From Noolaham Foundation
Noolaham Foundation Timeline v2.0
- The digitization of Sri Lankan Tamil books was first initiated by R. Pathmanaba Iyer. In this effort he digitized 40 Sri Lankan Tamil books in 1999 and 13 were added online through 'Project Madurai' in the later part of 2000 (Project Madurai was started in 1998).
- After 1999 various individuals digitized a few books and made them available online. In these individual initiatives include 'Eelanool' (M. Mauran and T. Kopinath) , 'E-Suvadi' (U. Jeyatheepan, T. Thavaruban and M. Mauran)  and 'Thamil Valai' (Kanaga Sritharan) .
- Project Noolaham, emphasizing collective and voluntary efforts and promoting openness, was started in January 2005 by Muralitharan Mauran and Thillainathan Kopinath. Earlier digitization efforts were incorporated into 'Project Noolaham'. Thus contributions made by R. Pathmanaba Iyer towards 'Project Madurai' since 1999 and eBooks created by 'Eelanool' during 2004 were included at Project Noolaham. Noolaham, from the beginning, strived to avoid duplication of efforts and stressed collectiveness for synergy.
- The 'Noolaham Google group' was started on 31st August, 2005
- Pathmanaba Iyer was appointed as an advisor for Project Noolaham. K. T. Pratheepa, P. Eelanathan, R. Pathmanaba Iyer, K. Raminitharan, Mathy Kandasamy, L. Natkeeran, Kanaga Sritharan and many others started to contribute towards Project Noolaham.
- R. Pathmanaba Iyer and S. Thevaraja (Thesiya Kalai Ilakkiyap Peravai) agreed to add their work in Project Noolaham and started supporting and contributing to it from then onwards.
- The first server for Noolaham was bought by P. Eelanathan by August 2005.
- In the end of 2006 the number of total books digitized was 100.
- With the support and contribution of the volunteers and other contributors, the online digital library www.noolaham.net was made available online for public access with 100 eBooks in January 2006.
- PathmanabaIyer and A. Srikanthalakshmy’s efforts to utilize funds to accelerate digitization - the first funded project began in 2006.
- In the beginning all documents were in the typing form of htm. Then, Kopinath introduced scanning as a means of digitizing the publications by the end of 2006.
- In the end of 2006 the number of total books digitized was 362.
- In January 2007, Mathy Kandasamy produced the second year annual report of Project Noolaham.
- From 2007, direct monetary contributions were accepted. And the first fund-raising event was organized by P. Piratheepan in South California, USA.
- G. Shaseevan started vast level of digitizing work for Noolaham. He started digitizing with 20 scanners targeting 60,000 pages of 2500 documents includes books and magazines.
- Mr. Teliwatte Joseph offered to digitize his vast collection of magazines.
- A space for office, and preliminary equipment were arranged by V. Jasikaran.
- Until mid-2007, Project Noolaham maintained a manually created website using HTML pages and links. In June 2007, Joomla was selected as the content management system and P.Piratheepan took over the responsibility of creating pages for the site.
- After a couple of months Media Wiki software was installed and the site was transformed again. Muralitharan Mauran was instrumental in selecting these content management systems. The structure of the Wiki site was formed by Kopinath and many volunteers including P.Piratheepan and R. Mathubhashini contributed. Vinodh Rajan integrated various web tools to the site later.
- N. Selvarajah gave permission to add details about books from his Nooltheddam volumes at the Wiki, and extracted the relevant information and sent them to volunteers.
- In July 2007, the Co-founder and Project Coordinator T. Kopinath gave his role of coordinating after 2 1/2 years to G. Shaseevan. Since then Shaseevan started revamping Project Noolaham.
- The approach of Project Noolaham was transformed from volunteer-centered to project-centered, to increase the efficiency by G. Shaseevan.
- The first collaborative digitization began when Project Noolaham digitized the entire publication of the Women's Education and Research Center (WERC) in 2007.
- The digitizing method was also modified by Shaseevan to include editing. Scanning impurities were removed and readers presented with a cleaned version of the scanned images. Completeness of the documents was emphasized and digitizing all documents related to each other was given priority.
- Project Noolaham was transformed to incorporate all printed materials, including magazines, newspapers, research papers and souvenirs.
- In the end of 2007 the number of total books digitized was 1618.
- In January 2008, T. Kopinath produced the third year annual report of Project Noolaham.
- G. Shaseevan formed an institutional model to transform Project Noolaham from project centered to institution centered that resulted in Noolaham Foundation.
- In October 2008, PollachiNasan of www.thamizham.net started digitizing his vast collection and giving priority to the digitization of Sri Lankan Tamil documents. He shared the digitized documents with Noolaham.
- Mr. S. Mugunth from Thamizha organization donated another server to Project Noolaham, since the existing server was insufficient to meet the increasing demands.
- The foundation started functioning with R. Pathmanaba Iyer (Chairperson), G. Shaseevan (Coordinator), T. Kopinath, P. Piratheepan, M. Mauran, L. Natkeeran and P. Eelanathan as Board of Trustees.
- Projects implemented in 2008: Muhappu Seyattiddam (Front Page Project); Ithazhagam Project; Colombo Scanning Project, 2008; Trincomalee Scanning Project, 2008; Thamizham Pollachi Nasan Project.
- In the end of 2008 the number of total books digitized was 2888.
- In January 2009, G. Shaseevan produced the fourth year Annual report of Project Noolaham.
- In later part of 2009 G. Shaseevan produced the first Annual report of year 2008 for Noolaham Foundation
- Noolaham Foundation reconfigured itself as an independent organization separated from Project Noolaham. Significant factors that contributed to this divergence: the difficulties associated with designating responsibilities to the numerous volunteers involved in Project Noolaham within certain time frames or deadlines was considered counter-productive to the assigning of organizational responsibilities; and as an organization, the assumption of responsibility is not viable without direct communication with each individual contributor.
- The foundation decided to function separately from Project Noolaham, while continuing to provide financial assistance to Project Noolaham volunteers for the digitization projects.
- The organizational objectives of the foundation were broadened to include: Promoting open access to information sources; maintaining an online Tamil digital library; supporting digital preservation initiatives and promote efficient strategies for enhanced digital content creation and diffusion; engaging in awareness-raising campaigns on various issues such as digital preservation, information literacy and knowledge management; facilitating knowledge transfer and foster research and development activities.
- The Foundation assumed the responsibility of developing Tamil Digital Library which provides indexing services to Project Noolaham, cataloguing their collection.
- For the first time since the organization was founded, money has been utilized to carry out necessary administrative and website development activities. Grants were provided to select individuals and tasks assigned to them.
- In 2009, a paper was presented by G. Shaseevan on issues related to Noolaham. The first was submitted at the titled “Local Language Content Preservation through digitization and Archiving” at the 'Symposium on Localized Systems and Applications 2009' conference hosted by the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
- Until the end of 2009, there was no systemized fund raising activity that continuously brings in revenues. The projects were dependent on unpredictable random monetary contributions, thus getting delayed and taking longer periods to be completed, and the administrative tasks of the foundation were also interrupted.
- The detrimental effects of unpredictable monetary flow were identified by the end of 2009, and a systematic financial planning was implemented. As a result, total monthly expense of the foundation was defined as 100,000 Sri Lankan rupees, and 12 sponsors for each month were also identified.
- During 2009, a total of 72 donors together contributed more than one million Rupees. This amount singlehandedly exceeds the money raised by the organization over the first four years. R. Pathmanaba Iyer has continued to be the leading donor and has been instrumental in raising funds from several others. Ilankai Tamil Sangam of WA contributed significantly by hosting a fund-raiser, collecting circa 3,000 Australian dollars.
- The foundation collaborates with various initiatives and organizations in knowledge-related activities. Such collaborations include, but are not limited to, the following: Project Noolaham, Women’s' Education and Research Centre, Colombo Tamil Sangam, Thesiya Kalai Ilakkiya Peravai, Chinthanai Vaddam, European Tamil Documentation and Research Centre, Thamizham, Suvadi Digital Library, Viluthu, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, International Institute for Research and Analytical Activities
- In the end of 2009 the number of total books digitized was 5178.
- The Noolaham Foundation was legally registered (GA 2390) in May 2010.
- The foundation’s Board of Trustees, Members, Associate members was assigned and, Project Task Force, Regional Task Force, and Global Task Force were created.
- As a result of systemized fund raising efforts, the foundation achieved 83% of its targeted monetary inflow in 2010.
- The total financial contribution received in 2010 exceeded the 2009 amount by 55%, and the number of donors had also doubled.
- The digitizing project of the foundation 'Vaasikasaalai 2010', digitizing more than 1000 newspapers, was implemented
- Eight awareness raising sessions, two volunteer meetings, a digitization training workshop, and a number of other meetings were organized. A leaflet was printed and distributed at various meetings.
- A pilot project was carried out by late 2010 to publish a monthly newsletter. The newsletter will cover news about the Foundation's activities and related articles. The first issue was published in January 2011.
- The foundation extended financial assistance to Keetru website and Aayvakam (IIRAA).
- As of 2010, publishers such as Tamiliyal, Kalachuvadu, Gnanam, Kaalam, Thai Veedu, London ThamilarThakaval, Vaikarai, ChinthanaiVaddam, Anpuneri, and Oodaru archive digital versions of their publications at Project Noolaham.
- As of 2010, the following organizations collaborate with Noolaham Foundation: Project Noolaham, Thamizham, Suvadi Digital Library, Tamil National Archive, Keetru, Foundation for Library Awareness, International Institute for Research and Analytical Activities (IIRAA), Women’s Education and Research Centre, Viluthu, Colombo Tamil Sangam, International Tamil Small Magazines Association, Cintanaikoodam.
- In the end of 2010 the number of total books digitized was 8187.
- Headed by K. Ramanaish and with contribution from various individuals, Strategic Plan 2012-2014 was created. The agreed strategic priorities are: Formulate strategic framework; Organization development; Resource Mobilization and Collaboration; Global Transformation; Observance of ethical and professional standards; and Advocacy and Communication
- Roadmap 2020, a document to guide Foundation's future initiates was also created during the Strategy Planning
- Operational Framework of the Foundation was revamped and the Steering Board was created to enable collective decision making
- The number of digitized documents passed 10,000 during November 2011
- Puthiya Noolaham newsletter was launched in January 2011
- Four Special Archives (Muslim Archive, Women Archive, Upcountry Archive, and Thalith Archive) were launched during 2011
- Data Collection about organizations reached 3,000 entries.
- More than 100 copyright holders gave permission to include their works at Noolaham Archive and Digital Library
- Four presentations, four volunteer sessions, a digitization training workshop and numerous smaller meetings were conducted
- G. Shaseevan who visited India for Foundation related activities delivered speeches at RMRL and University of madras.
- Seran Sivananthamoorthy received Ashoka young innovators award.
- Seran Sivananthamoorthy was appointed as a Director of Noolaham Foundation during September 2011.
- The foundation extended financial assistance to ITIRAA, S. Sathiyan (to carry out a research) and Tamil Wiki contributor Loganathan.
- Initiative to get the financial report audited by External Auditors was begun.
- In the end of 2011 the number of total books digitized was 10,058.
- An administrative office of Noolaham Foundation was opened in Tamil Sangam in February. This has become the head office of the Foundation from where all Programs and activities are coordinated.
- Pallikoodam Program was launched aiming to create digital educational resources and virtual learning environments. Two pilot projects were initiated to digitize educational resources.
- Manuscripts Archive Program was initiated. Mr. S. Seran, Director of Noolaham Foundation, attended a training program provided by the French Institute of Pondicherry on digitizing manuscripts. Projects were carried out to digitize manuscripts held at various places including Chunnakam public library.
- Muslin Archive special collection was initiated from Akkaraipattu.
- Noolaham Foundation was awarded with Federal Assistance Award by Public Affairs Office of the U. S. Department of State, Colombo.
- Noolaham Foundation collaborated with Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust in digitization projects in October.
- Noolaham Foundation started to archive its digital collection with other relevant institutions. Jaffna Public Library and Colombo Tamil Sangam were presented with digital copies of the publications Noolaham has documented.
- Seventh anniversary of Noolaham Foundation and Panaiyolai documentation seminar were conducted. Various outreach event were carried out. Noolaham Foundation participated in events like World Tamil Literary Conference 2012
- Noolaham Foundation was awarded with 'Thamil pazhanam' award by the Hindu Union of Colombo University.
- A colloboration with Ezhuna Media Foundation was initiated to republish rare books.
- In the end of 2011 the number of total books digitized was 12,108.
- The first conference of Noolaham Foundation on the theme “Documentation and Preservation in Sri Lankan Tamil Milieu” was held on the 27th and 28th of April 2013 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- An introductory event was organized in Batticaloa on 30th March 2013 to introduce Noolaham's activities to the public. Noolaham’s activities were discussed at The 41st Literary Assembly which was conducted in Jaffna on the 20th and 21st of July 2013. The director of Noolaham Foundation’s Mr. Seran Sivananthamoorthy gave a presentation at an event conducted by the Asia Art Archive and Raking Leaves on July 2013 in Colombo.
- During 2013, Noolaham Foundation collaborated with the Department of Computer Science, University of Jaffna and implemented the Tamil Optical Character Recognition Support Project to provide scanned raw images of rare Tamil documents to assist a Tamil OCR development project.
- Noolaham Foundation conducted ‘Panaiyolai’ seminar series about Documentation and sharing of Knowledge, open access, Tamil Wikipedia and creative commons in Jaffna and Colombo.
- Noolaham Foundation collaborated with Royal College, Colombo in digitization projects. 92 publications of the Tamil Students of Colombo Royal College were digitized and released as a DVD named “Veththiyar Thamilaavanam” at an event held at Royal College Union Skill Centre on 31st March 2013.
- Noolaham Foundation collaborated with Jaffna Hindu College, Jaffna in digitization project. 135 publications were digitized and released as a DVD named “Aaram” on 14th October 2013 at Saraswathy Hall, Bambalapitiya, Colombo. A booklet was also published.
- Noolaham Foundation collaborated with Visions Global Empowerment aiming at initiation of “Moodle” system and introducing to students communities. Moodle system is an e - learning interface and contain educational resources in an online platform and making them accessible to students. 1,390 educational resources and a question bank with 10,008 Multiple Choice Questions were included at NF’s portal of www.epallikoodam.org. Also conducted various orientation events with the support of the Tamil Students of University of Moratuwa and University of Uwa Wellasa.
- Late 2013, Noolaham foundation has initiated the Who is Who pilot with a view to collecting information about various individuals.
- Two rare books named ‘Thamizhpashai’ and ‘Pandaithamilar’ were published through Ezhuna Media Foundation’s collaboration.
- Chief Program Executive appointed on the 1st of November 2013.
- Thevagowry Mahalingasivam contributed as a consultant. And Mr. Rathina Iyer Pathmanaba Iyer, Prof. Sivasubramaniam Pathmanathan, Prof. Sinniah Maunaguru, Dr. Selvy Thiruchandran, Prof. Macbool Alimmohamed Nuhman, Prof. Somasundram Sandrasegaram, Prof. Sabharatnam Jeyarasa and Prof. Paramu Pushparatnam were appointed as the Patrons of Noolaham Foundation for a period of two years.
- A total of 70 donors together contributed LKR 4,265,833.00.
- 76 copy right holders gave permissions to documenting and digitizing the printed/the written documents which have archival rights and to publish them in NF website.
- Noolaham Foundation was digitized 1,067 documents during 2013, among them more than 400 documents were collected from Mr. Rajathurai Ganesarajah .
- By the end of 2013, 13175 publications were digitized by Noolaham Foundation.