Indic Digital Archive Foundation is a non-profit organisation that works on digital archival and preservation of Indic language cultural artefacts such as books, publications, and documents, making them available for open access.


Projects

ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര (Granthappura)

ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര (Granthappura)

ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര, the foundation's flagship project, is a digital archive that consists of cultural artefacts related to Kerala and Malayalam. It was seeded by the scanning and digitisation work Shiju Alex did over the course of a decade, culminating in a collection of 2000+ digitized books and publications.

The documents include some of the earliest printed documents related to Kerala including the first printed book in Malayalam; the first Malayalam book printed in India; the first Malayalam dictionary; many early Malayalam periodicals; first Malayalam book with colour images, and several others.

Browse the open access collection at gpura.org

Award: The foundation won the Malayalam Mission (Kerala State Govt.) Bhasha Prathibha award (ഭാഷാപ്രതിഭാ പുരസ്കാരം), 2023, for the Granthappura project.

Archival centres: The foundation currently operates one physical archival centre at Dharmaram College, Bengaluru with 1 × BookEye 5 scanner.


ഓളം (Olam)

ഓളം (Olam)

ഓളം is an open source, open data English-Malayalam (1.8L entries), Malayalam-Malayalam (2L entries) digital dictionary developed in 2010 by Kailash Nadh. It is used by over 20 lakh Malayalam speakers monthly. Its data consists of crowd sourced entries and the Malayalam-Malayalam dictionary digitised by "Datuk" K.J. Joseph. The project was inducted into the foundation in 2023.

Browse the dictionary at olam.in

History

The foundation was born out of the pioneering digitisation work Shiju Alex did from 2009 to 2021. The open access collection of Kerala related artefacts digitized by Shiju, which he named Grandhappura (ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര), spanning ~2000+ documents with over 120,000+ pages, seeded the ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര project. The project has received international recognition inviting collaboration from institutions such as the Tuebingen University, Germany.

After a decade of significant time, effort, and money spent on the project, Shiju decided to wind it down in December 2021, owing to the difficulties in sustaining it as a personal project. The announcement brought many well wishers forward expressing support for the continuation of the project. The project thus was revived and institutionalised into a foundation to expand its activities with more people and resources.

The foundation was started in 2022 with the financial support from the following founding donors.

  • Charmy Harikrishnan
  • Cherian Samuel
  • CV Radhakrishnan
  • Ebenezer Manoj Kumar
  • George Thomas
  • Joy Sebastian
  • Jyothis Edathoot
  • Manoj Narayanan
  • Manojkumar Nair and Mary Pearl Britto
  • Nishad Nikarthil
  • Patric Edward
  • Sunil Kumar Muthukurussi Mana Elamkulam
  • FOSS United Foundation

Olam dictionary was inducted into the foundation in 2023.

The foundation's logo is the Brahmi 𑁍 lotus glyph, a punctuation that denotes separation between large textual units, like a full stop. In the logo, it symbolises the invisible line where the physical ends and the digital begins.

Team

The foundation's governing council and team are in the early days of making. If you are interested in joining the foundation, please write to us at [email protected]


Governing council

Shiju Alex

Shiju Alex

Shiju is the principal archivist and director at the foundation. The foundation was born out of Shiju's decade long hobby digitization work, which culminated in the Kerala Digital Archive collection. Based out of Benglauru, Shiju works as a technical document writer, is interested in astrophysics, trekking, Malayalam and Kerala related research, and Wikipedia projects.

Jisso Jose

Jisso Jose

A supporter of Shiju's work from the early days, Jisso is a director at the foundation and oversees operations and finances. A history lover and techno-entrepreneur, he runs Totient, a software engineering company out of Bangalore, and is a the founder of MicroCharity, a crowd micro-donation platform.

Kailash Nadh

Kailash Nadh

Kailash helps the foundation with technology and software. A hobbyist open source software developer, he works on Indic language projects such as Olam and Alar. Based out of Bengaluru, he is the CTO at Zerodha, a financial services firm.



Team

Sathish Thottassery

Sathish Thottassery

Sathish leads the daily archival activities at the foundation. Retired from a corporate career, he enjoys writing short stories and poetry, and has a book to his name—Anubhava Narmma Nakshathrangal (അനുഭവ നർമ്മ നക്ഷത്രങ്ങൾ). He is the academic coordinator of Malayalam Mission (Karnataka), President of the Deccan Cultural Society (Bangalore), and founder secretary and ex-president of Kerala Samajam Bangalore Southwest.

Reena Paul

Reena Paul

Reena Paul helps in the daily archival activities at the foundation. She is a graduate in travel and toursim and has worked in the travel and banking industries.She likes music, gardening, and baking.



Volunteers

  • Krutika Thakkanavar — Designed the foundation's logo.
  • Joe Paul — Development of several Omeka plugins and enhancements.
  • Rajesh Odayanchal — Help with WordPress.
  • Vishnu S — Help with server and system administration.
  • Vivek R — Help with building a NAS appliance for file storage.

Support the foundation

You can reach us at [email protected] or +91-8112-110112.


Loan your artefact collection for digitization

If you have a rare collection of books or other artefacts that can be digitized, you can loan them to the foundation for scanning and digitization. All digitized artefacts, complying with copyright provisions, are released to the public domain under the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.


Financial support

We are a non-profit foundation that runs on public donations and grants. If you would like to see the foundation's work continue and expand, you can donate to support its activties.


Audited financials