Since its inception in 2001, the Nanakshahi Trust has made great strides. Nanakshahi, a not-for-profit NGO in its fifth year of relentless service to the community, has been working with a focus "To develop the Sikh aesthetics and to assist the destitute and downtrodden". Starting as a single workstation with a sole employee, we have grown into a full staff working with organizations from across the country.

With a demonstrably good amount of accomplishments to the credit, we find it well placed to review our achievement till date and place it before the masses for their appraisal, at this juncture.

Since the commencement of project "Virsa", we have acquired digital cameras ranging from three to eight mega pixels, a wide range of scanners for high resolution imaging in addition to subsidiary supporting equipment like laptops, digital video cameras, audio recorders and studio lighting system. And of course not to forget the irreplaceable human (resource) factor; our deserving, highly skilled, well trained and continually learning volunteers.

In the very near future we wish to acquire digital cameras of twelve to sixteen mega pixels or above. We are also exploring a rage of scanners for high resolution scanning of wide format source material that can not be digitized with now available cameras or regular scanners. Such scanners are in the range of twenty lakh rupees and above. Cameras to be acquired as mentioned, cost above twelve lakh rupees. Besides that we are in the process of procuring more sophisticated lighting system. Storage facility for all the digitized data is very essential, as that is the end product that all the expensive and high tec equipment will produce.

With accompaniment of the above mentioned tools, we envision a digital resource center, where people digitize their material through professional help from our site experts with complete ease and efficiency, without any fee or charge. With this the organization seeks to promote a culture of awareness, where the masses contribute in safeguarding of old texts.

With an intention to provide, both preservation and access, Nanakshahi aspires to create a comprehensive Digital Sikh Reference Library, with source material from possibly all dimensions of life, whether literature, art, folk, tradition or culture. People will benefit from such a collection with all the advantages of a conventional library besides additional features of a digital one.

Some of the benefits of a digital library are:

  • Reference material lying in different Universities, Colleges, libraries, villages, private collections, Government Archives and elsewhere comes at one place in digital format which otherwise is inaccessible.
  • Criteria based quick searching and browsing through incredibly large amount of data for relevant information within minutes or possibly seconds, which otherwise is beyond human capacity, thus enhancing the scope of research and education by manifolds.
  • Benefits of searchable data especially in the context of books and newspapers are indisputably enormous and indescribable.
  • It also opens a plethora of opportunities and possibilities for inter cultural, racial, ethnic and religious interactions.
  • Sharing of resources among libraries enables utilization of single resource at the same time by many users at different and often far off ends, in different ordering and arrangement at their will.
  • Hard copy reproduction through printing allowing study without damage to originals.
  • Access to the library through internet while sitting at home.
  • Assuming that every household will possibly have a computer in next ten years, a Digital Sikh Reference Library holds great promises. But, without reliable data and for that matter any data on Sikh or Panjab history, computers will be useless for our growth.

Under the project we aim to digitize manuscripts, books and other archives maintained by: the SGPC, Guru Nanak Dev University, Khalsa College Amritsar, Panjabi University, Language Department and Patiala Archives, and erstwhile princely states of Nabha, Patiala, Faridkot, Kapurthala etc. Private collections are also being sought. The purpose of the project is to immortalize manuscripts, books, rare historical documents, newspapers, research papers, articles, journals and magazines, old printed posters, maps, photographs, chronicles, memoirs and diaries, historical letters and relevant personal correspondence, audio tapes, video tapes, and documentaries, architectural drawings, contemporary documents etc.

If we work to our capacity we can digitize about 70,000 folios in a month which also includes examination, editing, data management, indexing and metadata creation, we aim to digitize about five lakh in next one year, and about two million in next five.

But, as you are aware, efforts such as this require a large amount of human and monetary resources to sustain. Isolated attempts do not prove effective, especially the ones made for a common cause, which from its very nature require public involvement. Nanakshahi seeks long term sincere commitments to this, which cannot be accomplished without the direct help of the public. After extensive research and contemplation, Nanakshahi brings you an important privilege and opportunity to be part of a unique process.

In realizing the vision of the organization, we offer conditional long term memberships. All Nanakshahi projects are not-for-profit endeavors, with an educational and cultural mission. As a member, you too can take advantage of years of combined expertise and action and help serve the community. We welcome your interest in joining Nanakshahi.

This comprehensive new scheme provides you with a host of benefits that can be tailored to meet your specific needs and help better the community at the same time. We have a dedicated group of workers to understand your perspective and ensure that your views and resources are given attention and put to best use.


Prospective Nanakshahi members are a cross-section of individuals, groups, both corporate and non-profit institutions. General benefits of our membership include the following:


  • Networking with experts and Nanakshahi staff for the latest strategic and technical information in the field of digitization and digital libraries. An opportunity to learn and build upon our experience, which would otherwise require time and learning through failure if you intend to initiate one on your own, besides scores of papers and reports on topics directly relevant to the creation and maintenance of a digital collection.
  • Working on common interests with colleagues across the world-and across sectors, as our purpose is to include a diverse group of libraries, archives, and museums.


  • Fifty percent concession on all Nanakshahi products and publications.
  • Access to our entire range of Archives on our Digital Library Database.
  • This ever growing Digital Library now has over 5,00,000 folios comprising of:
  • over 250 rare books dating back to 18th and 19th century
  • over 150 unabridged e-books from renowned contemporary authors.
  • over 500 manuscripts in various scripts digitized in the Panjab region and vicinity, dating back to 17th, 18th and 19th century
  • various old journals and magazines
  • issues of old newspapers
  • research papers
  • over 2000 photographs of important events in Panjab's history
  • chronicles, memoirs and diaries
  • historical letters and relevant personal correspondence
  • audio tapes, video tapes, and documentaries
  • historical and contemporary (news) articles
  • important historical documents
  • all available coins from Sikh Raj
  • contemporary oral history recordings
  • documents from contemporary affairs of history
  • Special gifts on different occasions, specifically and exclusively designed and made for our members to own, which can not be bought or obtained at a retail end.


  • Access to the Digital Resource Centre at our head office, where members can come and use our infrastructure. (Permission from the operations Director must be obtained.)
  • Besides this they may now access, a collection of unabridged books on a variety of Sikh and non-Sikh topics, at our library study desks besides the vast collection of manuscripts in different languages.
  • Monthly updates shall be sent to all the members.

    Full details on our membership can be found in Membership Policy document. We trust you will find them exciting and look forward to welcoming your company as a new member "Onboard". If you would like to join Nanakshahi, please fill out our Membership form. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Davinder Pal Singh
    Operations Director,
    The Nanakshahi Trust, 867, Sector 64, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Panjab 160065
    Tel: +91 (0) 172 2234867; begampura@nanakshahi.org; www.nanakshahi.org