Sindh Archives & Information Dept

Sindh Archives acquires 72 historic volumes of Shamsul Hassan

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

SINDH Archives has received all 72 volumes of Syed Shamsul Hasan’s historic collection from the National Documentation Center (NDC), Islamabad while documents regarding the Sindh Governor’s Report between the period of 1937 to 1947 has also begun in consignments.
The volumes were donated to the NDC by Zahid Shamsul Hassan, the younger son of Syed Shamsul Hassan, and comprise original papers mostly from 1940 to 1947 about Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the All-India Muslim League.
Director Sindh Archives Iqbal Nafees Khan told Daily Times on Thursday that the documents were handed over through an arrangement between Sindh Archives and the NDC on exchange of archival material, and the first consignment of 18 out of the 72 volumes was received in February.
Khan said that through the agreement, Sindh Archives would also receive documents written between 1937 and 1947 about the Sindh Governor’s Report from the British India Office Library after the Cabinet Division, Islamabad, signed an accord with the British Government. “There are hundreds of files regarding the report as the British Government has agreed to handover the attested microfilms of these files to Sindh Archives.”
Responding to a question, he said that they had also collected 4,500 files from the old commissioner’s house to be recorded with the Sindh Archives while negotiations to bring historical files from Hyderabad to be preserved under one roof were underway.
He said that Sindh Archives was the main repository and preserved the oldest government records dating back to 1815. He recalled that a record room was established in 1851 in the office of the commissioner of Sindh, which was the prime government office at the time, and these records were moved to this repository after Sindh Archives was established in 1976. “Besides records of the commissioner office, thousands of court files, political files, rare books, manuscripts and other rare material were moved.”
Sindh Archives contains a large collection of rare and historic documents and is open to public. There are 34,465 documents of the commissioner Karachi files from 1818 to 1985, 1,783 files of old maps, 17,530 cases of Sindh High Court from the nineteenth century, 100,000 files of the Shikarpur Session Court from the eighteenth to nineteenth century, 1,340 books from Shikarpur Library, 350 books from DC Jacobabad, 325,000 pages of GM Syed’s documents, 850 registers of district registrar Karachi from 1866 to 1949, two volumes of ‘Who is Who?’ from district Jacobabad and Larkana, 152 files of old records of Sindh received from Punjab and 2,895 files of reports of the ADBP. It also has a huge reference library with 6,431 books as well as 884 rare books, 765 manuscripts and 685 microfilms and archival record from the finance department and city court proceedings.
To keep Sindh Archives running along modern lines, 20 percent of the manuscripts, 15 old files and volumes of other collections have been digitized so far. Software for search and management of books and old record files has also been prepared to computerise the collection.
Iqbal said that the existing Sindh Archives building was fully utilised, which was why they had need to embark upon an extension project that began in 2002 with an estimated cost of Rs 39.9 million. “It had to be complete by June 30, 2006 but now it will finish within the next two to three months.” The new building, he said, will be used as a library.
Talking about how many visitors they received, he said that it seemed as if the trend of reading books and research had declined as only three to four students visited them per week. “Sometimes serious scholars also visit us to benefit from the colossal amount of historic and rare documents found here,” he added.
Iqbal said that they were planning to collect the Sindh Assembly’s debates’ records and so far 150 files had been acquired to maintain records.
Elaborating on the details of the personal libraries’ collection in Sindh Archives, he said that they had a huge collection of the personal libraries of eminent scholars and citizens including Dr NA Baloch (6,421 books), Syed Zafar Hussain Shah (2,177 books), Saeed Siddiqui (3,400 books), Shaikh Ibrahim Khalil (3,451 books), Pir Ali Mohammad Rashidi (6,000 books), Mumtaz Mirza (450 books), Jhamandas Bhatia (6,000 books), Hameed Haroon (319 books), British India Library Books (434 books) and Dr NBG Qazi (356 books).
Answering a question, he said that the E-Archives project had begun with an estimated cost of Rs 15 million to develop and host the Sindh Archives website and present details of the collection online. “The website will be launched within a couple of months and it will help researchers and scholars search books and information material from anywhere around the world,” he said.
-Published in Daily Times | May 04, 2007

~ by jamilkhan on June 16, 2008.

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