Congratulations to the Malayalam Wikipedians - all the other language
communities could learn a great deal from the processes you have
followed/devised.

Tejaswini




On 30 August 2013 01:25, ViswaPrabha (വിശ്വപ്രഭ) <viswapra...@gmail.com>wrote:

> 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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-- 
Tejaswini Niranjana, PhD
Lead Researcher - Higher Education Innovation and Research Applications
(HEIRA)
Senior Fellow - Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS)
Visiting Professor - Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Advisor, Access to Knowledge Programme, Centre for Internet and Society
Visiting Faculty - Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute
of Science (CCS-IISc)

t: 91-80-41202302
http://heira.in
www.cscs.res.in
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