A rare 112-year-old book gets a reprint
There is a new book on Hyderabad. Inside Husain's Book Shop in Abids where they stock books on Hyderabad is a huge leather-bound volume and if you ask the shophand he will carefully remove the cellophane cover to show the leather bound book where each page is thick like a wedding invite. Glimpses of The Nizam's Dominion by Claude Campbell published by C.P. Burrows in 1898 is now back in circulation thanks to the effort of Mohammed Safiullah and the Deccan Heritage Trust.
“The idea was suggested by a friend after we heard that one of the original books was auctioned for Rs. 1,38,000 by Osians. Then we approached the US Library of Congress for a permission to reprint the book and they told us that the copyright of the book is in the public domain. So, now we have printed 500 copies,” says Mohammed Safiullah.
“I spoilt three copies of the book during the digitisation process but it was worth the effort,” says Safiullah.
Flip through the pages and you will see the history of Hyderabad come alive with the 600 photographs some clicked by Raja Deen Dayal and others by a number of different photographers. So, there are photographs of three swordsmen who were the state executioners and there are also photographs of Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, churches and other landmarks that a modern reader will find it difficult to believe.
A. Claude Campbell was no ordinary writer, he took up the task of this after he finished Glimpses of Bengal and another on western India where he put together photographs and text from a range of sources.
Though the book is rare enough, even rarer is the Urdu version of the book titled Tarikh Qalamrau Nizam that was published in 1899. Now that would be something to have in the public domain.
Glimpses of Nizam's Dominion is priced at Rs. 6950.