Conservation of Manuscripts

When NMM was formed in 2003, there were paucity of trained persons and absence of standard norms of conservation on the one hand and pitiable conditions of Indian collections demanding urgent steps on the other hand. NMM started functioning in such a situation and after a decade, the situation has clearly changed a lot, though there is no room for complacency.

India is not only the largest repository of literary heritage, but is also the forerunner in conservation efforts.  National Mission for Manuscripts is first such national level comprehensive initiative in the world which caters to the need of conserving manuscripts and disseminating knowledge contained therein. NMM has covered a long distance since its inception in 2002 towards fulfilling its motto, ‘conserving the past for the future’.

Conservation efforts of the NMM encompass the following dimensions:

  1. Conservation of original manuscripts
  2. Conservation through digitization
  3. Conservation through microfilming

Conservation of manuscript in original is done through preventive and curative methods.  For that purpose a standard methodology comprising the positive aspects of both traditional Indian practices and modern scientific methods has been formulated and followed.Conservationofmanuscriptsiscarried out through 33 Manuscript Conservation Centres (MCCs), besides organizing preventive and curative conservation workshops at different locations of the country as per priorities. Manpower development in the field of manuscript conservation, another objective of the NMM is also taken care of during workshops. Conservation workshops aim at fulfilling dual objectives of conservation of manuscripts and generate trained manpower in the field of manuscript conservation. Realising the urgency of conservation, NMM has launched the conservation of manuscripts in a massive scale. Besides these, in 2011, NMM has established an in−house laboratory at its head−quarters in Delhi. Here 4 well− trained conservators are busy in treating important cashes of manuscripts in preventive and curative ways.