A rare document bearing Jawaharlal Nehru’s signature in Hindi, English and Urdu, and a priceless 1623 edition of William Shakespeare’s complete works, are among thousands of historic manuscripts and unseen photographs awaiting proper preservation at IIT Roorkee”s iconic library.
In a visitor’s notebook kept at the Mahatma Gandhi Central Library (MGCL) of IIT Roorkee, India’s first Prime Minister signed his name in three languages along with the date ”November 25, 1949”.
A tiny correction that Jawaharlal Nehru made while writing his name in Hindi is what makes the document especially interesting, Dr C Jayakumar, Librarian, MGCL told PTI.
Having grown slowly since the British period, the library has a good archival collection, he said.
However, at present, the physical manuscripts and photographs are stored in basic conditions. Many important photos, such as those in the convocation album of 1950, lie unlabelled.
While Jayakumar eagerly describes the context of the photographs to those who request to see them, without an organised catalogue, these slices of history may soon bite the dust.
“We have one of the earliest prints of Shakespeare’s collected works, along with 10,000 out of print volumes. We also have a collection of rare images captured during events like convocations,” Dr Jayakumar said.