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Apr 12, 2022

Saving Nepal’s Archives From Oblivion

Who says archives are important? For one, the government of Nepal says so.

Fragile historical parchments and records are rotting away in the government’s archives due to negligence.

In June 2019, a team from the National Archives reached Taplejung in eastern Nepal to find decaying handwritten parchments, centuries-old manuscripts, and stone inscriptions all lying abandoned.

There were invaluable centuries-old lalmohar documents and deeds with official seals stacked in nooks and carnies of households, mouldy and decomposing.

The initial plan for the Archives team was just to copy the text from two historic bronze bells in front of the Nageshvar Temple, but they decided to stay for three more days, digitising 77 historic documents and 95 letters.

The images of those documents are now in the digital archives, even though the originals have been lost. And these were most likely just a tiny proportion of all the material still out there waiting to be discovered.

“With neither the resources nor expertise, we have been unable to collect and conserve other historic documents,” admits Bishwa Nath Sitaula, mayor of Aathrai Tribeni municipality in Taplejung.

You can read more in an article written by Anita Bhetwal and published in the Nepali Times web site at: https://www.nepalitimes.com/latest/saving-nepals-archives-from-oblivion/.

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