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Admin On September - 16 - 2014

Digital Libraries in India

Digital Library

An digital library (also referred to as electronic library or digital repository) is a focused collection of digital objects that can include text, visual material, audio material, video material, stored as electronic media formats (as opposed to print, micro form, or other media), along with means for orgaDigital library1nizing, storing, and retrieving the files and media contained in the library collection.

Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope, and can be maintained by individuals, organizations, or affiliated with established physical library buildings or institutions, or with academic institutions. The electronic content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. An electronic library is a type of information retrieval system.

The advantages of digital libraries as a means of easily and rapidly accessing books, archives and images of various types are now widely recognized by commercial interests and public bodies alike.

Traditional libraries are limited by storage space; digital libraries have the potential to store much more information, simply because digital information requires very little physical space to contain it. As such, the cost of maintaining a digital library can be much lower than that of a traditional library. A physical library must spend large sums of money paying for staff, book maintenance, rent, and additional books. Digital libraries may reduce or, in some instances, do away with these fees.

In India, Digitally designed libraries found which are as fallows

  • Digital Library of India is a digital library of books, which are free-to-read, searchable, predominantly in Indian languages, available to everyone over the Internet. Very soon it is expected that this portal would provide a gateway to Indian Digital Libraries in science, arts, culture, music, movies, traditional medicine, palm leaves and many more. This project is a collaboration between different Indian insitutes and Universities and Carnegie Mellon University under Universal Digital Library Project.  (URL:
  • Traditional Knowledge Digital Library: The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an Indian digital knowledge repository of the traditional knowledge, especially about medicinal plants and formulations used in Indian systems of medicine. Set up in 2001, as a collaboration between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Dept. of AYUSH), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, the objective of the library is to protect the ancient and traditional knowledge of the country from exploitation through biopiracy and unethical patents, by documenting it electronically and classifying it as per international patent classification systems. Apart from that, the non-patent database serves to foster modern research based on traditional knowledge, as it simplifies access to this vast knowledge of remedies or practices (URL:
  • Digital Library of Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode is developed by IIMK library holds documents on management, economics, sociology, etc and IIMK staff publications. The number of documents included are less as the library is in development stage. (URL:
  • ETD at Indian Institute of Science is the digital repository of Theses and Dissertations of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. You can search, browse and access theses and dissertaions from this collection. This repository has been developed to capture, disseminate and preserve research theses of Indian Institute of Science related Indian arts and culture.                           (URL:
  • Librarian’s Digital Library [LDL] has been developed by DRTC, which contains full text of papers/articles related to Indian Librarianship. Presently it contains full text papers submitted in DRTC seminars, papers submitted by LIS professionals and Students Theses/Dissertations. In future it is having plans to include conference proceedings of Indian LIS associations.  (URL:
  • Nalanda Digital Library is the result of the ongoing Digital Library nitiative at National Institute of Technology, Calicut Library. Nalanda Project aims at a full-fledged Digital Library at NITC to cater to the increasing demand for information resources from the Campus User Community as well as from Remote Users from rest of the Country. Some resources are open to all, otherwise they are resistricted to NITC campus and their recognised users. At present, it is in evolving stage. (URL:
  • Archives of Indian Labour was constituted with the long-term objective to act as a specialised repository of records and voices of the workers, and contain textual, visual and oral records on labour in India. At present in total 8 special collections comprising 40,000 printed pages, 100 hours of taped interviews are stored in digital form. In addition several special reports and articles on labour history of India are also available on this digital library. This library has been developed using Greenstone open source software at V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, Noida. Registration is required to access the library. (URL:
  • Vidyanidhi: Digital Library and E-Scholarship Portal is planning to develop repository for Indian doctoral thesis. At present it provides access to metadata of Indian thesis and Universities. Few full text thesis [ETDs] are presently available in its database. It started as a project in 2000 with support from NISSAT, Govt of India. Now with the support from Ford Foundation and Microsoft India it is evolving as a national initiative. It welecomes Universities and Researchers to participate in this programme. The project is based at Dept of Library and Information Science, Mysore University, Mysore, Karnataka.                        (URL:
  • Panjab Digital Library: The Panjab Digital Library is a NGO that is digitizing and preserving cultural heritage of Panjab since 2003. There are many historically significant documents stored and made available online. Its scope covers Sikh and Punjabi culture.[1] The library funded by The Nanakshahi Trust was finally launched online in August 2009. It is located at Chandigarh.  (URL:
Categories: Library Science

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