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Friday, November 13, 2015

1000 Marathi books by Maharashtra Granthottejak Sanstha to come online on Marathi Wikisource

As the Maharashtra Granthottejak Sanstha (MGS) celebrated its 121st anniversary recently at Pune, MGS donated 1000 books for Marathi Wikisource so that the books could be digitised and be made available for millions of Marathi readers. Avinash Chathekar from MGS signed a document permitting Wikimedians to digitise the books on the Wikisource.. On the special occasion of the anniversary, a three-day book exhibition was organised starting October 30. The exhibition was open for public from morning 10 to 1 in the afternoon and then from 4:30 in the evening until 8 pm at the Gawade hall of Perugate Bhave High School in Sadashiv Peth.

Marathi Wikisource is a sister project of Wikipedia and a free online Marathi-language library. Started in 2012, Marathi Wikisource is available online at mr.wikisource.org has over 800 books already digitized.

MGS was founded in Pune by Lokamanya Tilak and Justice Ranade in 1894. Earlier known Deccan Vernacular Translation Society, it was renamed as Maharashtra Granthottejak Sanstha in 1948. Being an important archive for the preservation of many 100-200 years old manuscripts and historical artefacts from the Peshwa era, the institution is open to public for study and research.A Wikipedia stall is going to be kept open where Marathi Wikimedians will be present.

Around 600 people visited the stall during the four days of the exhibition and learnt about the news about the Santha's book donation inspired many authors to come forward and show their interest in publishing their books on Marathi Wikisource. Many new Marathi Wikimedians also were present at exhibition stall with Abhinav Garule from the Centre for Internet Society's Access to Knowledge programme to share about the incredible work Marathi Wikipedia and Wikimedia community at large are doing.

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