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Nagaland has 601 enlisted rural libraries under its Department of Art & Culture!

Nagaland has a single State Library, one museum library, eleven districts libraries and a whopping 601 rural libraries under the Department of Art & Culture, according to the annual administrative report 2017-2018 of the Department. Yet, there is no mention of the functionality of the rural libraries in the 21 paged pictorial report .

The public library services are provided financial allocation from the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF), Kolkata and Government of Nagaland under the ratio of 90:10. The Department provides assistance to all the libraries in the form of books, states the report.

The sole State Library in Kohima records an average of 80 readers daily in its library and has a total of 57,746 books in its collection. However, the library received an enrolment of only 179 new members during the period of 2017-2018.

 

All schemes implemented
The Department of Art and Culture, formerly known as the Naga Institute of Culture, was established on November 1, 1964 with the “aims to build a bridge of values between the past and the present through conservation and maintenance of monuments, historic and legendary sites and objects that provide bases for reception of the good that has been through and done in the past and to derive what is best for the present.”

The activities of the Department are categorised under the subject of promotion of culture, promotion of library services, archaeology, development of archives, registration of antiquities and art treasures, cultural research and studies, promotion and development of visual arts, development of museums and protection of heritage site.

According to the annual administrative report for 2017-2018, the Department received a total budget allocation of Rs. 1727.02 lakhs (200.00 lakhs under State Plan and 1527.02 under non-plan). The department earned a revenue of Rs. 28,41,131 during the 2017-2018 (till February 2018) under its varied sectors such as State Museum entrance ticket, State Academy Hall rent, Sale of department publication, WW II entrance tickets etc.

 

According to the Department, all the schemes in the Annual plan of 2017-2018 were implemented. The report highlighted the various activities of the department categorised as performing activities, fine arts, public library service, State museum, State academy of music and dance, archaeology and registration of antiquities, state archives, research and publication, World War –II museum at Kisama, District Gazetteers unit, developmental works and financial assistance to voluntary cultural organisation.

Research branch
According to the report, the research branch is currently engaged in documenting the culture of all the tribes. Under the research project with the Anthropological Society of Nagaland (ASN) reports and findings on ‘Archaelogy of the Mimi caves, Kiphire district’, ‘Physical characteristics in the districts of Peren and Kiphire, ‘Oral myths’ and ‘Traditional festival of Nagaland-Vol-I’ is in the process of publication. Under its developmental works, the department is engaged in the renovation and upgradation of the State Museum, Kohima, extension of the central library in Kohima and District model library in Dimapur, ‘construction of traditional gates in various villages,’ and construction of the auditorium, library & cafeteria at Rani Guidinliu Cultural Centre at New Peren Town.

The Department has also notified in its report that it provides financial assistance to “deserving cultural organizations;” in 2017-18, 225 such organizations were identified. However, there is no mention of the names of these organizations.

 

State Archives Kohima
With the objective to collect and preserve the State’s historical records, the State Archives, Kohima was established in 1973 with few records collected from the West Bengal State Archives. According to the Department of Art and Culture, the State Archive is the sole agency in the State for collecting and preserving all important documents of the State. In recent years, the staff of the Archives branch has collected over 20,000 records comprising of official documents, rare books, microfilms, maps, photographs, private papers, newspaper clippings.

In the annual administration of 2017-2018, the Department has collected 30 private articles on notable Naga historic records, preserved 500 copies of files, and digitized over 1000 documents.

Further under its Archaeology and registration of antiquities, the department protects and preserves two important legendary sites namely the historical site at Chungliyimti in Tuensang district, and the wooden sculpture at Shangyu in Mon district.

The State registered only fifteen antiquities during the year of 2017-2018. The total number of antiques registered till date is 1910.

~MExN

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