The Southern Circle Record Office at Vadodara has around six lakh permanent potka — bunch of documents (files) of different departments established in Baroda State during the Gaekwad reign, in its archives.
The state government has now sanctioned a grant of Rs 57 lakh for this work being undertaken at the Vadodara and Rajkot Record Offices.
Superintendent at Southern Circle Record Office at Vadodara, Jitendra Shah, said, “The department has hired one Ahmedabad based IT firm, Tirth Infotech, for the purpose. We have around six lakh files, of which around 20 lakh pages have already undergone document image process, and are now stored in computers. “In this process, we have to be very careful as these files are very old and delicate to handle. We also need to make sure that it goes back to the same place it came from so that there is no difficulty in tracing them again,” he said.
An official of Tirth Infotech said, “We have especially developed a customised ‘document image’ software for this purpose. We have deployed 10 machines and are finishing around 6 to 8,000 pages per day.”
Shah said the entire process would take at least two to three years to cover all the files preserved here. With the inclusion of the new district of Tapi, the Vadodara Record Office has now ten districts under its periphery, he said.
The files comprise the Baroda state registers, prints, maps, abhinandan patra or maan patra (felicitation letters) offered to the erstwhile King by different provincial states and organisation, aagna patrika (gadgets), huzur orders, and volumes of letters exchanged and agreements inked by the princely state with other provincial states and the British Empire.
Shah said his office has also put up exhibitions, seminars, workshops on record management and radio and TV shows to generate awareness about the Record Office and its archives among the people, school children and research scholars.
These apart, they have also set up a permanent exhibition at their Vadodara office.