>
> On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 12:41 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <
> amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>
> Awesome!
>
> Did you have any challenges with digitizing the books? For example, are
> there any ancient Malayalam letters or symbols that were used in these
> books, but weren't available ib Unicode? Did you have any practical
> problems with the Wikisource software?
>

Dear Amir,

The second phase of digitization (i.e. to convert to text) is not yet done.
But like our usual method, this will be completed collectively (read
massively) and rapidly within a few days. We have divided the task among
our little typing army into manageable chunks.


However, phase 1 itself had quite some commendable experiences and hurdles.

During recent times, some of us, particularly, *Shiju Alex*, the well known
Malayalam / Indian Wikipedian, have been on a mission  to try and locate as
many volumes of Malayalam books printed ever until 1920s or so. Shiju came
to be aware of the "Samkshepa vedartham"(SV) copy remaining in the *Dharmaram
Seminary College Library in Bangalore*.

Our friend, (Malayalam Wikipedian) *Jeff Shawn*, an inmate of Dharmaram
Seminary College,  managed to get access to the book that was kept quite in
its own qualified shelter for more than two decades, thanks to a very
special and rare library heritage kind to both books and studious readers.

Thanks are due to *Father Thomas kuniyathodathth* and *Father Geo
Pallikkunnel*, being the responsible powers of the library for granting
permission to scan the book.

The library provided the book for scanning. A 240 year old pulp produce
(that was kept in the aggressive tropical climates of South India, much
unlike those lucky volumes in the library of congress) had to be treated
with much respect and care.

The Library Assistant of Dharmaram seminari Library, Mr. *Shyju* helped
scan the book with all the care it called for. His meticulous work produced
sufficiently high resolution image of each "spread" (two pages at once) of
the 290 page volume.

 These files were then to be processed. The images were shared by us over
the internet. *Shiju*, myself and *Kevin Siji *spent quite some hard time
to work on this process ensuring recovery of all possible kinds of
information (including tears, book-worm patches, hand-written notes and
stains). We produced several versions of the volume catering to different
uses ( HQ color/grey scale/monochrome, smaller but easily portable PDFs
etc.).  The wonderfully fuzzy-intelligent Scan tailor program (
http://sourceforge.net/projects/scantailor/)  helped us extensively during
this phase. We also ran several stages of *Imagemagick*  software to
accomplish the results.

Finally, the output was uploaded by Shiju Alex to archive.org (
https://archive.org/stream/Samkshepavedartham_1772/samkshepavedartham_1772)
and also to ml.wikisource.org

We now plan to complete the text conversion phase within a few weeks.

As for the Unicode encoding:
The style and practice of writing / printing Malayalam script had changed
quite a bit during the 240+ years. However, most of the characters required
to type this in are already in the Unicode keymaps. There are a few
exceptions, though. We will come to know the precise details (of extra key
code requirements etc.) in the coming days.

Thanks and regards,

ViswaPrabha



On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 12:41 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:

> Awesome!
>
> Did you have any challenges with digitizing the books? For example, are
> there any ancient Malayalam letters or symbols that were used in these
> books, but weren't available ib Unicode? Did you have any practical
> problems with the Wikisource software?
> בתאריך 29 באוג 2013 14:51, מאת "Subhashish Panigrahi" <
> subhash...@cis-india.org>:
>
>  Dear all,
>>
>> This is a great success to share the effort of Shiju and other
>> Malayalam Wikimedians to bring Samkshepa Vedartham, the first
>> Malayalam book online. This is a news article which has come on The
>> Times of India and copyrighted.[1]
>>
>> THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: From a college library in Bangalore, a fragile
>> copy of the first book printed in Malayalam -- SampkshepaVedartham --
>> has made a leap to eternity. Thanks to efforts by
>> MalayalamWikipedians, the book printed in 1772 and kept in Dharmaram
>> College in Bangalore is now available free on the internet, without
>> any copyright restriction.
>>
>> The scanned copy of 'Sampkshepa Vedartham or Nasranikal Okkeyum
>> Ariyendunna Sampkshepa Vedartham' will be a major source of
>> information for those interested in the history and development of
>> Malayalam script. The book by Italian priest Clement Peanices is in
>> the form of Christian religious teaching in question-answer format.
>> The first edition of the book was printed using Malayalam types in
>> Rome in 1772 and was brought to the state in 1774.
>>
>> A scanned copy of 'Albhabetum Grandonico Malabaricum', the first book
>> to use Malayalam types, is already available for public use. It is
>> believed that the Malayalam portion of this Latin book was printed
>> using the movable types made to print 'Sampkshepa Vedartham'.
>>
>> Shiju Alex, an active Wikipedian, had taken the initiative to bring
>> out 'Sampkshepa Vedartham' on the internet with the support of other
>> members of Malayalam Wikipedia. Ironically, one of the oldest copies
>> of the book is housed in the Kerala university library. Though it was
>> digitized using the state grant, it is not available for public use.
>>
>> "Sampkshepa Vedartham was printed almost 241 years ago. The book gives
>> insights into the old type of Malayalam numerals. No space is left
>> between words. Also signs, such as full stops, are not used between
>> sentences," Alex said. He said the scanned copy of the book has been
>> uploaded on archives.org, where interested people can read it online
>> or download the PDF format. "We have begun steps to upload it in
>> Wikipedia commons (an online repository of media files). A digitized
>> version will also be available in Malayalam Wikisource," he added.
>>
>>
>> 1.
>> http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/First-book-printed-in-Malayalam-goes-online/articleshow/22125735.cms
>>
>> --
>> Best!
>> Subhashish Panigrahi
>> Programme Officer, Access To Knowledge
>> Centre for Internet and Society
>> @psubhashish
>>
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>
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