The Virtual Museum of 'Images' is built on the Center for Art & Archaeology's (CAA) collection of 200,000 photographs and architectural drawings of South Asian monuments, art objects and archaeological sites. The CAA was set up in 1965 with the mission to carry out original research on South Asian cultural history and to facilitate the research of visiting scholars. Since its inception the Center has been dedicated to developing knowledge about India’s rich visual traditions.
An emphasis on architectural traditions (built as well as rock cut) developed from a major project directed by Padma Bhushan M.A.Dhaky, a noted scholar of architecture and literature who served for many years as Director of this Center. About 7000 monuments from 3000 sites and over 350 museums have been documented by CAA’s documentation teams over more than forty- six years. The coverage also includes the detailed views of the sculptures as well as paintings that are or were parts of such monuments. The archive has grown from other projects taken up by the Center including documentation of museum collections such as the Allahabad Museum, Museums in West Bengal and exploration of Indo-Islamic monuments located along the Grand Trunk Road. Other focused coverage occurs from gifts.
Best known for its multi-volumed Encyclopedia of Indian Temple Architecture, the resources created by the Center have also generated other thoughtful considerations of India’s significant artistic past. Major effort is now underway to develop online access to the Center’s diverse materials through the virtual museum. Through this new endeavor the Center for Art and Archaeology hopes to promote the significance of India’s artistic achievements and able to demonstrate the role of documentation in preserving cultural heritage.
The Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) was established in 1982 with the aim of creating an audio visual archives that would provide a space for voluntarily deposited collections of recordings made by scholars and institutions of Indian music and performance from all over the world.
Today the collections which number over 200 and 25000 hours of recording range from Hindustani and Karnatak classical music traditions, to regional genres of music and performance ranging from story telling and ballads to ritual, dance and theatre music of India and South Asia. The field recordings are supplemented by a rich collection of published commercial recordings which extend to world music.
Scholars and collectors, continue to deposit collections of their recordings regularly at ARCE. Repatriation of collections not otherwise available in archives in India has remained a major aim of the ARCE, which houses collections of Arnold Bake from the 1930s and Fox Strangways (1902).
200 selected tracks from the ARCE are also available for paid download on http://www.folkways.si.edu. (search for ARCE).