Amritsar Sahib—Rare books, manuscripts and handwritten documents of the 16th century to the early part of the 19th century covering events related to the Sikh gurus and the Anglo-Sikh Wars are soon to be digitised.
These historical pieces of information are housed in the 81-year-old Sikh Museum and Reference Library at Khalsa College here.
College principal Dr. Daljit Singh said today that the museum, which was established in 1930, houses over 6,274 books which include rare books in English and Punjabi dating back to [the] 16th and 17th century. He said [there] are hundreds of manuscripts and documents in Urdu, Sanskrit and Persian also, apart from newspapers and magazines as old as 1904. The Museum also has weapons [from the time of the] Khalsa Army and other Sikh Wars besides old coins of [the] Sikh era.
“It is a treasure house of Sikh history and culture. Hundreds of students use the documents for their research activities. Now, we have planned to preserve all the rare documents and books in the museum by using the latest digital technology,” said Dr. Daljit Singh.
Among the artifacts in the museum are two handwritten Birs of the Guru Granth Sahib, which are a major attraction to visitors here. Newspapers of the early 20th century are also popular with students and visitors.
Khalsa College Governing Council Honorary Secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhinna said they were proud of the museum and have earmarked special funds for preserving its old and rare documents.
“The funds will not be a problem when it comes to [preserving] this rare treasure of Sikh history and culture”, said Chhinna.
Professor Inderjit Singh, the head of the Department of Sikh History and Research, said that many research scholars visit and use the documents available at the museum for conducting further research in the field of Sikh history.