Sikh Museum Initiative:
Documenting Sikh Relics and Artefacts in the UK.
There has been a long history linking the Sikhs to the British since the eighteenth century. This history is relatively unknown and requires an initiative to bring closer introspection and investigation. As a result the Sikh Museum Initiative (SMI) will focus on locating and uncovering relics which binds the two communities together. This national programme will leave a lasting legacy for future generations so that second generation Sikhs will understand the close relationship that exists.
Many Sikh relics and manuscripts have found their way to the UK institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum and the British Library. However there are many other locations like Universities where Sikh collections have donated by patrons. Many military places of interest like Sandhurst Military College, several castles and Regimental museums also house numerous artefacts of interest.
One of the most interesting spheres is the private collectors who have amassed a wealth of artefacts and appear to be reluctant to share this information with the wider community. The SMI aims to create a project where public institutions and private collectors would be willing to share this information so an important picture can be built up of Sikh artefacts in the UK.
This paper will examine the way the SMI will tackle the problems associated with sharing information and how Sikh Relics and Artefacts can be documented.
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