For the collection, digitization and archiving of 78 rpm gramophone records of Bengali plays performed between 1900 and 1930. The project will document the plays performed on stage as well as those produced exclusively for gramophone recordings.
For research on the history of Bengali Cartoons starting from the late nineteenth century to post-Independence India. The resulting book will examine the development of cartoons from a discursive art form in early publications to a space for critical discourse on colonial domination, self- representation, and the process of modernisation.
For research leading to a travelogue on the songs performed during Muharram in various districts of West Bengal. The Muharram songs will be viewed as a part of a performative tradition that interprets and internalises the history of the Shia community. The recorded interviews and the songs will be documented as an audio-visual archive.
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 and documentation of post-Partition Bengali newspapers, primarily Ananda Bazar Patrika (1966-1977), towards examining the formation of the cultural identity of the Bengali middle class. The project will lead to an archive of documents and a reader in Bengali.
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 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.