All Projects

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2014

Improvement of e-Learning Facilities and Soft Skills of the Students of Children’s Home

The Improvement of e-Learning Facilities and Soft Skills of the Students of Children’s Home project is to increase the capacity of 50 school going children in Hindu Board Children Home on their soft skills, general knowledge, and leadership. Other objective of the project is to introduce and help them familiarize to Moodle based interactive virtual learning system and digitize, archive education related document and conducting promotion activities for improving the learning facilities for the children home’s students. Noolaham Foundation implemented this project in collaboration with Hindu Board Children Home (HBCH), Thirunelvely, Jaffna.

During the project period twenty three training sessions were conducted. Each training session lasted for about three hours. Forty six students and six resource persons participated in these training sessions. The training series included the following: personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills which children are required to develop in order to increase their employability in the future. They are related to feelings, emotions, insights and IQ.

Further NF’s virtual learning environment program which is called “Pallikoodam" and digital library (noolaham.org) were introduced. Information Literacy training was provided so that they can search, evaluate, obtain and use study materials and other information sources from Noolaham Digital Library, Epallikoodam and the internet.

Unwritten Laws and its influence on community and Human Rights in Jaffna

The Unwritten Laws and Practices, their influence on the community and Human Rights in Jaffna project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation with the support of Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust in Jaffna. This project aimed to research on the status of Unwritten Laws and practices among the Jaffna community and to identify their influence on Human Rights at present. Other objectives of the project are to create awareness on this topic among the public, to preserve and document project related materials and to make them available to the wider public.

Almost hundred and twenty unwritten laws, practices and trends were identified, and produced as a research paper in the project period. These unwritten Laws and practices were identified through interactive discussions with experts in the field, community based organizations, consortiums, and beneficiaries, video footages, audio recordings, books, flyers, news from local media, and related photos 30audio recordings and videos from interactive discussions were also documented and preserved. The recorded documents were transcribed. Noolaham Foundation also conducted five factual presentation on the status and influence of unwritten Laws and practices on Human Rights in the targeted community. The targeted community gets clear understanding on the matter and provides a conducive environment for self-resilience. The presentations and discussions created a good avenue for self-understanding and positive social dynamics toward international standards.

Further twenty three project-related books were collected and digitized from repositories and various scholars. The research book and all digitized documents are made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s digital library at www.noolaham.org to multiple users through this project. This digitization has increased the breadth of access that was provided. Use of a digital surrogate may decrease the need to use the original – which may be difficult to access. This project collectively promotes peace, reconciliation and human rights by increasing access to this valuable information and provides an opportunity towards the mission of Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust as well.

Documentation and Information Sharing of Community Medicine Resources

The Documentation and Information Sharing of Community Medicine Resources Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2014 to digitize the publications and collections of the Department of Community & Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna. It was a collection development project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation in collaboration with another organization. Documentation, preservation and dissemination of community related medical books and other publications was the main aim of the project.

Through this project Noolaham Foundation has digitized 326 documents and made them available on its Digital Library (www.noolaham.org). The digitized publications include documents related to disease prevention and control, Siddha Medicine books, handbooks, statistics, annual reports of family health, administration reports, annual surveys, working papers, situation analysis papers, bulletins, monographs, magazines, journals and newsletters. These documents are available for free access and could be downloaded in the user-friendly interface of Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library and most of the knowledge seekers and relevant stakeholders will have easy access to these services.

Noolaham Foundation strongly believes that this project has added substantial reference resources covering healthy lifestyle, health education, disease prevention, injuries management, and first aid. Thus this collection will immensely benefit the communities in the years to come.

Sharing and Documenting Traditional and Religious Norms of Sri Lankan Tamil Communities

The project of ‘Sharing and Documenting Traditional and Religious Norms of the Sri Lankan Tamil Community’ is a common platform for the integration of Tamil speaking communities from different backgrounds in Sri Lanka. Hence, Noolaham Foundation has identified Koothu (melodrama) as a one of the traditional tools that share some common values. Then Noolaham Foundation and Norway Tamil Sangam, staged ‘Ravanesan Koothu’ in Colombo with the facilitation of Batticaloa Theatre Lab.

The project’s main event ‘Ravanesan Koothu’ was held at the Ramakrishna Mission Hall, Colombo – 06 on 4th January 2014 with more than 800 spectators. The ‘Ravanesan Koothu’ can be viewed as a great honor and a glimpse at our heritage for Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka through these treasury performances. The performance was telecasted on Vasantham TV, and a series of special articles were published in the Virakesari weekend edition about ‘Ravanesan Koothu’. This is the first time ‘Ravanesan Koothu’ was telecast on the visual media in Sri Lanka. This online availability of the event will promote the rich heritage of Tamil culture and Tamil language around the world.

Noolaham Foundation believes that this project will develop an exposure for the arts which are being practiced by the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking communities.

Malaiyaham Archive Pilot Project

The Malaiyaham Archive Pilot Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation during 2013 and 2014 to digitize and preserve the publications of the Malaiyaham Tamil speaking community. It was implemented as a special collection development project of the Noolaham Digital Library. Documentation and digitization of books and publications related to the Malaiyaham Tamil community was an objective of the project as well.

Through this project Noolaham Foundation has digitized 140 documents and made them available on its digital library at www.noolaham.org. The digitized publications include their culture, distinctive history, tradition, political context, religious practices, arts, stories, the schooling system, journals and novels. These documents are available for free access and could be downloaded in the user-friendly interface of Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library and most of the knowledge seekers and relevant stakeholders will have easy access to these services. A web portal named Noolaham:Malaiyaha_Avanakam (நூலகம்: மலையக ஆவணகம்) was also created. This portal will enable effective and speed searches of the required knowledge.

This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from Malaiyaham Tamil writers and publishers. When new documents arrive from the Malaiyaham Tamil community, the documents will be digitized by Noolaham Foundation’s Malaiyaham representative in the future. It will be implemented as part of the Noolaham Foundation’s recurrent Collection Development Project.

Sri Lankan Tamil Who is Who: A Pilot Project

The Sri Lankan Tamil Who is Who Pilot Project was carried out by Noolaham to initiate a biographical reference resource about personalities from the Sri Lankan Tamil communities. Even though a small number of biographical dictionaries and family histories exist, there are no comprehensive biographical reference resources about Sri Lankan Tamils. By starting this initiative Noolaham Foundation expects to fill that information gap.

Entries about 612 personalities were created during the project period. Even though the initial target number of entries was not met, Noolaham Foundation successfully tested various strategies to collect information about people and verifying such information. A Mediawiki platform was created to continue updating the ‘who is who’ entries. As a pilot initiative, this project has paved way to create a vast collection of biographical reference resources.

Noolaham Digital Library Collection Development 2014

The Noolaham Digital Library Collection Development 2014 project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2014 to strengthen the digital library collection by adding various documents related to the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking communities. Documentation, and preservation and dissemination of these documents were also the objectives of the project. An important advantage of digital conversion is increased accessibility to users. It also increases availability of sources to individuals who may not be traditional patrons of a library, due to geographic location or organizational affiliation.

Through this project NF has digitized 1,278 documents and made them available on its digital library at www.noolaham.org. The documents that are available online from the project, date back to 1969. Many of these documents are out of print and could be the last available copies of the same. Noolaham Foundation will continue to expand and diversify its collections by undertaking further collection development projects as well.

Osai: Jaffna Vembadi Girls' High School Digitization

The main objective of ‘Osai: Jaffna Vembadi Girls' High School Digitization’ project was collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the published documents of Vembadi Girls' High School, Jaffna and its community members. This collection includes periodical publications from different years (1956 -2014) and materials such as magazines, newsletters, booklets, reports, souvenirs and felicitation, annual publications, leaflets, memorial publications, monographs and educational materials. It was a collaborative project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation with the help of Vembadi Old Girls' Association (VOGA). This project was aimed to provide open access to and to create global visibility for the institution’s publications and to store and preserve institutional digital assets.

During this project, 73 rare documents were digitized and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library (www.noolaham.org) to the Tamil communities of the entire world. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from the school community and other stakeholders. The digitized documents were published on the 25th of May 2014 at an annual programme of Vembadi Old Girls' Association (VOGA) in Jaffna. Noolaham Foundation was honored by VOGA. The documented collections were gifted to the school in the form of DVD and printed hand book so that the school can share this document with their well-wishers, stake holders, and students.


2013

Initiation of Moodle for Sri Lankan Tamil Speaking Students

Pallikoodam Program of Noolaham Foundation supports the educational needs of the Tamil speaking students using digital technologies. It is an educational initiative of Noolaham Foundation aimed at creating an alternative, community-centered educational system among the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka. The virtual learning environments made possible by emerging Internet based educational technology provides a great cost-effective opportunity to bring and link quality educational resources to students and youth. It helps a student who has access to the Internet to proceed his/her studies anywhere and anytime. Virtual Learning will help those who are in need of self-learning and those want to share their knowledge through the Internet. Therefore, Noolaham Foundation collaborated with Visions Global Empowerment aiming at the initiation of a “Moodle” system and introducing to students communities. Moodle system is an e - learning interface and contains educational resources in an online platform.

Visions Global Empowerment, a non-profit organization which motivates children through education development programs, joins hand through collaborating with this project. Moodle system and active forum are the outcomes of the project. The official virtual learning website for the virtual learning platform powered by the ‘Moodle’ system was launched on 4th of January 2014 at the Noolaham Foundation’s ninth year annual celebrations held at Ramakrishna Mission Hall, Wellawatte, Colombo with more than 800 spectators. The students and beneficiaries can view the portal at www.epallikoodam.org. Noolaham Foundation conducted introductory sessions in 44 centres for 103 schools with approximately 4,000 students’ participation (see annexure I). Also Noolaham Foundation facilitates students with 10,008 number of multiple choice question bank (see annexure II). Tamil Students of the University of Uva Wellassa, University of Moratuwa and volunteers carried out introductory secession in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Uva provinces in Sri Lanka.

Tamil Optical Character Recognition Support Project

The Tamil Optical Character Recognition Support Project was aimed at providing scanned raw images of rare Tamil documents and to assist the Tamil OCR development project. Noolaham Foundation collaborated with department of Computer Science, University of Jaffna to implement this project. The Tamil digitization project is a joint venture of the Theekshana (School of Computing, University of Colombo) and the department of Computer Science, University of Jaffna and funded by ICTA. The main goal of the project is to develop the tools needed to automatically recognize the most common printed Tamil fonts from scanned images of books and documents for digitizing such content.

Noolaham Foundation provided scanned images of 51 rare documents to the department of Computer Science, University of Jaffna for training and testing the Tamil OCR system through this project. In the documents documented, 15 books (6,450 raw images) were already available at Noolaham Digital Archive. Another 36 documents were digitized specifically for this project with a view to using them for training and testing the Tamil OCR system which is being developed. All 51 documents are made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from the research community.

Republishing of Rare and Endangered documents

The objectives of the ‘Republishing of Rare and Endangered documents’ project was to publish rare works in collaboration. During this project Noolaham Foundation collaborated with some individuals and Ezhuna Media Foundation and published two books. Ezhuna Media Foundation is a non - profit, charitable, independent media organization. The part of publication expenditure was covered by Mr. Sujan Shanmugasingam, Canada.

During this project two rare documents were published. They are ‘Thamizhpashai’ and ‘Pandaithamilar’. The ‘Thamizhpashai’ is re-edition of Mr. T. T. Saravanmuthupillai and was edited by Mr. Satkunam Sathiyathevan. ‘Pandaithamilar’ is the first edition and the author is Swamy Gnanapragasar. It was edited by Dr. Arangaraj Jeganathan. A digital copy of ‘Thamizhpashai’ is available at Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library (www.noolaham.org) and the digital copy of ‘Pandaithamilar’ book will be made available only in 2016 on Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library due to copyright restrictions. If anyone wants to use the content of the book with less copyright restrictions, they would contact the publishers.

Aaram: Jaffna Hindu College Digitization

‘The Aaram: Jaffna Hindu College Digitization’ project was aimed at collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the published documents of Jaffna Hindu College, Jaffna and its community. This collection includes periodical publications since 1933 and materials such as magazines, newsletters, booklets, reports, souvenirs and felicitation, annual publications, leaflets, memorial publications, monographs and administrative documents. The main objective of this project is to provide open access of institution’s printed collection, preserve and create wide global visibility.

Noolaham foundation has digitized 133 publications from ‘By laws of the Jaffna Hindu College 1933’ released in 1933 to ‘Jaffna Hindu College Sivagnana Vairavar Koyil Kudamuzhukku Vizha Malar’ released in 2013 by the Jaffna Hindu College. Noolaham Foundation obtained great support from the youth wing of Jaffna Hindu College in collecting the publications released by the College. Noolaham Foundation has made required facilities available for readers to view these digitalized publications on its digital library website, www.noolaham.org.

Noolaham Foundation and the Colombo branch of Jaffna Hindu College Old Boys’ Association released all the documented publications as a DVD named ‘Aaram’ along with a handbook titled, ‘Aaram- Inthuvin Aavanak Kalanjiyam’ on 14th October 2013 at Saraswathy Hall, Colombo-04. The documented collections were gifted to school, so that the school can distribute these documents to their well-wishers, stake holders, and students for their use. This digitization project provides an opportunity to preserve these historical documents and share them with a wider community of scholars and students.

Tamil Documentation Conference 2013

Noolaham Foundation has been successfully carrying out the task of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the present and future generations since 2005. Marking the completion of its 8th year, Noolaham Foundation conducted a research Conference on the theme of “Documentation and Preservation in Sri Lankan Tamil Milieu” on the 27th and 28th of April 2013 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Tamil Documentation Conference 2013 was aimed to enhance documenting and preserving the knowledge resources of the heritages of the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka.

Through this project Noolaham Foundation has identified and discussed the past and future of documentation, preservation and dissemination of knowledge. Researchers, educationists and scholars across Sri Lanka and from other countries submitted their research papers on the following sub-themes at this conference: History, archaeological documents related to the heritages of the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka, audio, visual and photographic documents , individual personalities and institutions, documenting society, linguistic and literary documentation, knowledge sharing and education, the role and uses of technology in documentation, digital libraries, websites and databases, cataloguing and library science , art, and cultural memory and documentation.

This conference is unique in the sense that is the first ever conference on documentation in Tamil. Forty eight research articles were presented at eight sessions. The conference proceedings volume is to be released at a later date. This research conference is one of the initiatives taken towards the Tamil communities’ future plan to promote research on documentation and it received special appreciation from scholars and the public.

Vethiyar Thamilavanam: Colombo Royal College Digitization

The ‘Vethiyar Thamilavanam: Colombo Royal College Digitization’ project aimed at collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the published documents of Royal College, Colombo and its Tamil community. The main objectives this project was to provide open access of institution’s printed collection, preserve and create wide global visibility of historical documents of Royal College in order to make it much easier for students and others who are interested in learning the college history.

Noolaham foundation has digitized 92 documents and made required facilities for readers to view these digitized publications online at www.noolaham.org and shared offline digital resources in a DVD named ‘Veththiyar Thamizhavanam 2013’ which was released at Royal College Union Skill Centre on 31 March, 2013. Royal College Tamil Debaters’ Council was involved in collecting these publications released by the Tamil societies and Associations of their college.

This collection includes magazines, newsletters, booklets, reports, souvenirs and felicitation publications, annual publications, leaflets and memorial publications published from 1964 to 2012.

Noolaham Digital Library Collection Development 2013

With the increased availability of economical digital storage media, high speed scanners and high-bandwidth networks, Digital Libraries have received a boost in the last few years. The dream of digitizing vast areas of knowledge pertaining to mankind, and making them available online has now become a realizable goal. The Noolaham Digital Library Collection Development 2013 project focused on strengthening Noolaham’s Digital Library collection by adding various rare documents to it.

Through this project Noolaham Foundation has digitized 676 documents and made them available on its Digital Library (www.noolaham.org). The documents that are made available online through the project date back to 1970. Most of these documents are out of print and are available at only a few libraries and personal collections.


2012

Manuscripts Archive Jaffna Public Libray 2012

The Manuscripts Archive Jaffna Public Library 2012 was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2012 to digitize and archive the collection of palm-leaf manuscripts held at Jaffna Public Library. This type of project was the second project carried out by Noolaham Foundation in the same year. To maximize use of palm-leaf manuscripts through online access of the digitized documents and increase the life of the collections are the main objective of the project.

Through this project 5 manuscript volumes were digitized. A web portal also will be created. These precious collections consists of information on Tamil literature, prose and verse, history and tradition, grammar and lexicography, art, indigenous medicine, astrology, science, architecture and folk-lore. These document collections will be made freely accessible and downloadable in the user-friendly interface of Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library and most of the knowledge seekers will have easy access to these services. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from scholars.

Muslim Archive Pilot Project

The Muslim Archive Pilot Project was the pilot project conducted by Noolaham Foundation to create a special collection called Muslim Archive within the Foundation’s digital library www.noolaham.org. The Muslim Archive collection aims to collect and update a comprehensive information resource pool about the Tamil speaking Muslim communities of Sri Lanka. This project was implemented with the support of various individuals who had documents about Muslim issues in Sri Lanka.

During this project 201 rare and endangered documents were digitized and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library to the Tamil speaking community. A web portal was created for the Muslim Archive special collection where all documents related to the Muslim identity can be located and accessed. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from Sri Lankan Muslim writers and publishers.

Digitizing Publication for Online Access

The Digitizing Publications for Online Access project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in Colombo and Jaffna with the project funding received from Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust in Colombo and Jaffna. The main goal of this project was to identify, locate and digitize various publications and make them available online.

During the project period, Noolaham Foundation has digitized 31,053 pages from 262various kinds of publications and made them available through the digital library at noolaham.org. These publications include works of eminent Tamil and Muslim writers. Also, Noolaham Foundation has obtained written permission from 52 copyright holders to digitize their writings and publications and make them available online. We obtained permission from writers, institutions and schools. The permission obtained from these persons and institutions has enabled Noolaham Foundation to release another 20,000 pages which had been archived but held back from open access because of copyright restrictions. A number of publications digitized through this project enabled us to launch two more projects releasing DVDs of publications of two schools.

Manuscripts Archive Chunnakam Public Library 2012

The Manuscripts Archive Chunnakam Public Library 2012 project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2012 to digitize and archive the collection of palm-leaf manuscripts and archaic coins in the Chunnakam Public Library. Digitization of palm leafs and ancient coins is a first-of-its-kind activity undertaken by NF. To archive as electronic document, maximize the usage of palm-leaf manuscripts, provide access to them freely and enhance the study of ancient numismatics through online access of digitized documents, and to understand and depict the history and promote the prestige of the Tamil state are the objectives of the project.

The project was completed by December 2012. Through this project ten manuscript volumes and seventy five ancient coins were digitized and will be launched publicly at www.noolaham.org. A web portal will also be created for easy access and could be downloaded in the user friendly interface. These precious collections are related to the Tamil speaking communities of Sri Lanka. These palm leafs were the storage medium for ancient literature, philosophy and science containing valuable knowledge such as medicine, Tamil literature, stories, paintings, family Notes, family Accounts, grammar books, astrology, septic breakdown remedies, animal remedies, Vegan books and thesaurus. The digital preservation of these manuscripts is one of the more respectable achievements of the project in the context of cultural preservation. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from librarians and scholars.

Digital Library for School Students Pilot Project

The Digital Library for School Students Pilot Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2012/2013 to create open access digital library for the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking students and educators. This project was aimed at digitizing educational materials. It was the first step taken by the Foundation towards establishing virtual learning platforms for the Tamil speaking students in Sri Lanka through its Pallikoodam Program. It is an educational initiative of Noolaham Foundation that aims at creating an alternative, community-centered educational system among the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka.

Through this project 500 G.C.E advanced level and ordinary level exam papers were digitized and made available online at Noolaham Foundation’s Pallikoodam Program website at www.epallikoodam.org. Events were conducted at four schools to introduce the Pallikoodam Program as well as Noolaham Digital Library. The Education Department of Northern Province, four zonal Education departments and 11 schools contributed towards this project. This initiative was a massive success and special appreciation came from school teachers and students.

Manuscripts Archive Pilot Project 2012

The Manuscripts Archive Pilot Project 2012 was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2012 to establish the Manuscripts Archive Program of the Foundation. While conducting Documentation and Archiving of Rare Endangered Documents project, Noolaham Foundation came across a number of palm-leaf manuscript collections in Jaffna. The flatbed scanners which were being used at that time were not suitable to scan such fragile documents. Thus a pilot project was implemented to evaluate feasibility, time, cost, adverse events, and effect size (statistical variability) of digitizing manuscripts and to establish a Manuscripts Archive Program.

Noolaham Foundation acquired the expertise and received training from EAP 458 team based at the French institute of Pondicherry, India. EAP 458 Team was carrying out a project under the British Library’s Endangered Archive Program. A small sample of ola leaf volumes were also digitized during the project. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from scholars.

Documentation and Archiving of Rare Endangered Documents

The main goal of the Documentation and Archiving of Rare Endangered Documents Project was to document and digitize rare and endangered documents related to the Tamil speaking communities of Sri Lanka. Two workshops were conducted to introduce the importance of documentation and archiving and to provide digitizing training; moreover, sustaining a volunteer pool to carry out future activities was also planned as part of this project. It was funded by the US Department of State

Through this project 660 rare and endangered documents were digitized and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library (www.noolaham.org) to the Tamil speaking communities of the entire world. Further, two workshops were conducted by Noolaham Foundation about the importance of documentation and archiving. The project also provided digitizing training to volunteers and other stakeholders as well. During the project period a sustainable volunteer pool was built to carry out future projects. Noolaham Foundation is happy to report that all project goals had been achieved and more projects have been initiated.

Digital libraries are significant as they lower the bar for participation by information producers and collectors. It democratizes the generation and distribution of information. Thus this project supported by US Embassy has enabled Noolaham Foundation to preserve and revitalize culture and knowledge. In a long term perspective, the outcomes of this project will contribute immensely towards fostering knowledge-based development in Sri Lanka.


2011

Digital Documentation Discussion Series 2011

In 2011, Noolaham Foundation successfully conducted five presentations and workshops with volunteers on under the initiative of ‘Digital Documentation Discussion Series 2011’. These events were held from April 2011 to October 2011. These discussions were conducted in collaboratation with the Computer Science and Engineering Society of the University of Moratuwa. They were facilitated by key scholars and activists from the Tamil speaking communities in Sri Lanka as resource persons. The events named Eedu (ஏடு) and Panaiyoolai (பனையோலை) and targeted at creating awareness about digital opportunities, preservation and about the Foundation’s activities.

More than 150 participations and nearly 15 key persons participated and were benefited by this project. Puthiya Noolaham newsletter was introduced and distributed during these events. Furthermore, a video presentation "Kadanthu Vantha Paathai" created by volunteers was presented at the final seminar held on the 02nd of October 2011. It was a valuable documentary about the Foundation’s overall activities.

Digitization Workshops for Library Science Students

The Digitization Workshops for Library Science Students was carried out by Noolaham Foundation during late 2010 and early 2011 to strengthen operational infrastructure within the Noolaham Foundation’s network and to train Library Science students and Noolaham Foundation’s volunteers in digitization methods and digital preservation.

In 2010 and 2011, Noolaham Foundation conducted two digitization workshops for five days with library science students under the title of ‘Digitization Workshops for Library Science Students’. These workshops were held from December 2010 to October 2011 at Vannarpannai, Jaffna. These workshops were collaborated with Library Science Students, ChinthanaikKoodam, Jaffna and Center for Women, Jaffna. These workshops were facilitated by Ms. A. Valarmathy, program coordinator of Noolaham Foundation. AlsoProf. Samuel Ratnajeevan Herbert Hoole and Prof R. Sivachandarn shared keynotes during the workshops. Approximately 50 Library Science students and volunteers participated in the workshops and were benefited by this project.

Digitization Project hosted by Jaffna Public Library 2011-2012

The Digitization Project hosted by Jaffna Public Library 2011-2012 was carried out by Noolaham Foundation during the years 2011 and 2012. The objectives of this project were to document and archive the collections related to the Tamil speaking communities held by the Jaffna Public Library. It was a collaborative project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation and the Jaffna Public Library. This project enhanced access to information sources as a vast and diverse range of printed publications were digitized and made available online. The digital copies of publications that came out before 1981 were handed over to the Jaffna Public Library.

Through this project 1840 documents were digitized and most of them were made available on Noolaham Foundation’s digital library at www.noolaham.org. It was a significant achievement by Noolaham Foundation as these collections consist of texts on Philosophy and Psychology, Computing and Information Technology, Religion ,Social Sciences such as Sociology, Casteism, Feminism, Politics, Economics, Marxism, Law, Child care, Education, Business, Culture, folklore and Sex, Language and Linguistics such as lexicography, Tamil grammar, Sinhala Language and so on, Science and logic, Indigenous Medicine, Astrology, Agriculture and Cooking, Arts, Sculpture, Music, Cinema, Literature, Literary history, Poems, Prose and Verse, Short Stories, Jokes, Novel, Drama, Children's Literature and history.Most of the documents digitized were made available online for free access and could be downloaded from the user-friendly interface of Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from scholars and the library circles.

Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Tamil Newspapers

The Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Tamil Newspapers project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation during the period between 2011 and2013 to digitize the current and past issues of contemporary newspapers that have readership among the Tamil speaking communities of Sri Lanka. It was a collaborative project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation in coordination with various publishers. The project aimed at preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the print, published documents. The main objectives this project were to provide open access of contemporary and past issues of newspapers, preserve and create wide global visibility of the information they carried.

Totally 372 issues of contemporary newspapers under 14 titles were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org.Table of contents were manually inputted to enhance the search ability of the content. A web portal was also created at the digital library so that users could identify and access the issues easily and could download them in the user friendly interface.

Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Magazines

The Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Tamil Magazines Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation during 2011-2013 to digitize and display the current and past issues of contemporary magazines related to the Tamil speaking communities of Sri Lanka. It was a project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation in collaboration with various publishers. The main objectives of this project was to provide open access of contemporary and past issues of magazines, preserve and create wide global visibility of these packed valuable information.

This project was successful in collecting 59 titles of contemporary periodicals and making them available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. As Tamil OCR is not available, Table of contents was manually inputted to enhance the search-ability of the content. A web portal (annexure 1) was also created at the digital library so that users could identify and access the issues easily and download in the user friendly interface. This collection of materials is not available elsewhere and is of both historical as well as scholarly value.

Organizational Datasets Pilot Project

The Organizational Datasets Pilot Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2011/12 to locate resources about organizations and websites related to Sri Lankan Tamil communities. The scope of the project was to identify and index the information about Sri Lankan Tamil speaking community based organizations, links to other related datasets and websites, and to make all entries available online without any access restrictions under a Creative Commons license.

Through this pilot project, details about 2987 organizations and websites were gathered, and indexed. The information was collected from many organizations such as Tamil Libraries, Educational Institutions, Publishers, Places of Worship, and other Institutions like political parties, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), NGOs, and Websites. A web portal named Noolaham: Tharavuthalangal (நூலகம்: தரவுத்தளங்கள்) was also created at Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. This portal will enable effective and speed searches of the required information.


2010

International Center for Ethnic Studies Digitization

The International Center for Ethnic Studies Digitization Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation and International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo in 2010 to digitize the publications of the ICES. It was a collaborative project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation collective with another organization.

Through this project 137 documents were digitized and were made them available on Noolaham Foundation’s digital library at www.noolaham.org. The digitized publications include books, research papers, working papers, lectures handouts, monographs, reports, magazines, periodical newsletters and journals. This project increased online information sources on civil society, human rights, post war and land issues, history of conflict, capacity-buildings, current socio – political and economical configuration and contributed towards the mission of International Center for Ethnic Studies as well.

Thinamurasu Digitization Project

The Thinamurasu Digitization Project was a collaborative project carried out by Noolaham Foundation and Thinamurasu Publishers to digitize the weekly issues of Thinamurasu newspaper. Thinamurasu, a weekly newspaper of Eealam Peoples Democratic Party, is published from Colombo and issued all over Sri Lanka. It contains news articles such as political commentaries, narratives about national events, as well as issues of local and regional importance, family notices such as family’s birthday announcements and obituary notices and congratulatory messages, letters such as letters to the editor written by the newspaper’s readers including and letters focusing on contemporary debates, aspirations and anxieties, information on the lives of notable individuals and ancestors, photographs, graphics, maps and editorial cartoons.

A total of 661 Thinamurasu issues dating from 1993 to 2007 were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org. A web portal was also created at the digital library so that the users can access information about the magazines and read the issues easily.

Sarinihar Digitization Project

The Sarinihar Digitization Project was a collaborative project carried out by Noolaham Foundation and Sarinihar Publishers to digitize the past issues of Sarinihar newspaper and magazines in 2010. This was implemented as a collaborative project between the publishers and Noolaham Foundation in 2010. Sarinihar focused sharply on issues related to the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking communities and the civil war. Sarinihar newspaper contains news articles such as political commentaries, political poetry and stories as well as essays and reports on issues of local and regional importance including issues such as feminism and caste discrimination, illuminating contemporary debates about the Sri Lankan Tamils’ liberation war, the effects of the civil war, Sri Lankans’ aspirations and anxieties in the war period. The newspaper also disseminated a lot of information on the lives of notable individuals and ancestors. It included photographs, graphics and editorial cartoons. Sarinihar publications could be considered as historical documents about the scars created by the war in Sri Lanka. It covered the major political developments that the island witnessed from the 1990s onwards.

A total of 214 Sarinihar issues dating from 11.06.1990 to 18.2.2001and four Sarinihar magazines were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org.Table of contents were manually inputted to enhance the searchability of the content. A web portal was also created at the digital library so that users could access information about the magazines and read the issues easily.

Puthiya Poomi Digitization Project

The Puthiya Poomi Digitization Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation and Puthiya Poomi publications in 2010 to digitize the publications of the Puthiya Poomi monthly newspaper. It was a project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation in collaboration with another organization. The main objectives this project was to provide the public open access to the Puthiya Poomi publications, preserve and create wide global visibility of historical documents.

The Puthiya Poomi is a political monthly newspaper published by I. Thampiya from Colombo. It typically contains news articles and feature articles on national and international issues as well as local news. The news included is related to vulnerable people, current national and internal political explorers, struggles of the people against imperialism, proletarian activities, social and left wing political concepts about communists’ life over two decades. Totally 114 Puthiya Poomi monthly issues were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org.

Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Tamil Newspapers Pilot Project

The Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Tamil Newspapers Pilot Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2010 to digitize the current issues of contemporary newspapers. It was a collaborative project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation in coordination with various publishers. The project aimed at collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of printed newspapers. The main objectives this project were to provide open access of contemporary newspapers, preserve and create wide global visibility of the valuable information in these papers. The project was implemented as a pilot project to evaluate feasibility, time, cost, adverse events, and effect size (statistical variability) prior to a full-scale project.

Totally 246 valuable contemporary newspapers under four titles were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. These collections included 165 issues of Thinakkathir, 42 issues of Thisai, 10 issues of Nihari and 29 issues of Aathavan newspaper; the last two were published by Ravaya publishers, Colombo. These publications analyze social, political, cultural and judicial issues related to Sri Lanka. A web portal was also created so that all contemporary magazines can be accessed easily.


2009

Tamil Times Digitization Project

The Tamil Times Digitization Project was carried out in 2009 to digitize all issues of the Tamil Times magazine. Tamil Times (ISSN 0266 4488) is an English monthly news magazine that covered on Sri Lankan Tamil issues. It was published in London UK continuously from 1981 to the late 2000s. It provides valuable documentation and analysis of the Tamil struggle and Sri Lankan and International politics during this crucial period.

Through this project which was carried out with the support of the publishers of Tamil Times, all 297 issues of Tamil Times were digitized and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s digital library at www.noolaham.org. A web portal was also created at the digital library so that the users can access information about the magazines and read the issues easily.


Digitization Project hosted by Colombo Tamil Sangam Library

The Colombo Tamil Sangam contributes towards the betterment of the Tamil language, culture and arts. It was established in 1942. It operates a library with more than 45,000 books and magazines. A special purpose reference section aiming to preserve Sri Lankan Tamil related documents is functioning as part of that library. The goals of the Digitization Project hosted by the Colombo Tamil Sangam Library Project were to document and archive the Sri Lankan collection of the Colombo Tamil Sangam Library.

Totally 2,950 valuable books and magazines were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org.


2008

Digitization Project in Trincomalee

The Digitization Project in Trincomalee was conducted by Noolaham Foundation during 2008 in Colombo and Trincomalee. It was implemented as a volunteer driven project to digitize a collection of print publications which were donated to Noolaham Foundation at Trincomalee by various well-wishers.

Through this project 102 books and magazines were digitized and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library atwww.noolaham.org. This collection of documents was gathered through NF’s volunteers. After digitization, those publications were either returned to the contributors or donated to libraries. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from Tamil writers and publishers of Trincomalee.

Digitization and Display of Monographs 2008-2009

The Digitization and Display of Monographs 2008-2009 was conducted by Noolaham Foundation during 2008/09 in Colombo. The objective of the project was to digitize and display a series of books on the Noolaham Digital Library’s home page. It was part of Noolaham’s communication strategy of that period.

The project was implemented in two phases. During the first phase, a book was displayed each day for four months (May to August 2008) and during the second phase, a new book was displayed each week (September 2008 - April 2009). Through this project 155 various kinds of documents were digitized and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. After the digitization, those publications were either returned to the contributors or donated to libraries. This project was a successful initiative in introducing Noolaham digital library to users from diverse backgrounds.

Gnanam Digitization Project

The Gnanam Digitization Project is a collaborative project between Gnanam Publishers and Noolaham Foundation as part of Noolaham Foundation’s long term efforts to develop digital resources of contemporary magazines and make them freely accessible. This project extends the usefulness of the Tamils bibliographic and digitized assets by increasing access to this valuable information and provides an opportunity for institutions to select and contribute digitized information resources.

The first issue of Gnanam Magazine was published in June 2000 and it is published monthly. Gnanam issues contain poetry, creative essays, short stories, fiction, and political blogs and columns, as well as news about contemporary literary events and readers’ opinions. This magazine gives space to young innovative writers and their thoughts. Also Gnanam publishers brought out some collections of work by Sri Lankan writers. They have also been digitized by NF during this project.

Totally 91 monthly issues and 6 books were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. NF has created a special web portal to increase search ability. The magazines and books digitized date back to the 2000s. Noolaham Foundation has established plans to collect and digitize the future issues on a regular basis.

Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Magazines Pilot Project

The Digitization and Dissemination of Contemporary Magazines Pilot Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation in 2008 to digitize the current issues of contemporary Tamil magazines that focus on Sri Lankan Tamil speaking communities. It was a collaborative project undertaken by Noolaham Foundation in coordination with various publishers. The project aimed at collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of printed magazines. The main objectives this project were to provide open access of contemporary magazines, preserve and create wide global visibility of the valuable information in these magazines. The project was implemented as a pilot project to evaluate feasibility, time, cost, adverse events, and effect size (statistical variability) prior to a full-scale project.

This project was successful in digitizing76 issues of 13 titles of periodicals. All of them are available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. The table of contents was manually inputted to enhance the search-ability of the content. The digitized magazine was also categorized at the digital library so that users could identify and access the issues easily.

Digitization Project in Colombo 2008-2009

The Digitization Project in Colombo 2008-2009 was conducted by Noolaham Foundation during 2008 and early 2009 in Colombo. The objective of the project was to digitize a collection of print publications donated or loaned to Noolaham Foundation for digitization. Thus documents collected in Colombo and diasporic magazines sent by Pathmanaba Iyer were digitized through this project.

This project was implemented from January 2008 and to February 2009. Through this project 148 books and magazines, and 176 diaspora magazines were digitized in 2008 and another 245 documents were digitized in 2009. All 569 documents were made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library at www.noolaham.org. This project was a successful initiative and it received special appreciation from many Tamil writers and publishers.


2007

Digital Library CMS Project 2007

The Digital Library CMS Project 2007 was carried out by Noolaham Foundation to create an easily accessible Content Management System to host the Noolaham Digital Library. Prior to this project, Noolaham website was created by simple html links. MS Frontage html editor was used for this purpose. This site was inadequate to search the content. Even browsing as all the information had to be inputted manually.

During this project, initially Joomla CMS was installed and around 100 pages were created. But the testing was unsuccessful as the contributors struggled to understand the CMS. Thus Mediawiki software was tested and it was quite successful. The Tamil Wikipedia approach was used as a number of volunteers contributed towards the project.

Womens' Education and Research Centre Digitization Project

This Women’s' Education and Research Centre Digitization Project was carried out by Noolaham Foundation and Women's Education and Research Center (WERC) in 2007 to digitize the publications of the WERC. It was the first collaborative project undertaken by Project Noolaham collective with another organization.

A total of 140 documents were digitized through this project and 132 of them were made available online through Noolaham digital library at www.noolaham.org. About 100 of the digitized publications were the publications of Women’s Education and Research Centre including books, magazines, newsletters and journals. This project increased the number of Tamil publications related to Women’s issues in Sri Lanka online, and thus contributed towards the mission of the Women’s' Education and Research Centre as well.

Digitization Project in Colombo 2007

The Digitization Project in Colombo 2007 was carried out by Noolaham Foundation during 2007 to increase the publications stored in Noolaham Digital Library. This project was an innovative implementation that used donated funds as well as volunteer resources to increase the efficiency of digitization initiatives. An incentive was provided to the volunteers to finish the project within the given timeframe.

A total of 1,117 documents were digitized through this project and 1,074 of them were made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org. This project significantly increased the Noolaham Digital Library collection and enabled us to get a wider recognition among Tamil internet users and get more support and resources towards Noolaham Foundation.

Text Digitization Project in Colombo 2007

The Text Digitization Project in Colombo 2007 was a digitization project which was initiated to convert physical books into machine readable formats. It was one of the first funded projects carried out by Noolaham Foundation. Prior such funded projects, most digitization tasks were done by volunteers and they did not progress quickly. Some volunteers who were participating in the activities of Noolaham Foundation proposed that they would like to make monetary contributions and a project should be coordinated to digitize books, as they would not find time, expertise and resources to type the books manually. Thus the funded projects were started.

A total of 44 books were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from Sri Lankan Tamil writers and publishers.


2006

Text Digitization Project in Jaffna 2006

Modeled on the Project Gutenberg approach, the Project Noolaham was started in 2005 with a view to creating a fully volunteer contributed online e-book library for the Tamil speaking communities. The Text Digitization Project in Jaffna 2006 was the first funded project initiated by Noolaham Foundation.

A total of 81 books were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library: www.noolaham.org. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from Sri Lankan Tamil writers and publishers.


2005

Marumalarchi Digitization Project 2005-2008

Marumalarchi Digitization Project was one of the pioneer and earlier digitization initiatives which contributed towards Project Noolaham which evolved into Noolaham Foundation. Modeled on the Project Gutenberg approach, the Project Noolaham was started in 2005 of with a view to creating a fully volunteer contributed online e-book library for the Tamil speaking communities. The Marumalarchi Digitization Project initiative was started in 2004 and ran all the way to 2008. At the beginning of this project, the documents were typed. Adding e-books during the early part of his project was quite slow, due to time constrains. Later scanning was introduced through this Project and it became the accepted digitization method at Noolaham Foundation.

A total of 219 (55 books typed and 164 books scanned) books were digitized through this project and made available online through Noolaham Foundation’s Digital Library www.noolaham.org. This project was a successful initiative and received special appreciation from Sri Lankan Tamil writers and publishers.


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