In 2003, National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM), a Mission Mode Project, was launched by the Ministry of Culture for documentation, conservation, preservation and digitization of manuscripts. Till date, NMM has documented 43.16 lakh manuscripts, conserved 434.56 lakh folios of manuscripts, digitized 283 lakh pages of 2.96 lakh manuscripts and published 44 rare and unpublished manuscripts. From its inception in 2003 to 31st March 2018, an amount of 9666 lakh was released by the Ministry of Culture and an amount of 9544 lakh was spent on it.
About National mission for manuscripts (NMM):
In 2003, National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM), a Mission Mode Project, was launched by the Ministry of Culture for documentation, conservation, preservation and digitization of manuscripts.
The manuscripts documented and digitized by the NMM will be made available to the researcher and scholars through a Trusted Digital Repository.
The ultimate object of the Mission is to establish a Digital Manuscripts Repository at IGNCA in which researchers and scholars can view and consult the manuscripts to understand our past in its totality.
A manuscript is a handwritten composition on paper, bark, cloth, metal, palm leaf or any other material dating back at least seventy-five years that has significant scientific, historical or aesthetic value. Lithographs and printed volumes are not manuscripts.
Manuscripts are found in hundreds of different languages and scripts. Often, one language is written in a number of different scripts. For example, Sanskrit is written in Oriya script, Grantha script, Devanagari script and many other scripts.
Manuscripts are distinct from historical records such as epigraphs on rocks, firmans, revenue records which provide direct information on events or processes in history. Manuscripts have knowledge content.
India possesses an estimate of ten million manuscripts, probably the largest collection in the world. These cover a variety of themes, textures and aesthetics, scripts, languages, calligraphies, illuminations and illustrations.