Digital Library of Orthodox Seminary Opened

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KOTTAYAM: The Orthodox Seminary Digital Library (OSDL), an ambitious project of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, to offer digital versions of centuries-old documents, manuscripts and books, opened its doors for thre public on Tuesday.

The library has been formed as part of the bicentenary year celebrations of the Seminary. More than 1,500 manuscripts and 75,000 printed books and documents have been scanned to form the digital archive. The database, labelled as ‘Malankara Document’, can be accessed by students and researchers under the copyright laws and Seminary regulations.

The epigraphic database on the history and milestones of churches in Kerala have been under the threat of being lost, neglected and destroyed. The project aims to conserve the Indian St Thomas Christian heritage by protecting primary and secondary source materials like ancient documents, manuscripts and books, both published and unpublished, kept in various libraries, churches, institutions and individual collections across the state.

The first phase of the digitisation process started in 1990 in microfilm format as part of the 175th anniversary of the Seminary. The collected materials were digitised, catalogued and stored in a server to form the library. Those with the access codes can avail themselves of materials set up at the digital library room within the Seminary library.

The Seminary library also possess a large number of text materials inherited from the Malankara Church. After the Udayamperoor Synod in 1599, a large collection of books were burnt and destroyed. Following this, the Marthoma Metropolitans of the Malankara Church collected the remaining books. A section of these collections is also made available in the digital library.