Mozhi Trust

Arts Research and Documentation

Grant Period: Over one year

 Principal Investigator: Theodore S Bhaskaran

Mozhi is a public charitable Trust engaged, since 1990, in developing resources in language and culture. Mozhi was founded by a group of individuals belonging to disciplines such as linguistics, language teaching, publishing and information science, pooling their long experience in respective areas, to develop conceptual and technological facilities in language teaching and learning and in understanding culture.

Based in Chennai, Mozhi maintains the world’s largest collection of Tamil film magazines and songbooks at its Roja Muthiah Research library (RMRL).

This grant was made to Mozhi to document and preserve a part of RMRL’s extensive collection on Tamil cinema. The grant also enabled the RMRL team to supplement this collection. The RMRL team has so far microfilmed 2,237 imprints. The imprints that the project team chose to microfilm include publicity materials, songbooks, magazine articles and promotional literature, which as they say, “in the absence of the films, are the primary sources of information on that period.”

While microfilming is an acceptable documentation/recording medium, especially in the case of old and fragile papers, RMRL also looks to preserving the original documents and print materials. Simultaneously, the RMRL team has also built a database on Tamil cinema that currently holds information on 3,576 Tamil films.

RMRL sees itself as a single-stop library for materials pertaining to Tamil cinema. This is a pioneering attempt in the age of electronic documentation, and RMRL hopes that this effort will help standardise names and titles in the field of Tamil cinema.