CIS-A2K/Events/Meeting on digitization & content donation at Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune

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Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) is leading research organisation. It has collection of rare manuscripts, books and media in various languages. BORI has also initiated digitisation project to make the knowledge resource accessible to society. To achieve this common goal, CIS-A2K approached BORI for collaboration. The institute responded positively and arranged this meeting on 6 September 2018. As the Sanskrit texts are available in major quantity, Sanskrit Wikimedian from Gujarat was also invited for the meeting.


Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) is 100 year old pioneering research organisation in the world. A2K has developed rapport with BORI in the last one year. The experts from BORI participated in Wikisource workshop and two symposiums organized by A2K. Now they have taken initiative to work on Wikimedia projects and arranged this meeting to discuss further process. BORI has resources in English, Sanskrit, Marathi and Other languages. We plan to work on Marathi and Sanskrit projects initially. We decided to involve Nehal Dave, admin on Sanskrit Wikipedia & Wikisource for Sanskrit works. It is good opportunity for us to collaborate with Sanskrit community. BORI has also officially invited Nehal.


  • To build partnerships with reputed research institutions
  • To study the digitisation process and development of online repository by BORI
  • To initiate the dialogue about content donation, scanned copies of copyright free books
  • To explore the possibility of collaborating with scholars in Sanskrit to help in Wikimedia projects

Event details[edit]

  • Date :Thursday, 6 September 2018
  • Time : 11am to 1.30pm
  • Venue : Conference room, BORI


  1. S. S. Bahulkar, Honorary Secretary
  2. Bhupal Patwardhan, Chairman, Executive Board, BORI
  3. Sudheer Vaishampayan, Asso. Honorary Secretary (In-charge of the Digitisation Project)
  4. Pradeep Apte, Member
  5. Shreenand L. Bapat, Registrar
  6. Ashok Kotwal (Yardi Systems)
  7. Prakash Yardi (Yardi Systems)
  8. Nigod Dhurke, CDAC
  9. Nehal Dave (Sanskrit Wikimedian)
  10. Subodh Kulkarni (CIS-A2K)
  11. Mithilesh Kulkarni (Nyansa)
  12. Makarand Gadre (IT Consultant)
  13. Amruta Natu


At the outset, Prof. S. S. Bahulkar, Hon. Secretary of BORI, welcomed the invitees and explained the purpose of the meeting. The digitization of BORI library has been generously funded by the Yardi Systems. He expressed the indebtedness on part of the BORI to Shri Anant Yardi, Shri Ashok Kotwal and Shri Prakash Yardi for showing keen interest in this project, their generous support and the trust they have shown in BORI’s office bearers. The following issues were discussed in details.

Digitization project at BORI[edit]

The BORI has decided to digitize around 25,000 books from its library. These books include those that are historically important, rare and free from their copyrights. These books will eventually be made available in their pdf and can be read online. The BORI is conducting negotiations with CDAC for uploading digitized books on cloud and making the platform of NVLI available to BORI. So far approximately 13,400 books have been digitized and 4,345 have been uploaded on the website of the BORI. Some of the books uploaded on their website are here -


BORI has so far made OCR of approx. 100 books in English and wishes to make OCR of important books in Indian scripts and languages. However, as the members present are aware there are still some problems with the OCR of those books. The BORI, therefore, feels that the issue of OCR of the books in Indian scripts and languages may be sorted out later as this task is quite time consuming, tedious and expensive. OCR-s of Sanskrit/Prakrit books were demonstrated by CDAC and Shri Nehal Dave. Members discussed the shortcomings occurring in the said OCR's.

Digitisation process study[edit]

BORI arranged detailed tour of digitisation set-up and process for Wikimedians Nehal & Subodh. They visited all the departments and discussed the process with the persons involved. It included scanners, metadata, curation process, preservation techniques, OCR methods, cataloging etc. We discussed the possibility of training Wikisource volunteers at the institute. BORI has responded positively.

Outcome & followup[edit]

A2K realised the potential and strengths of FPA approach during this mission. We were able to develop constructive relationships with BORI, reputed research institute. Nehal was given 3 pdfs of valuable sanskrit literature for uploading on Wikisource. The content donation thus started in the first visit. They will share the metadata of 11,000 scanned rare books for checking copyright status and then proceeding for bringing to Wikimedia projects. The books are in mr, sa and en.The BORI further assured them to continue the discussion in this matter and extend its cooperation to Wikisource to the extent possible.