Ray’s ‘KherorKhatas’ to be part of digital library in the works at IIT-Kgp

Times of India 25th Mar 2016

Notebooks containing rough jottings by Satyajit Ray — the maestro called these his Kheror-Khata — will soon be a part of the National Digital Library (NDL) being developed by IIT-Kharagpur. These notebooks contain random notes that Ray jotted down before developing them into movie scripts, musical notes and dialogues and meticulous sketches of characters, their costumes and storyboards.

“Digital copies of Satyajit Ray Cinema Script Archives along with his Kheror-Khatas will be made available through NDL as soon as the Centre launches it. These will be an invaluable resource for research scholars who wish to study Ray’s world of cinema,” said IIT-Kgp director Partha Pratim Chakraborty. “Apart from Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen, no other film script by Ray is accessible to movie buffs,” he said.

More than 150 Kheror Khatas have already been digitized and are stored at the fimmmaker’s residence. These includes manuscripts of all his film scripts, stories and musical notations. “A set of digitized material was given to the Roopkola Kendro, but unfortunately it is now lost. I expect IIT-Kgp to store it carefully and in the most advanced technological format,” said Ujjal Chakraborty, a noted Ray scholar.

The manuscripts that have been handed over to NDL by Sandip Ray are in the digitized version. “We will have to properly create meta data for each script and then uploaded them,” said Sudeshna Sarkar, a teacher at the computer science engineering department of IIT-Kgp. Immediately after NDL’s launch, only research scholars and students at central education institutes will have access to the digitized archive. Access may be granted to all as and when the HRD ministry decides, Sarkar said.

Through the NDL, efforts are also on to create a South-East Asian archive where all work related to South-East Asia along with its history and culture will be uploaded. “A world e-book library will be created where one lakh books will be digitized and available for ready reference,” said the IIT-Kgp director.

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