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Exhibition of Special Literary Collections opens to public at SPS Library

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‘ORL Srinagar houses 6000 manuscripts, 5000 rare books, miniature paintings’

SRINAGAR: The Director, Libraries & Research, J&K, Mohammad Rafi today opened for the public the Exhibition of Special Literary Collections including Manuscripts, Rare Books, and Miniature Paintings at the SPS Library Complex here.

The two-day Exhibition is being organized by the Oriental Research Library (ORL) Srinagar on the side-lines of the J&K UT-Level Library Advisory-cum-Purchase Committee (UTLLACPC) meeting which started here this morning.

The main attractions of the exhibition are the oldest manuscripts like Qarabai-Din, Sadh Pand Luqman, and Shahnama Firdous. Some of the rare books including Rajtarangni by Kalhanna,Tareekh-e-Rasheedi, Gazetteer of India, and Kashur – a history of Kashmir are also displayed at the exhibition.

Speaking on the occasion, the Director, Libraries & Research said the rich repository of all the Manuscripts, Rare Books, and Miniature Paintings of ORL which were earlier housed in Allama Iqbal Library, University of Kashmir, have been recently relocated to SPS Library Complex to ensure their conservation, management, and productive use.

He said the Department has approached the National Mission on Manuscripts (NMM) to get their technical and professional guidance for the effective conservation and preservation of these historic documents. He said simultaneously a Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been got prepared through the Mechanical Engineering Department Kashmir for the installation of fire-proof optimizers at SPS Library Complex to ensure the safety of these manuscripts, rare books, and paintings.

Speaking about the exhibition, the Chief Librarian, Oriental Research Library Srinagar, Ishrat Majeed said that the Oriental Research Library (ORL), Srinagar established in 1904, is a repository of around 6000 centuries old rare manuscripts in 17 languages encompassing varied fields. The library also has around 5000 rare books and miniature paintings.

Ishrat said the manuscript collection of ORL is a treasure trove of religious, philosophical, historical, literary, and scientific writings.

The collection, she said, is rich in classical languages like Persian, Sanskrit, and Arabic. These languages have left a deep impression on the Kashmiri language by conditioning its growth in terms of forms and scope, she said and added that Sanskrit, the language of court and culture in the 9th and beginning of the 10th century in Kashmir contributes a number of religious, aesthetic and poetic articulations and are preserved in ORL.

Ishrat said that the collection can prove valuable to literary, religious, and scientific scholars to outgrow small circles into wider circumferences of socio-cultural interaction. “Some manuscripts on Geometry and Medicine could also help to reveal the unfold truth and discoveries,” she said and added that such exhibitions will also make our young generation aware of, the culture, traditions, heritage, and history of Jammu and Kashmir.

A sale Counter has been also established at the Exhibition for the sale of exclusive books published by the Oriental Research Library Srinagar. A large number of people from different walks of life visited the exhibition today.

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