For research into indigenous children’s literature in the nineteenth century Bengal that burgeoned in opposition to the British education system and reclaimed displaced popular culture to establish an important swadeshi tradition. The research will culminate in an encyclopaedia and a website on indigenous children’s literature in the nineteenth century Bengal.
For the publication of a two-volume encyclopaedia and creation of an Internet archive of Bengali Theatre from 1795 to 2008. The encyclopaedia will include entries on theatre personalities, plays and production houses. A CD accompanying each volume will contain photographs, reviews and other material on plays and production companies.
For research into the linked histories of the radio, the gramophone and Bengali music in the early twentieth century towards an archive of printed materials, a monograph, and a reader collating and annotating articles from Betar Jagat (1930-1950)––a journal published by Calcutta Radio Station. The project will examine, source and collate print and audio-visual records pertaining to the early history of both media in order to map the evolution of Bengali music of the period.
For building of an archive of photographs of urban middle-class women of Bengal from the 1880s to the 1970s. The project will critically and thematically archive and read the economy of photographic practices including modes of representation and resistances connected with the lives of urban middle-class Hindu/ Brahmo women in Bengal.
For theme-based museum education workshops for junior and middle-school children in eighteen schools in Kolkata. New modules will be developed in accordance with the history syllabus, incorporating the learning from the first phase and extending the pedagogic possibilities of the Indian Museum’s collection. A trust will be set up with the aim of furthering museum education in schools, and potential sponsors will be approached in an effort to diversify funding sources for the initiative.
For the preparation of the manuscripts for a ten-volume encyclopaedia on Bengali theatre (1795-2000). The encyclopaedia will cover plays, playwrights, theatre groups and other visual and textual material that have a bearing on theatre history. In the longer term, the aim is also to create an Internet archive of documents on Bengali theatre.
For the digitisation of 46,000 Bengali little magazines and the preparation of an open-access Internet archive. The project will make this valuable collection more accessible and expand the available resources for researchers. It will also help raise the library’s public profile and connect it to other institutions working with technology to make cultural resources available in the public domain.
For the dissemination of Bishar Blues, a film on music and deeply spiritual everyday life of the fakirs of Bengal. The project will use the film to pen a dialogue between the misunderstood and mistrusted fakirs and the larger community in rural West Bengal, and stimulate discussion on marginal cultures through a seminar/screening in Kolkata.
For the writing of a book in Bengali on the history of Jatra (1900-2006) with a particular focus on the performance of Jatra in non-metropolitan Bengal, and the digitisation of play scripts, photographs, interviews and publicity materials. Over the medium term, the objective is to mount an exhibition with the digitised materials to generate public awareness about the history and popularity of Jatra in Bengal.
For the innovative dissemination of an archive of recordings, photographs, footage and books relating to biraha (songs of separation). Ten musical camps will be organised in rural West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh, apart from presentations/performances in cities. The camps will give different communities of musicians wider exposure to the songs from their region as well as similar and related songs from other regions.