Government Libraries in India

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List of Government Libraries

National Library, Kolkata : It was established in 1948 with the passing of the Imperial Library ( Change of Name ) Act, 1948. The functions of the Library, which enjoys the status of an institution of national importance, are :

  1. Acquisition and conservation of all significant production of printed material as well as of manuscripts of national importance
  2. Collection of printed material concerning the country, no matter where this is published
  3. Rendering of bibliographical and documentary services of current and retrospective material, both general and specialized
  4. Acting as referral centre, purveying full and accurate knowledge of all sources of bibliographical information and participation in international bibliographical activities; and
  5. Acting as a centre for international book exchange and internal ones.

Central Reference Library, Kolkata : It is a subordinate office of the Department of Culture at present under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This institution has been carved out of the National Library in order to compile the Indian National Bibliography after the promulgation of the Delivery of Books Act, 1954.

State Central Library, Mumbai : Established in 1804, the Asiatic Society focused on study and research in languages, philosophy, arts and natural & social sciences on Asia in general and India in particular. Besides a museum,1 the Asiatic Society maintains a state central library.

The Asiatic Society of Bombay is a public state library in the city of Mumbai. It was established in 1803 as “The Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch.” The society, founded by Sir James Mackintosh was known as the Literary Society to Bombay, and first met on November 26, 1803. It was later moved to the present Town Hall building which was built in 1804. The library is currently run on an annual grant by Maharashtra state government.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation ( RRRLF ) : It was established in May, 1972 by the Department of Culture, Govt, of India to spread library services all over the country in cooperation with State Governments, Union Territory Administrations and Organizations working in the field. RRRLF is a central autonomous organization established and fully funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It is the nodal agency of the Government of India to support public library services and systems. It issues ISBN to publishers for identification of publications.
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Central Secretariat Library, Delhi : Originally known as Imperial Secretariat Library, Kolkata it was established in 1891. Since 1969 the Library has been housed at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

It has a collection of over seven lakh documents mainly on Social Sciences and Humanities. It is a depository of Indian Official Documents, Central Government and has a strong collection of State Government documents also.

Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library, Patna : It houses 21000 Oriental manuscripts and 2.5 lakh printed books. Though founded earlier, it was opened for public in October, 1891 by the illustrious son of Bihar, Maulvi Khuda Bakhsh Khan with 4,000 manuscripts, of which he inherited 1,400 from his father Maulvi Mohammed Bakhsh. The Government, of India declared the Library an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament in 1969. The Library is now fully funded by the Ministry of Culture ( Government of India ). It is also designed Manuscript tonservation centre under the National Mission of Manuscripts’.

Connemara Public Library, Chennai : It is one of the four National Depository libraries which receive a copy of all books, newspapers and periodicals published in India. Established in 1890 the library is a repository of centuries – old publications, wherein lie some of the most respected work and collections in the country. It also serves as a depository library for the UN.

Saraswati Mahal Library, Thanjavur : The Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Sarasvati Mahal Library is one of the few medieval Libraries that exist in the world. It is an unbounded repository of culture and inexhaustible treasure – house of knowledge built up by the successive dynasties of Nayaks and Marathas of Thanjavur. It contains very – rare and valuable collection of manuscripts on all aspects of art, culture and literature. The Encyclopedia Brittanica in its survey of Libraries of world mention this as “the most remarkable library in India.”

Raza Library, Rampur : It is a treasure house of Indo Islamic learning and Art. It was founded, by Nawab Faizullah Khan in 1774 AD. His descendants continued to enrich the collection. After the independence and merger of Rampur State with Union of India, the library was brought under the management of a Trust till the Govt, of India took over the library on July 1, 1975 under the Act of Parliament which declared it as an institution of National importance. Its affairs are managed by the Rampur Raza Library Board. Its ex-officio Chairman is Governor of U.R
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Anna Centenary Library, Chennai

One of the landmark libraries in the country, the Anna Centenary Library is the second biggest of its kind in Asia and the biggest in South Asia. An eco – friendly green library, whose foundation was laid in 2008, the building boasts of natural lighting for better reading and houses more than 1.2 million books, e-journals, e-books and a wide range of publications on assorted subjects.

Jawaharlal Nehru University, IITs and IIMs have been requested to provide their online public access catalogs to enable procurement of the same titles by ACL. The library has a separate section in the ground floor for the visually impaired, containing 25,000 braille enabled titles, with a facility to convert any book in to its braille equivalent. On the fourth floor, one can have a look at a collection of Tamil manuscripts.

A “very special feature” of the ACL is that it would straightaway have a digital edge, being a partner of the World Digital Library ( WDL ) project which gives it access to primary sources of knowledge of countries and cultures across the globe. So far, the Allama Iqbal Library of the University of Kashmir is the only library in the country connected to the WDL network.

The present Tamil Nadu Government on November 3, 2011 announced that it could convert the Anna Centenary Library into super speciality paediatric hospital.

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