Diaspora

Over 7,000 historical diaspora documents digitized in Oman

Wednesday, 29 May, 2024
The project digitized over 7,000 documents in English, Arabic, Gujarati, and Hindi, dating back to 1838. (Photo courtesy: National Archives of India)

New Delhi: Carrying forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to strengthen diaspora connections, the National Archives of India (NAI) said that it has, in collaboration with the Indian Embassy in Muscat, concluded its first-ever overseas digitization project for the historical documents of the Indian diaspora in Oman.

Conducted from May 19-27, 2024, "The Oman Collection – Archival Heritage of the Indian Community in Oman" saw participation from 32 prominent Gujarati families, reflecting their 250-year presence in Oman.

This pioneering project digitized over 7,000 documents in English, Arabic, Gujarati, and Hindi, dating back to 1838. The collection includes diaries, account books, telegrams, trade invoices, passports, letters, and photographs, highlighting the Indian community's cultural practices, social activities, trade, and integration into Omani society. These documents will be available on NAI's digital portal, 'Abhilekh Patal,' for public and researcher access.

Arun Singhal, Director General of NAI, noted this project as a historic milestone in preserving the heritage of the Indian diaspora. Supported by the National Records and Archives Authority (NRAA) of Oman, the initiative aims to deepen engagement with the Indian diaspora and promote appreciation of the longstanding India-Oman friendship, facilitating future research on the diaspora's contributions. (6/6)

Amit Narang, the Indian Ambassador to Oman, emphasized that both countries share a rich tapestry of historical and cultural connections that go back 5,000 years. Oman is home to nearly 7,00,000 Indians. Several merchant families, mainly from Mandvi, Surat, and other parts of Gujarat, have been residing in Sur, Muttrah, and Muscat since the late 18th century.

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