In 1912, Kharadar community gathered funds for constructing a mosque. The architect that they chose was a Jew. Moses Somake. who else. KMC archives is a treasure full of such surprises. Pleasant surprises. Reassuring that the foundations of this city were as cosmopolitan as it could get. Digitizing these archives was a timely undertaking by City District Government, Karachi, (CDGK) facilitated by the knowledge and commitment of Heritage Foundation and generous funding of German Consulate.
If you Google Karachi landmarks, there is very little credible information available online. In a city with dwindling number of libraries and bookshops, time was ripe to launch a project which will make city specific maps, profiles, manuscripts, pictures, journals, municipality documents, post cards, stamps and urban studies available for public consumption. The project was launched in July 2009 and a portion on the ground floor of KMC building was dedicated for the cause. The first room on the left is more like a reception. The second room on the left is open for public and hosts images of important Karachi landmarks. There is not much available right now but it will certainly give you a teaser of what to expect from the project in future. The other big rooms at the back are dedicated for storing and preservation activities. The heritage foundation has an outreach program too. The objective is to reach out to children and teach them the importance of conservation of their family artifacts like photos. Children are given preservation kits and taught how to perform necessary steps.
Having the archive display in KMC building has its own pros and cons. The location central to the city is one of the most congested during the day. There is not any parking space for the visitors and little awareness exist about Hertiage Foundation and its activities. Such undertaking does require initial setup time but probably it will be better to launch a Beta just to inspire others who can contribute to the cause. Also the Heritage Foundation needs to work on their website. A little more interactive outlook can help engage visitors.