Post-1947, what was once considered India is spread across at least three South Asian modern nation-states. Not only does this make trans-national access to archives a necessity, it opens up the possibility of recategorising regional and national archives according to the perspective of the researcher.
Following on this idea, we would like to create a consortium of institutions structured around the following possibilities:
We want researchers to identify groups, institutions, private collections or focus areas that would benefit if databases of different collections were linked. So for instance, if you could write back and suggest libraries across Bihar, Assam and Bengal that should ideally have a catalogue-sharing system at least, it would help us identify an archiving ‘region’. Or, identifying private or public collections across Assam, Burma and Bangladesh, however undoable this may seem right now, still helps us put in place a plan for the future.
A consortium would try to approach a group of such institutions and ask them if they would be interested in embarking on a catalogue-sharing programme, which would hopefully also lead to other interventions.
You are invited to write in with ideas for different libraries or archiving regions that can be formed. These need not even be restricted to immediate neighbours, but could be intra-state, or across continents, if mutually agreeable programmes can be drawn up.