“Women Missionaries of the Ramakrishna Orders”:
A Research and Resource Centre

The Research and Resource Centre on "The Women Missionaries of the Ramakrishna Orders" is a unique consortium of published books and periodicals, e-resources and digital and hard copies of archival materials for instance, letters, manuscripts, photographs, paintings and films.
The Centre aims to fill a gap in the history of Indian missionary work by attracting archival and academic attention to the vast field of work carried out by the women missionaries of the Ramakrishna orders in India and abroad. Compared to the critical research work existing in the corresponding fields of women missionaries, for instance for that of the Christian women missionaries or the Brahmo reformation and the women associated with it, critical research on the women missionaries of the Ramakrishna Movement has remained a comparatively less investigated area of study.
In this context, and in the context of the ever growing demand of digital archiving in every field of study today, our initiative has a two-fold focus - on building a collaborative resource center that would in turn encourage and generate academic research in the area.

The Resource Centre
The Resource Centre aims to bring together all primary and secondary work relevant to this area under a single umbrella. It aims to produce an integrated annotated catalogue of archival resource materials in the possession of other public or private institutions. On this account the Centre plans active collaborations with our mother and sister organizations like Sri Sarada Math, Rasik Bhita and Sister Nivedita Girls' School.
The Research Centre is planned as an inclusive one and is not only limited to the college faculty and students. Outside participants are welcome to be part of the project as collaborators in building the archival contents and as researchers using its resources for academic purposes. This little-explored domain provides a rich and rewarding field of critical inquiry, that apart form religious, theological and missionary perspectives, it also intersects with fields such as Gender Studies, Studies in travel and travel writing, Socio- economic impact, Rural/Area studies and Visual cultures to name only a few.
The future plans of the Centre include large-scale resource gathering, digitizing and cataloguing of archival materials. To aid this process, the College plans to hold an Archiving workshop in collaboration with CSSS, Kolkata, the Media Lab and the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University and the West Bengal State Archives in the future.

The Research Centre will be utilized and enriched by the research initiatives of participants and scholars – both from within and from outside the institution. Currently, Br Prachi, a monastic teacher in the Department of Sanskrit, is working on a series of articles that are to be published as part of this initiative.
The Centre will also periodically organize and host talks/lectures on its core themes by esteemed and renowned authors and scholars. The inauguration of the Centre was marked by an enriching lecture delivered by Pravrajika Gyanadaprana, revered Assistant Secretary of Sri Sarada Math. She talked about the historical context and circumstances leading to the formal establishment of Sri Sarada Math as a unique women missionaries’ monastic order under the guiding ideals of Sri Ramakrishna. This lecture was professionally recorded and saved as a resource material for the Archive.


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