateswara Vedic University in Andhra Pradesh, is going to build bunkers to protect these important documents.

The ancient manuscripts will be collected from donors and kept inside the lockers inside the bunkers assuring their preservation.

Talking about this important project with the media, Prof. Rani Sada Siva Murthy, SVVU Vice-Chancellor, informed that the institution will build an edifice on half an acre of land which will have bunkers in the basement. The conditions in these bunkers will ensure that these manuscripts don’t get damaged for hundreds of years.

For the purpose of collecting manuscripts from both institutions and individuals, the University which is run by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has submitted a proposal. The lockers inside the bunkers where these manuscripts will be stored will be named after the donors.

Further, the University will make provision for digitising the manuscripts to preserve them. The donors have a choice of taking back the original once they have been digitised. Already 9,500 manuscripts have been digitised of which 6,000 under Sri Venkateswara Manuscript Project and 3,500 by SVVU.

SVVU will also start a six-month certificate course on Manuscriptology. This will enable students to know about manuscript cleaning including free brushing, using of oil and spirit and preparing descriptive catalogues. This course will also equip and train the students in the scripts in which these manuscripts have been written and these are Grandha, Sharada and Devanagari.

The University will also commence post-graduate courses from 2023-24 and these will include MA Systems of Indian Philosophy, MA Grammar (Vyakaranam), MA Indian Logic and MA Translation Studies.

A course for translation of these ancient works into other languages will also be started to help youngsters get employment as translators.