(25 Oct 2023) On a bright sunny day in August, in a second-floor room at the Gandhi Bhavan Museum in Bengaluru, workers sit in front of five giant tabletop scanners, lining up books and flipping pages with foot pedals. The museum building houses the largest reference library for Gandhian philosophy in the state of Karnataka, and over the next year, the large assortment of books—including the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, a translation of his autobiography, Experiments with Truth, into the Kannada language, and other rare items—will be digitized and their metadata recorded before they join the Servants of Knowledge (SoK) collection on the Internet Archive.
This digitization push is just the latest for the SoK, which was established about four years ago with a volunteer effort to preserve hard-to-find resources. It has since expanded to include partnerships with various libraries and archives throughout India.
Today, the SoK collection is a searchable library of books, speeches, magazines, newspapers, palm leaf manuscripts, audio, and film from and about India in over 15 languages. The collection is a truly open digital library containing public-domain and out-of-copyright works on science, literature, law, politics, history, religion, music, and folklore, among many other topics. All content is open access, searchable, downloadable, and accessible to visually challenged people using text-to-speech tools.
Find out more here.