Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal digitalised library open for public viewing
Aim to help people constructively spend time during the long days of COVID-19 confinement
Attorney General (A-G) of India K.K. Venugopal has open up the digitalised version of his antiquarian library for public viewing, right in time to help people constructively spend time during the long days of COVID-19 confinement.
The catalogue on the website — kkvlibrary.com — shows rare works dating back to the early 17th century, like the Arabian Nights, travelogues, and Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron.
The 1706 edition of the Arabian Nights introduces itself to the reader as a clutch of stories narrated by the “Sultaness of the Indies to divert the Sultan from the execution of a blood vow he had made to marry a lady every day and have her cut off next morning to avenge himself from the disloyalty of the first Sultaness.”
Labour of love
Mr. Venugopal told The Hindu that there is lot more work to be done. For him the collection has been a labour of love.
“I have another 2,000 books which are all prior to 1900 and have not been digitalised. These are very interesting books on a wide variety of issues like slavery in Goa, etc. Presently, about 600-700 books have been digitalised,” Mr. Venugopal said on the phone.
The website provides a short history of how Mr. Venugopal has an eye for the historic and the exotic, especially rare and old books.
“The collection is a veritable treasure trove, with publications covering a wide range of topics, from religion, mythology and the Vedas, to Indian art and sculpture, historical battles, the British Empire in India and tales of travels across the world. The literature reveals fascinating and eye-opening facts and information, embellished with striking and eye-catching drawings and illustrations,” the website said.
The venture to digitalise the books has come from his “desire to disseminate this wealth of information, for the benefit of those who share his interest in the mysteries and minutiae of the bygone eras.”
The website is also an invitation to those who are, as yet, uninitiated, to explore the beauty, splendour and the stark realities of times past.