Jorhat District Museum
The participants of the five-day national level workshop at Jorhat District Museum. Image credit - Northeast Now

The Jorhat District Museum has undergone a sea change.

The changes are visible in the display of artefacts, some dating back the pre-Ahom era and the availability of information regarding them, thanks to the initiative taken by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.

In two workshops jointly organised by the Jorhat District Museum in collaboration with the IGNCA, the ancient scrolls and artefacts have been cleansed, covered and neatly arranged as well as dated and documented as to place of finding and origin.

In the second phase of the five-day national level workshop which concluded on Tuesday, the documentation of the artefacts in the District Museum, Jorhat was undertaken.

Jorhat District Museum officer Abantika Parasar said the national level workshop started on October 11 had a pan-India participation of scholars, students, museum professionals including National Museum, Sikkim University, Assam Women’s University, Cinnamara College, Chandrakmal Baruah College, BEd College of Jorhat and so on.

“This particular workshop is a Phase-2 Re-org workshop.  In the first phase, which was held from January 27 to February 6, the museum objects were placed in museum storage as per the laid criteria developed by ICCROM (an intra-governmental agency),” said Parasar.

“The method has been developed by the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and UNESCO in 2011. This prevents insect attacks as well as preservation with a special cover which allows the humidity and temperature to be maintained,” she added.

In continuation of phase 1, phase 2 is aimed at documenting the museum collection, added Parasar.

Parasar further said documentation helps in retrieving museum objects from storage and documenting them scientifically which would help in identifying them in case of theft and recovery.

“IGNCA is the nodal agency to carry out Re-Org in India in line with ICCROM criteria and in currently running a national mission to safeguard the collections in danger in storage,” said s Dr. Satinder Kumar, research officer, IGNCA.

According to an ICCROM-UNESCO survey in 2011, it was found that most of the collections in museums worldwide are at risk due to improper methods of storage.

Jorhat District Museum
A lecture programme organised at Jorhat District Museum. Image credit – Northeast Now
A lecture programme organised at Jorhat District Museum. Image credit – Northeast Now

Apart from Dr Kumar, Dr Nitin Kumar and Md. Sohail Ansari, from IIGNCA, New Delhi, took part in the workshop as subject experts.

Parasar said in line with the IGNCA programme, a memorial lecture was organised on October 14 where Dr. Malini spoke on ‘Scientific Thinking in Ancient Indian Literature’.

The lecture, which is an annual event of District Museum, Jorhat, was organised in the memory of late Gautam Bordoloi.

It was Gautam Bordoloi who had shaped the District Museum in his capacity as the District Museum Officer.

Indrajit Barua, Dr. Pranab Jyoti Chetia and Dr. Satinder Kumar attended the lecture as special guests, where certificates were formally handed over to the participants of the national workshop.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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