Kriti-SAMHiTA: The Plurality of Indian Knowledge Systems
Malayalam Digital Archives: The Gundert Portal at Tübingen University and Granthappura (Kerala Digital Archive)
Speakers: Heike Oberlin (Tübingen University, Germany) and Shju Alex (Indic Digital Archive Foundation)
Chair: Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, IIC-International Research Division
Prof. Dr. Heike Oberlin is Head of the Dept. of Indology at Tübingen University, Germany. In 1995–2001 she studied Kūṭiyāṭṭam and Naṅṅyār Kūttu at Kerala Kalamandalam, and gained her PhD in 2004 at Würzburg University with an award-winning work on the subject. Her research focus is on Kerala, Malayalam language and literature and performance studies. In 2012–2016 she together with David Shulman led an international project on Kūṭiyāṭṭam. In 2015, in cooperation with the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University (Tirur), she established the ‘Gundert Chair’ for Malayalam at Tübingen.
Shiju Alex is Senior Technical Writer with ABB Robotics in Bangalore. He spends his free time in digital archiving activities as a volunteer. He is one of the directors of the newly founded, non-profit organization ‘Indic Digital Archive Foundation’.
Heike Oberlin and Shiju Alex will introduce the open source, online databases ‘Gundert Portal’ and ‘Granthappura’ (ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര | Kerala Digital Archive), presenting their history and relationship and demonstrating their use through examples. ‘Granthappura’ was started in 2009 by Shiju Alex as a volunteer-driven digitization project. In June 2022 it became part of the ‘Indic Digital Archive Foundation’, a non-profit organization for the digitization of Indic-language documents. Granthappura’ has a constantly growing collection of 2500+ digitized artefacts related to Kerala, among them the first Malayalam printed book and first Malayalam dictionary. In 2012-13 Granthappura volunteers approached Heike Oberlin with a request to digitize the Kerala docum