Open Window: A Glimpse into the Pattani Archives
Can archives become the means to interpret historical facts creatively?
Take a deep dive into colonial times and check out for yourselves. Pattani Archives is a treasure trove of monumental correspondence of Sir Prabhashankar Pattani and Anantrai Pattani, the erstwhile Diwans (Prime Minister) of the princely state of Bhavnagar, related to state and national politics, state administration, and family matters.
The Open Window project provides a glimpse into the Pattani Archivesand demonstrates the power of archives to interpret historical facts. The archives, created by Sir Prabhashankar Pattani and Anantrai Pattani, the erstwhile Diwans (Prime Minister) of the princely state of Bhavnagar, during their forty years of service in pre-independent India, contain monumental correspondence related to state and national politics, state administration, and family matters.
Despite being bundled up in an old cupboard in the ancestral haveli at Bhavnagar, the archives were bequeathed to subsequent generations. However, it wasn’t until one of the great-granddaughters, a scholar, and a conservator opened them that the significance of preserving the archives for posterity and research was realized.
The Open Window project seeks to digitize the archives and make them accessible to the public, providing a window into the past that can help us understand the present and envisage the future. The project is an excellent example of how archives can be used as story-telling tools, unlocking the past and providing a prescription for the present and future. The project shows how the younger generation’s involvement, such as the great-granddaughter, can contribute to preserving and interpreting historical archives.
The Open Window project highlights the importance of preserving archives and making them accessible to the public for research and creative interpretation. It is a testament to the power of archives as tools for understanding the past, present, and future.