Monday, 30 April 2012

Libraries of India Series #2

University Library of North Bengal


In November 2011, I started the Libraries of India series with the over a century old National Library of Kolkata in the East Indian state of West Bengal. For some inexplicable reason, I didn't continue the series. I have now decided to revive it with a brief look at the University Library of the University of North Bengal located near Siliguri in the picturesque district of Darjeeling in West Bengal. Darjeeling is famous for its tea.

 
Founded in 1962, the University Library has a vast and an impressive collection of books, reports and periodicals from all branches of Science, Arts, Commerce, and Management. The 2.35-lakh odd literary works include more than 1.80-lakh academic books, 36,000 bound periodicals, and over 600 rare books apart from reference books, theses, census, manuscripts, and gazettes.

 
Most university libraries in India owe their existence to the British who were mainly responsible for introducing and imparting English education as well as building grand edifices of learning that are heritage structures today.



Photos: University of North Bengal

9 comments:

  1. Now that is something I would never have seen without your friendship.

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  2. Patti, thank you! And vice-versa with all the varied and fascinating posts I have read over at your blog in the past one year. Blogging has opened up a new world of very interesting people for me.

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  3. Cool. I always notice libraries everywhere I go. It's good to see some from far places! At least far to me. :)

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  4. Charles, libraries, public or private, are cool places to be in and to "get lost" for long stretches of time. We have some wonderful public libraries out here and I hope the government preserves them.

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  5. Hi Prashant-It would be helpful to me in future weeks if you posted your FFB a bit earlier. It's hard to have to do them at the last minute. So perhaps by 7:00 AM EST. Thanks!

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  6. All your posts on libraries in India makes me feel bad for people in the Philippines where there are basically no public libraries. I think this has culturally hurt the country a lot.

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  7. Mel, I am surprised there are no public libraries in the Philippines and you have a point when you say that it might have "culturally hurt" the country. A lot of Indian public and university libraries are now digitalising their collections under a government-sponsored programme, for posterity and future generations. However, some of the century-old British-era private libraries in Bombay are in urgent need of attention, but they are still running with limited resources.

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  8. Prashant, there is no push for libraries here as those in power can, of course, buy all the books they and their children need and the government will argue that there are other priorities of a more pressing nature. People who have never had public libraries by and large do not know what they are missing.

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  9. Mel, for that matter people who have public libraries still don't know what they are missing. The reading population in Bombay, for instance, has dwindled over the past two decades and there has been a marked decline in membership to public libraries. I, myself, am not a member anywhere and that's because I don't have the time and I already have enough to read.

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