The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai, dedicated to the preservation of India’s classical and folk arts, has a rare collection of articles by well-known scholars of performing arts.
Sahapedia collaborated with NCPA to digitise the copyright-free articles that appeared in its Quarterly Journal, published between September 1972 and March 1988. The articles include obituaries, people writing as artistes, scholarly articles on various aspects and development of performing arts of India and South Asia and reports on theatre workshops.
These articles can now be accessed by a wider audience through Sahapedia’s library section.
India has a rich theatre tradition and there have been extensive documentation efforts around it in recent times. But there is a need to integrate nation-wide institutional and individual theatre archiving efforts to create a comprehensive and dynamic online resource on Indian theatre. As an initiative in this direction, Sahapedia collaborated with the National School of Drama (NSD) to prepare a module on the iconic play in verse, Andha Yug, by poet-playwright-writer Dharamvir Bharati.
The module documents landmark productions of the 1954 play and includes the text of the play, a translation, biography of Bharati, criticism and reviews of past performances. It contains digitised images of old brochures and posters from NSD archives and an audio-track of Om Shiv Puri’s performance. The module also has interviews with past directors and actors. Their reminiscences together with other entries would prove a rich resource for actors, directors, playwrights and scholars of today.
The Department of Art History and Aesthetics, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda has a UGC recognized Regional Documentation Center which is the first University–level Photo Archives of Indian Architecture, Sculptures and Paintings along the lines of American Institute of Indian Studies Institute (New Delhi) and the French Institute of Pondicherry. This Regional Documentation Centre was established in the 1970s with a staff comprising a Documentation Officer, an Archivist, a Photographer and an Attendant.
The thrust areas of the Department for research, study and documentation has been the art and architecture of the Western Indian region (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra), Indian Aesthetics and, Modern Indian Art and Criticism. For documentation of sculptures and architectures of different time periods in India, several tours to regions, sites and museums have been conducted by the department since the 1970s. Initial photo documentation in the archive is in hardcopy format. But recent documentation, done during field visits by the students of the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, is available in digital format.
Sahapedia, through its collaboration with MS University Baroda, is digitizing a selected corpus of images from this archive and presenting them as image galleries on historic monuments and religious sites from across India.