Noolaham Foundation in accordance with our objectives undertakes projects in the following four program areas:
Research and Documentation
Digital Preservation and Access
Information Services for Community Development
Building Capacities and Communities of Practice
Our focus is to deliver quality results in accordance with international standards. In recent years, we have grown from a digital library project into a matured archiving institution. The following are brief descriptions of some of our key projects.
Digital Library (www.noolaham.org)
Noolaham Foundation Digital Library (www.noolaham.org) is the largest Tamil digital library on the Internet. It contains more than 13000 sources and texts that speak about the various aspects of the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka. The digital library functions as a repository for various institutions, including schools, nonprofits and cultural organizations. The digital library serves students, researchers, historians, activists and the public.
Pallikoodam - Virtual Learning Environment (www.epallikoodam.org)
Combining formal education with alternative forms of education, Pallikoodam aims to create a virtual platform that supports and empowers students at the grassroots levels within the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka. It promotes education as an avenue to strengthen the democratic foundations of society. The first phase of the project, which has been successfully launched (www.epallikoodam.org), brings together text based educational resources using the Moodle platform.
Noolaham Foundation provides digitization and archiving services for schools, non-profits, and cultural organizations with the aim to build open access and interoperable repositories. Our aim is to help institutions preserve and share their knowledge bases and memory for the long term. The following institutional repositories projects have been completed to date: Women’s Education and Research Centre, International Center for Ethnic Studies Digitization, Colombo Royal College (a DVD was released), Jaffna Hindu College (a DVD was released) and Jaffna Vembadi Girls' High School (a DVD was released).
Noolaham Foundation recognizes additional challenges faced by some of our communities in preserving unique and rare resources relating to these communities. Noolaham’s Special Collections projects aim to provide focus and dedicated resources to support research, documentation, digitization and archiving of materials relating to these communities. The following such collections are being developed: Muslim Archive and Malaiyaham Archive.
In addition to the above, Noolaham Foundation has implemented projects to archive all issues of periodicals such as Tamil Times, Gnanam, Sarinihar, Thinamurasu and Puthiya Poomi.
In Sri Lanka, there exists a vast number of medieval and late modern Tamil palm-leaf manuscripts held by individuals and organizations. These palm-leaf manuscripts cover a variety of subjects including traditional medicine, law, history, technology and religion. Majority of these works have not been published in print. In addition, there exists an array of contemporary handwritten manuscripts such as notebooks, letters and diaries. Noolaham Foundation Archives project identifies catalogues, digitizes and makes these works accessible to the wider scholarly community and the public. Palm-leaf manuscripts need special handling and equipment to be digitized. To date, Noolaham Foundation has completed manuscript archiving projects with Chunnakam Library and the Jaffna Library.
The purpose of the Multimedia Archive is to collect and archive images, videos, audios and electronic media. This project is in its initial stage. Photos Archive is a pilot project currently being developed. It is expected to be online in December 2014.
Conferences and Symposiums
Conferences and Symposiums are organized to encourage inter-disciplinary research that would offer an opportunity to scholars working in the fields of information and library science, archiving science, history, archeology, anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics and related fields to draw insights from each other’s discipline in order to enhance their own research. The first project of this program, the Tamil Documentation Conference 2013 was held in April 2013.
Open Datasets Development
Open Data is the driving force of the semantic web and mobile apps. Open data also provides valuable information for NGOs and governments to design their programs. Noolaham Foundation collects and makes accessible a large set of context and community specific open data such as information about places, people, organization, works, biodiversity, microclimate, economic data and social indicators. Open Data project is in the concept development phase.
Noolaham Foundation Events
Noolaham Foundation events program focus on building volunteer communities and educating the wider public on various issues including information literacy, digital library usage and digital preservation. Lectures, seminars, workshops and exhibitions are conducted through this program.
Noolaham Foundation Publications
Noolaham Foundation publishes books, newsletters, a magazine and a journal. This program is a part of the outreach strategy of the Foundation and contributes towards raising awareness and documentation. Noolaham Foundation also reprints important, rare, out-of-print book. The first issue of Suvadu Journal will be released in January 2015.