Books at a Click

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jun 18, 2016 05:52 PM
The OdiaWikimedia community and Bhubaneswar-based Srujanika have come together to make rare science books available online for readers, students & science educators.

The article by Diana Sahu was published in the New Indian Express on January 9, 2016.


Readers can now access rare science books in Odia language at Odia Wikisource, an online library of popular books in the language. The Odia Wikimedia community and Bhubaneswar-based Srujanika have come together to make these books available online for readers, students and science educators. This apart, books of Sahitya Akademi award winning writer Jagannath Prasad Das have been added to the library. Srujanika's co-founder Puspashree Pattnaik recently provided 700 popular science books that were published by the organisation to the Wikimedia community for digitisation. “These books were appreciated by many and even in demand after going out of print. Hence, we thought if these can be shared under free licence then they can reach a wider population. Wikipedia contributors can use these as resources and enhance science content in Odia Wikipedia as well", says Puspashree, a former teacher. She along with her husband Nikhil Pattnaik, a former scientist with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, had published several science books as part of their project to popularise the subject among children. With support from Vigyan Prasar in New Delhi, the couple had also documented rare works of science published in books, magazines, periodicals and newspapers from 1850 to 1950 in electronic format, a few years back. Around science 765 articles written over a century have been put on CDs and DVDs according to the names of authors and year of publication. The science books have been digitised by volunteers of the Odia Wikimedia community and the Centre for Internet and Society, a non-profit working for supporting Indian language Wikipedia projects and the communities.

Pushpashree Pattnaik

Similarly, the Wikimedia community has re-licensed 30 books of Das under a free license CC-by-SA 4.0. His books can now be accessed at https://orwikisource.org and anyone can use them for academic or research work. “My tryst with internet started very late. I was introduced to digital books through Srujanika's online version of Purnachandra Odia Bhashakosha - comprising 9,500 pages in seven volumes- which was impossible to handle on the writing table. That made me think how convenient it would be to have Odia books avail. able on the internet. As a beginning. I decided to put my own writings on the internet", said Das. Prior to Das, eminent writers and litterateurs Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, Manoj Panda, Subrat Prusty, Bharat Majhi and organisations like 'Manik Biswanath Smrutinyasa' and Aama Odisha' had come forward to make their books available online for free using Odia Wikisource as a platform. At present, Odia Wikisource has 280 Odia books and all are either under Public Domain or Creative Commons Share Alike licences. A team of 10 active contributors, known as "Uikiali' in Odia, are digitising books of various genres ranging from science writing, fiction to 0dia classics. “Apart from the science writ. ings, we are also working on digitising the biography of Nandini Satpathy which has been published by Ashisa Ranjan Mohapatra of Srimati Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust,” says Mrutyunjaya Kar, administrator of Odia Wikisource and Odia Wikipedia who has been contributing to the Wikimedia projects in Odia, Hindi, Sanskrit and English for the last four years. Odia Wikisource is a sister project of Odia Wikipedia.

These books were appreciated by many and going out of print. If these can be shared under free licence then they can reach a wider population.
Pushpashree Pattnaik

Document Actions