Beginning with a detailed walk through of Sahapedia, Sarmaya, NCBS and ARCE, today’s session was centred on the archival process and setting of international standards.

Note: There are 3 videos in this page, scroll down to see videos of Archives consortium and annotation tools and Archives beyond Borders session.

Open Standards

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00:33:30 Milli Network:

00:33:52 Milli Network: YouTube Live

00:43:15 Hari Sridhar:

00:43:39 Hari Sridhar:

00:44:05 Milli Network: Leave in questions for the speakers in the chat box

00:47:33 Venkat Srinivasan: Collective Access:

00:48:38 Venkat Srinivasan: Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus:

00:48:55 Venkat Srinivasan: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names:

00:55:13 Hari Sridhar: Shubha Chaudhuri is at:

00:58:31 Venkat Srinivasan: Overview of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (an archaic name!):,as%20in%20many%20other%20countries.

00:58:54 Milli Network: : The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA)

01:08:56 Milli Network: : Semantic Web

01:09:17 Venkat Srinivasan: Picking on Shubha’s note on ontologies: ICA’s move toward ‘Records in Context’:

01:09:36 Avehi: A resource for archiving oral history -

01:10:42 Milli Network: : Virtual Museum of Image and Sound

01:11:25 Milli Network: : Folkways Smithsonian Institution

01:14:09 Milli Network: : Archives at NCBS

01:21:06 Milli Network:

01:21:18 Hari Sridhar: ICA General International Standard Archival Description:

01:21:28 Milli Network: Describing Archives: A Content Standard

01:27:52 Milli Network: Share your questions for the speakers in the chat box.

01:30:07 Milli Network: Question from Denny George: What are some key requirements one should keep in mind while developing software to help in archiving. If you could talk about the concerns of scalability, interoperability and collaboration, that would be helpful

01:30:10 Avehi: A resource for best practises in Oral History - Doug Boyd -

01:30:32 Milli Network: Question from Aparna Subramanian: Are there any variations for data management and records workflow for digitized items vs. born-digital items. Is there any standardization used for reformatting born-digital material ingested into the storage? (Question for all, especially those dealing with born-digital material).

01:31:09 Milli Network: Question to Shubha Chaudhuri:Often information regarding musical compositions are preserved within musical communities in the form of anecdotes. How can the metadata be made inclusive to incorporate the same? - Shantanu Majee, School of Cultural Texts and Records, Kolkata.

Question to Shubha Chaudhuri: Often information regarding musical compositions are preserved within musical communities in the form of anecdotes. How can the metadata be made inclusive to incorporate the same? Question from: Shantanu Majee, School of Cultural Texts and Records, Kolkata.

01:31:29 Milli Network: From Shantanu Majee: Often information regarding musical compositions are preserved within musical communities in the form of anecdotes. How can the metadata be made inclusive to incorporate the same? - Shantanu Majee, School of Cultural Texts and Records, Kolkata.

01:35:27 bhanu: the next discussion is all about that

01:38:12 Venkat Srinivasan: Frameworks+standards+inclusive protocol = software-independent archives :)?

01:39:07 dinesh: to shubha: do you add metadata to fragments of music? if so how

01:40:33 Venkat Srinivasan: @Aparna, there’s one other reference brought up in an earlier session that might also be useful: “The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation” by Trevor Owens.

01:41:12 Tassadaque Hussain: hat are the

01:41:18 Shantanu Majee: sure

01:42:33 Tassadaque Hussain: What are the steps for disaster management you are adopting ?

01:44:54 farahyameen: @Aparna In the context of born digital materials both conversion to a standard format and version control becomes important because it is far easier to change born digital items. This often happens in case of oral histories when we are eliding sections on the behest of the interviewee. In that case the master file is maintained as is but you keep re4cording each version with a standardised filename. This also happens with locations on systems and servers where both the change in location must be documented and why the move was made so that anybody accessing the collection at a later date is able to make sense of the move.

01:44:54 Shantanu Majee: often certain anecdotes are specific to a certain musical conposition, information regarding which may be obtained from other member of the community apart from the performer. when such information is to be associated with the main file, should metadata regarding anecdote be added as tertiary files to the existing metadata?

01:46:59 Ritwika Misra: Once an audio file , especially in case of oral interviews, is their any standard protocol to get the transcribed interview vetted by the interviewee? Especially if the document has to be made accessible?

01:47:43 Aparna Subramanian: Thanks @farahyameen - The question could be furthered into reformatting already digitized files into another required updated format (esp. if source is not available or lost/ beyond salvage). But managing digital is perpetual …

01:51:05 Venkat Srinivasan: From Padmini Ray Murray to Everyone (in Waiting Room): 11:55 AM

Krogh coined the 3-2-1 backup rule, which recommends you should:

Have at least three copies of your data

Store the copies on two different media

Keep one backup copy off site

01:51:15 Aparna Subramanian: Checksum for digital data!!

01:51:30 Shantanu Majee: Also, it is essential to establish networks among archives whose work concerns inter-related fields so that there is a clear understanding of what has been archived collectively and what needs to be archived in future.

01:51:35 Venkat Srinivasan: For digital data: an open source system that looks into digital preservation questions is Archivematica

01:52:05 Bhavesh Patel: For meta data that you store in your system… how you have define the fields for each different kind of digital object.. like video, image, pdf, and so on is there any specific rule for this?

01:52:26 farahyameen: Absolutely. I find people are more circumspect treating digitised materials because of the sanctity we associate with traditional archives. But the culture for born digital items is often informed by how we deal with files and folders ordinarily. It is a learnt practice. But it is true. Managing the digital is an eternal process including enriching metadata, preventing obsolescence. I think DDI standards are useful in this regard so that we keep a tab on what changes are made

01:53:57 Aparna Subramanian: @Shantanu - for audio files related to Music, the Broadcast Wave Format allows you to enter embedded metadata

01:54:18 farahyameen: @Bhavesh Most metadata standards are flexible. There are essential fields and those that you can add. You can chose a metadata standard that works best for you. This also depends on the kind of things you are documenting more than simply file formats

01:54:34 Shantanu Majee: @Shubha Chaudhuri - Thank you for the response. This panel discussion has been thoroughly engaging.

01:55:43 Venkat Srinivasan: On metadata, vocabularies, schemas:

01:56:01 sneha: To continue on the point of obsolescence ( I am thinking of formats) also a thought/question about migrating archival content as regularly as possible - have there been significant challenges on this as well.

01:56:02 farahyameen: Thanks Venkat

01:56:26 Venkat Srinivasan: @sneha: we are actively looking for data cartridge readers :)

01:57:12 sneha: Thanks Venkat, nice!

01:57:19 Aparna Subramanian: Thank you all !

Archives Consortium and Annotation tools

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02:04:24 Milli Network:

02:04:28 Milli Network: YouTube Live

02:13:36 Swati Chawla: Can we/ How can we decolonize large govt archives, which are exclusive gatekeepers and holders of large collections?

02:23:06 Venkat Srinivasan: Dropping in questions from the slides:

Can protocols work for all: university, government, community, individual, movement, theme?

Is there a conflict to face between standards and diversity?

How to actually allow for various vocabularies? And how to enrich existing vocabularies?

What to emphasize: diversity, standards, self determination, annotation tools, education, access, preservation, interpretation

How does one become a member of a consortium? Let’s chat!

Practical q: How does one export descriptions from to a common space?

How to make something like Milli sustainable: Funding from grants + governments + institutions + public?

02:27:01 Venkat Srinivasan: Here is the current Subject Heading in LoC for ‘Dasara’, taken as the main spelling:

02:28:50 Padmini Ray Murray: @swati: decolonisation can be done by repatriation and/or through annotating metadata - the challenge is to persuade these larger orgs to make their catalogues open and interoperable

02:31:08 Venkat Srinivasan: “Should we not, therefore, think of all the archives of all the nations of the world, together with the archives of all international agencies of all sorts, as constituting the archives of mankind, the official record of human experience in organized living?”

Solon Buck, 1946 (just before the formation of ICA)

02:34:26 Swati Chawla: Thanks, Padmini. Also about large repositories (NAI in Delhi, for example) with their very rigid rules: consultation hours, no. of files, photographing/ photocopying, and access to sensitive collections. For e.g.: I work on the Himalayan region— Sikkim in particular— and even in my 5-6 years of archival work, some files and maps, for example, became (re-)classified as confidential. And the NAI in some cases will be the only repository of that information. Archives in India (especially in border regions like Sikkim) have different rules for Indian and foreign researchers…

02:35:17 Swati Chawla: Anyway— it was a general q. that came to mind when Venkat was talking about archives enabling stories, but now the conversation has moved on. :-)

02:37:11 bhanu: question from Nirmala Menon on Day 2: how do we develop more comphrensive ways so the keyword traps can be covered?

02:39:10 bhanu: another question from saurabhi on day 3: can digital archiving include extensive annotation? can this be done in hindsight and is that an advantage or does it bring in more biases?

02:41:17 Venkat Srinivasan: @Swati: An unpublished report on plants in Sikkim, 1960!

02:41:30 Rahi Soren: Keeping the limited resources we have in mind, I think it is important to build a compendium (catalogue) of all the archives in India. It would help in networking as well as avoid repetitive digitization of the same object.

02:41:50 Milli Network: From Rahi Soren: Keeping the limited resources we have in mind, I think it is important to build a compendium (catalogue) of all the archives in India. It would help in networking as well as avoid repetitive digitization of the same object.

02:42:28 Maya Dodd: swati,

02:42:41 Swati Chawla: Yes… Pahar is a great resource, esp. for maps!

02:44:47 Padmini Ray Murray: @rahi: yes, so, so necessary: for a long time I’ve been wanting to make Rochelle Pinto & Aparna Balachandran’s amazing resource, Archives and Access ( more intuitive for users - but yes, we need something like

02:46:25 Swati Chawla: One more thing: we need to ask the same questions of spaces like NAI that we have of colonial archives such as the BL and Kew: how they acquired collections, for example, of small princely states and private collections, and these states’ relationship to the Indian Union…

02:47:22 tarunima: more like Mastodon? we call it federated archives

02:47:55 yamaha: @DInesh and Bhanu : Have you considered the approach of starting out with a foundational, upper ontologies like the ICOM’s CIDOC-CRM and extending it? It can serve as guide for the annontators? Crowdsourcing semantic annotations without a basic vocabulary of terms seems like a nightmare…

02:48:12 Venkat Srinivasan: REQUEST: Can those in the audience please share a one-liner in the chat about where they are based, if they are in an archive, have archival material, use archives for their research

02:49:22 Denny George: Denny from Tattle (Delhi). We are trying to archive messages from closed chat apps like whatsaapp that could be potentially misinformation or have a historical importance.

02:50:46 farahyameen: Farah Yameen. Delhi. Work largely with born digital collections. Archives:

02:51:36 Padmini Ray Murray: I know funding is obviously at a premium: but it would be great if Milli could support fellowships for persons from indigenous and non dc communities to support the sort of work Venkat was describing

02:52:06 farahyameen: Delhi Oralities at CCK, Ambedkar University Delhi; Democracy Archives (With Janastu) at University of Gottingen

02:52:07 dinesh:

02:52:29 Shivansh Johri: Soumya Johri, Delhi, Young Scholar research interest- Gender and Modern Indian History, Ambedkar University Delhi

02:53:49 tarunima: Tarunima, Delhi, Tattle, Trying to save content from chat apps (same as Denny above)

02:53:57 Rahi Soren: @ Padmini: Great suggestions!

02:55:33 farahyameen:

02:56:09 farahyameen:

02:56:13 Swati Chawla: I am Swati Chawla, historian at O.P. Jindal Global University. Have consulted (mostly) national archives in India, UK, and US for my research, private papers at NMML, as well as Central Tibetan Administration’s collections, oral histories (Tibet Oral History Project), and Tibetan Nuns Project, and some small state archives in India.

02:56:44 Maya Dodd:

02:57:08 Maya Dodd: The scheme is divided in three broad components – research c ..

Read more at:

03:00:39 Rajmani’s iPhone: I am Rajmani retired professional Archivist from Nation Archives of India and based in NCR . Presently engaged in outreach programme and content consultant in the field of Archives .

03:03:53 bhanu: Here is a link to Milli consortium workspace on GitHub

requests and contributions welcome

03:04:13 Maya Dodd: thanks Bhanu!

03:04:41 sneha: Aparna and Rochelle’s monograph can be found here: ( Cant find it on the Wordpress blog for some reason)

03:08:24 AR: I am Anubha, currently a graduate student at SOAS. Working on Urdu print culture and literature at the turn of the twentieth century, with a focus on newspapers, censorship, and their links with business/economic concerns. Have been consulting NMML archives, small govt archives, and private records. Will also be incorporating oral history interviews.

03:10:49 Maya Dodd: Re-querying! “How does one export descriptions from to a common space?"

03:15:38 tarunima: i do agree with that :-)

03:16:18 Padmini Ray Murray: @Prasoon: ultimately a question of governance and how architecture replicates governance

03:16:57 sneha: Following up on @Maya’s question, this would connect to also how one can facilitate easier re-use of archival material for creative practice, and to connect with other open knowledge platforms like Wikicommons, Wikidata etc.( apart from legal protocols on sharing and re-use)

03:17:06 Maya Dodd:

03:19:53 Swati Chawla: Great question, Maya!

03:24:35 Milli Network:

03:24:48 Milli Network: Resources shared from today’s sessions.

03:25:26 farahyameen: This is brilliant, thanks

03:25:40 tarunima: +1

03:27:25 Rahi Soren: Thanks Venkat!

03:27:49 Denny George: Will reach out :)

03:28:00 bhanu:

03:28:10 Maya Dodd: thanks so much! love all that you do at janastu!

03:28:35 sneha: Thanks everyone

Archives beyond Borders

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00:55:19 Venkat Srinivasan: This session: 13 Jun 16:00

Archives beyond Borders

Aparna Vaidik (Ashoka University)

Ali Usman Qasmi (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

Kanwal Khalid (Punjab State Archives)

Nadeem Omar Tarar (Center for Cultural and Development, Islamabad)

00:55:39 Milli Network: This is also being cast on youtube and can be viewed by all at

01:28:39 Venkat Srinivasan: A review of three archives in Pakistan by Ali Usman Qasmi, 2015.

01:30:10 Venkat Srinivasan: 2019 article on digitisation project at the Punjab Archives:

01:33:09 Nitin Goyal: kindly share website address of archives also.

01:34:58 Venkat Srinivasan: LUMS Digital Archive:

01:44:32 Mayank Kumar: Thanks Aparna for organing this panel. Very informative and helpful for anybody likw mw who is working on border region, Rajasthan. My question to all the panelists is: Do we have records from Princely states of neighbouring regions? That is Pre British or early British in vernacular language? Thanks once again.

01:47:47 Bilal Zafar Ranjha: Thank you really very much for this session.

01:49:35 Vijay: have there been any collaborations between south Asian governments on any question of the archives? This is Rochelle

01:49:41 Mrinalini: Do we know where the post-partition archives of the Lahore Museum are? Are they at the Punjab State Archives or the National Archives? I was told there is nothing at the museum itself.

01:49:54 Priyanka: Hi this is a question for Ali, I’m Priyanka and I work at the Partition Museum and it’s thrilling to see the collections on your website. I wanted to ask if you could speak a bit about the Ishtiaq Ahmed collection and the digitisation process. How did you arrive at the transcription approach (time stamps and keywords, etc.)

01:50:32 Bilal Zafar Ranjha: My question is for dr. nadeem omar tarar, while you were at NCA rawalpindi you started a project to preseve the heritage sites like haveli sujan singh. Can you share more details about that?

01:51:20 Subhradeep Chatterjee: First of all, I would like to thank the speakers for providing a peek at their brilliant archiving projects. I found a lot many of them to be particularly relevant for my work and research interests.

My question is to Dr. Qasmi.

I am curious about the accessibility of these archived materials. I was wondering if there are plans of making the content available in audio formats for the visually disabled.

I understand it’s a difficult task given the variety of forms and languages but I would love to know if there are such plans.

I have another query regarding the archive content. Are the documents with legible writing available with OCR? Perhaps, that would help researchers a lot in translating the documents on their own using online translators.

01:52:36 Subhradeep Chatterjee: (I understand that online translators are not that reliable but they can definitely aid in the translation process if attempted on one’s own.)

01:57:02 Nitin Goyal: It’s very informative session. can Mr

01:57:48 Nitin Goyal: ali , kanwal share about sindh archives or collection holdings

01:58:37 Mayank Kumar: Please share her meail id. mine is

01:58:49 Nitin Goyal: sindh, multan, bahawalpur

02:03:42 Nonica Datta: How do we contact these speakers to gain more information about Punjab archives, sources and oral testimonies? nonica

02:04:09 Aparna Vaidik: We will ask them

02:10:41 Venkat Srinivasan: All! Since we are talking about coursework and the archives, please also join for the pedagogy/archives session (the finale!) tomorrow: 10:30am. Maya Dodd has a stellar panel.

02:13:01 Nonica Datta: also can we conceive of an idea of Punjab archive thru the efforts of scholars and involved people across the border? this would be an archive of both East and West Punjab’ now in India and Pakistan respectively ?

02:15:24 Venkat Srinivasan: @Nonica: Great idea. It can be a digital space with mirrored servers across the border in both countries.

02:16:19 Nitin Goyal: Aparna can we know what are records related to jodhpur ,bikaner,jaisalmer bordering princely state are kept in Punjab state archives. how other indian scholars can access n share records . as in rajasthan have records n private papers related to multan n sindh region.

02:28:49 Swati Chawla: All this conversation around weeding and burning reminds me of Ambai short story “Squirrel.”

02:29:17 Nitin Goyal: yes on digitization n access of records

02:30:49 Venkat Srinivasan: @Swati, thanks for that! Since Ambai/CS Lakshmi’s name has come up, a quick link to SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women):

02:30:57 Nonica Datta: yes Venkat

02:32:35 Swati Chawla: Thanks, Venkat! Will look this up.

02:39:17 Swati Chawla: Thank you, Nonica and Kanwal for those.

02:40:20 Venkat Srinivasan: A combined Punjab archive may be difficult if one has to start from scratch. But that may not be necessary. What is essential is for archives to be willing to export their catalog records (just the description) on to a common platform. There is no reason why we can’t have a collated catalog for archives in South Asia. This is technically easy. It requires administrative desire to make it happen. This is one of the things a collective like Milli would want. Pls reach out to collaborate:

02:43:43 Sangeeta D:

02:43:55 Sangeeta D: Resources shared

02:44:26 Swati Chawla: Thank you, everyone!

02:44:31 Rochelle: many thanks, great to hear the panel

02:44:42 Venkat Srinivasan:

02:44:47 Rajmani’s iPhone: Thanks a lot !

02:45:08 Shreya Malik: thankyou everyone 😊