'A True and Exact Description of the most Celebrated East-India Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel; as also of the Isle of Ceylon' to be digitized and made available to researchers

11 October 2017 - 79   - 0

Father Philippus Baldaeus  one of the earliest European missionaries in Sri Lanka, who went on to make an ethnological study of his travels in the subcontinent in the mid-1600s resulted in the publishing of  'A True and Exact Description of the most Celebrated East-India Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel; as also of the Isle of Ceylon'.

The book which is a rare find and housed at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum  as part of its collection will undergo a process of digitisation and will be soon made available for researchers, a report in the Mid Day claimed.

Just last week, the book caught the attention of the Guido Tielman, the consul general of Netherlands, on a special visit to the museum. He even read out the Dutch dedication from the book, which exists as two volumes – one in Dutch, printed in 1672 in Amsterdam, and another, an English translation that was printed in London in 1703. The 211-page Dutch volume is about 38.5 cm and 26.2 cm in length and width. The two volumes, which were restored by the museum in the early 2000s through the conservation lab, are now undergoing a process of digitisation and will be soon made available for researchers.

Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, managing trustee and honorary director of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, was quoted as saying "The library's collection is a great resource for researchers, but we cannot allow access to the books as they are old and fragile," she added "they have undergone extensive restoration work, and, through digitisation, will be accessible to researchers and readers," she explained.

Picture courtesy Mid Day


The book was restored by a team of conservators, which Mehta said, is a laborious process, for each leaf needs to be handled with care. The digitisation of the book, being undertaken by the curatorial and conservation teams, follows guidelines and uses software provided by the Ministry of Culture. 

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