Saturday, November 23, 2013


इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -





Library Legislation in India

Library Legislation in India: Act means preparing the format of law or legislation. In the context of libraries, the Library Act means to give legal provision for establishing a library system, its maintenance, services, functions, right and management under any state or a national government. Library legislation is capable of regulating various organs of public library services. It is an instrument for the development of public libraries in a planned manner to ensure establishment, development and maintenance of libraries in a uniform pattern. It can help in promoting a sense of self consciousness among the people who would feel it obligatory on their part to use services offered by the library.
In the year 1850 the first library act was passed in Great Britain. At present most of the countries specify free use of public library services.
1. Need for Library Legislation: Provision of public library service is a natural corollary to the democratic way of life. Free communication is essential for the preservation of a free society and creative culture. A public library expects its users only to spend time and not money for the utilization of services. In that situation, the question arises from where will the finance come? It has been experienced that public library service can be effectively offered only through legislation. Library Legislation is needed because:
i) A law helps in creating necessary conditions under which public libraries can be established nation wide.
ii) To put the public library on a sound and sure financial footing by way of levy of library tax.
iii) To make the public library independent from subscription, donation or private gift and to save the library from political influence.
iv) For a sound administrative setup permanent, uniform, efficient, balanced and coordinated library service and also for proper line of growth.
v) To solve the problem of land, building, legacies, etc.
vi) For centralized services like acquisition, processing, etc.
The library legislation has the provision of financial support to the public libraries, but the provision to be made in library legislation would depend upon the social, political and economic environment. There are mainly two ways of making provision of finance to public libraries through library legislation. They are
i) Annual budget allocation by the state out of its total funds with capital grants from central government.
ii) Levying of library cess with a matching grant from the state government.

2. Components of Library Legislation: Dr. S. R. Ranganathan recognized the following components of public library act.a) Preliminaries: The description of all the terms used in the act and the brief title of the act are under this component of library Act.
b) Top Management: It discusses the issues relating to the management of the libraries that will fall under the jurisdiction of the Act, such as who will manage the libraries. It is the second component for consideration.
c) Library Committee: To give suggestions to the library authority (top management) and to the librarians, a committee is to be constituted. The library Act should clearly mention who will be the members of such library committees, what are their functions, rights, qualifications, responsibilities, etc.
d) Finance: The Act should mention clearly-
i) Rate of library cess / Local extra tax or surcharge;
ii) Goods on which tax will be levied i.e. vehicle, land, house, other properties, etc;
iii) The method of receiving the cess from the public;
iv) Checking of received money through cess;
v) Other sources of finance;
vi) There should be a component in the library Act itself to maintain all the records of accounts and audit from time to time. The appointment of staff, categories of the staff, pay scale, service condition and working period should also be mentioned in the Act.
vii) The laws, rules and by laws should be mentioned in the Act.
3. Characteristics of Library Legislation: Some of the important characteristics of library legislation are-
i) The library legislation must be simple and general. It should also allow future modification or development.
ii) It must be free from political influence or political changes.
iii) It must define the respective responsibilities of the local, state and national government.
iv) It must make the library service compulsory and free to one and all.
v) It should create conditions for libraries to flourish.
vi) It must coordinate and control library activities in full recognition of the people to have free access to the information and knowledge.
vii) It must meet every interest of its reader.
viii) Different tasks can be assigned to different types of libraries based on specialization to ensure a better service to the community with the least cost.
ix) It also must take into account the other types of libraries.
4. Role of Different Bodies in the Process of Enacting Library Legislation: In the process of enacting the library legislation, the levying of library cess should not be the pre condition. Otherwise, it will lose the support of the general public or other members of the society. The following roles can be played by different bodies in the process of enacting the library legislation in respective states.
a) Library Association: The local as well as the state and national level library associations can lay down a strategy to get the public legislation passed. They can utilize various media and platforms to propagate the idea of library legislation. Members of the state assembly, especially the concerned ministers should be approached and be presented a strong case for library legislation. Indian Library legislation must provide all the support and guidance needed for the purpose.
b) Library Professionals: The library professionals should make the general as well as the elite people aware about the significant role that can be played by the library. They should first do so through their services in the organization in which they are working and then through newspapers, radio, television, etc.
c) Elite Groups: The elite have the responsibility of framing policies, procedures etc. As the leader of the society they also have the hidden responsibility to give the people the best they can. As such, considering the role that can be played by the library they should take upon themselves the responsibilities of awakening the general public about the library services, facilities, etc.
d) Political Leader and General Public: Leaders, who matter in decision making be given special attention in enacting library legislation. The general people should also give pressure to enact the library legislation.
5. Library Legislation in India: In ancient India learning was the concern of the Brahmin and the common man had to depend for his enlightenment on the spoken words of gurus. General people were also accustomed to this oral tradition of learning and, as a result in ancient India there was no tradition of public library legislation.
a) Before Independence: Pre independence India shows some of the significant steps in implementing the library legislation, which can be summarized as follows
i) The Press and Registration of Books Act (1867): The Press and Registration of Books Act was passed in 1867 for the British India. This Act was for the regulation of printing-presses and newspapers for the preservation of copies of books and newspapers printed in India and for the registration of such books and newspapers. It helped some specific libraries to get some copies of books free of cost and to maintain a continuous catalogue of early printed books in the country. In terms of this Act the publisher or the printer of every book or newspaper was to send a copy of the book or newspaper to the Secretary of state for India, another copy to the Governor General in Council and still another to the local government.
ii) Funds for the encouragement of literature (1898);
iii) Imperial Library Act (1902);
iv) Model Library Act (1930).
Dr. S. R. Ranganathan drafted a “Model Library Act”, which was presented at the All Asia Educational Conference held at Banaras in 1930. In 1942 on the request of ILA, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan drafted another bill called ‘The Model Public Library Bill’.
b) After Independence: The major steps in implementing library legislation in the post independence era are as follows
i) Imperial Library Act (1948): In 1948, the Government of India passed the Imperial Library (change of name) Act. By this act the Imperial Library of Calcutta (Kolkata) became the National Library (of India).
ii) Delivery of Books (Public Libraries Act) 1954: In 1954 Indian parliament passed Delivery of Books and Newspaper Act which was further amended as the Delivery of Books and Newspaper (Public Libraries) Amendment Act 1956 to include serials as well.
iii) Model Library Act / Bill (1963): A library bill was also drafted in 1963 by a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. D. M. Sen. Then in 1972 revision was made to the model library act of 1930. Another model public libraries bill was prepared by the library legislation subcommittee of the Planning Commission in 1966.
c) Present Status of Library Legislation in India: The credit of enacting a library act for the first time in India goes to the Kolhapur princely state of the present Maharashtra in 1945. The act is presently non functional. In India, nineteen states have so far enacted library legislation and the rest are providing library services without legislation. The list of the nineteen Acts is given below
i) Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad) Public Libraries Act, 1960;
ii) Arunachal Pradesh Public Libraries Act, 2009;
iii) Bihar Public Libraries Act, 2007;
iv) Chattisgarh Public Libraries Act, 2007;
v) Goa Public Libraries Act, 1993;
vi) Gujarat Public Libraries Act, 2001;
vii) Haryana Public Libraries Act, 1989;
viii) Karnataka (Mysore) Public Libraries Act, 1965;
ix) Kerala Public Libraries Act, 1989;
x) Maharashtra Public Libraries Act, 1967;
xi) Manipur Public Libraries Act, 1988;
xii) Mizoram Public Libraries Act, 1993;
xiii) Orissa Public Libraries Act, 2001;
xiv) Pondichery Public Libraries Act, 2007;
xv) Rajasthan Public Libraries Act, 2006;
xvi) Tamil Nadu (Madras) Public Libraries Act, 1948;
xvii) Uttar Pradesh Public Libraries Act, 2005;
xviii) Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal) Public Libraries Act, 2005 and
xix) West Bengal Public Libraries Act, 1979.

6. The Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954: The Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. According to this Act, the publisher of every book, newspaper or serial must deliver at his own expense a copy of the book within thirty days from the date of its publication to the National Library at Calcutta and one copy each to three other public libraries specified by the Central Government. The Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954: No. 27 of 1954, amended by the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Amendment Act, 1956: No. 99 of 1956 and thus it became “The Delivery of Books 'and Newspapers' (Public Libraries) Act, 1954”. The insertions “and Newspapers” provided by the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Ammendment Act, 1956: No. 99 of 1956 includes serials as well.
i) Mode of Delivery: A copy of every book published by a publisher and the publisher of every newspaper, published in the territories to which this Act extends, shall deliver at his own expense one copy of each issue of such newspaper as soon as it is published, shall be delivered by him to the librarian of three public library either by registered post or through a special messenger. Under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, the National Library, Calcutta (presently Kolkata) is entitled to receive a copy of every publication brought out by anyone anywhere in the country. The other copies should be delivered to the Connemera Public Library, Madras (Chennai), The Central Library, Town Hall, Bombay(Mumbai), and the Delhi Public Library. The copy to be delivered to the National Library, Kolkata should be the best of its kind.
ii) Receipt for Books Delivered: The person in charge of a public library (whether called a librarian or by any other name) or any other person authorised by him in his behalf to whom a copy of a book is delivered shall give to the publisher a receipt in writing and send it to the publisher by registered post and such receipt shall be conclusive proof of the fact that a copy of the book has been duly delivered to the public library of which he is the librarian.
iii) Benefit for the Publisher: The Indian National Bibliography is procured by all leading libraries and learned institutions throughout the English speaking world and much beyond. The books that are received by way of Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act 1954, 56 are included in the INB. Thus, the INB provides the publisher or the author with an excellent and unique opportunity of using the forum of the Indian National Bibliography to give the widest possible publicity to their publications not only in India but virtually all over the world. So, Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act 1954, 56 also gives a commercial advantage of publicity to the publisher or authors.
iv) Penalty: Any publisher who contravenes any provision of this Act. or of any rule made hereunder shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees and, “if the contravention is in respect of a book, shall also be punishable with fine which shall be equivalent to” the value of the book, and the court trying the offence may direct that the whole or any part of the fine realised from him shall be paid, by way of compensation to the public library to which the book or “newspaper”, as the case may be, ought to have been delivered.
7. Let Us Sum Up: None of the countries in which library legislation exists are able to provide entirely satisfactory and effective library services. All of them have problem to some degree despite the fact that there has been revision of laws in most countries. Again, there are many countries without legislation but they are serving the general public in a better way in comparison to the countries that have legislation


Tamil Nadu (Madras) Public Libraries Act 1948
Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad) Public Libraries
Karnataka (Mysore) Public Libraries Act 1965
Maharashtra Public Libraries Act 1967
West Bengal Public Libraries Act 1979
Manipur Public Libraries Act 1988
Kerala Public Libraries Act 1989
Haryana Public Libraries Act 1989
Goa Public Libraries Act 1993
Mizoram Public Libraries Act, 1993
Gujarat Public Libraries Act 2001
Orissa Public Libraries Act 2001
Uttar Pradesh Public Libraries Act 2005
Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal) Public Libraries Act 2005
Rajasthan Public Libraries Act 2006
Bihar Public Libraries Act 2007
Chattisgarh Public Libraries Act 2007
Pondichery Public Libraries Act 2007
Arunachal Pradesh Public Libraries Act 2009


Madras Public Libraries Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Madras Public Libraries Act, subsequently renamed as the Tamil Nadu Public Libraries Act, was enacted in Madras State, India, in 1948. The act was the first of its kind to be enacted in India after independence. The Connemara Public Library became the first library to come under the purview of this act, as a "State central library". Subsequently, nine district libraries were added during the Five year plan from 1951.[1] The act was enacted based on research and activity by S. R. Ranganathan and the Madras Library Association. Other states have enacted public library acts modelled on the Madras Public Libraries Act.


R. K. Bhatt has highlighted how free-to-access public library systems are a necessary adjunct to a developing society, with growing industrialisation and improving rates of literacy, and argues that legislation "is an essential need in any country because it puts the structure, management and finance of library systems on proper legal footing".[2]
Ranganathan recognised this. He had spent time training as a librarian in London around 1923 and was impressed by the system of public library legislation which existed there. Upon returning to India he began to campaign for something similar to exist in his own country. The situation was complicated by the existence of various types of government, including provinces which were administered by the British Raj and various States under the control of princes. The fruits of his research and consultations were presented at the First All India Educational Conference in 1930. This report included a proposed Model Library Act.[3]
Although some areas, such as Baroda, had established public library systems prior to 1945,[4] it was then that the first Act was passed, being the Kolhapur Public Libraries Act. This was followed in 1948 by the Madras Public Libraries Act, which became the first such Act to be passed in the newly independent republic of India. Acts for other areas, such as Kerala and Haryana, followed and generally improved on the earlier legislation.[3][5]
Prior to the Act, the principal library of Madras was the Connemara Public Library, which had opened in 1860 and became a public library in 1896. A small refundable deposit was required to use it but it was essentially free. It became the State Central Library in 1948 and, in 1981, a depository library.[6]


The Madras Public Libraries Act provides for overall governance by a State Library Committee, presided over by the incumbent Education Minister for the State. The committee comprises members from various walks of life, including representatives from universities and from the State Library Association, as well as a Secretary whose primary function is as assistant to the Director of Public Libraries (DPL). The latter role is assumed by the incumbent Director of Public Instruction.[7]
Revenue is obtained via a cess, a tax which is collected by local administrative bodies such as the Nagar Palikas and Panchayats. Those bodies remit the tax to their Local Library Association (LLA), which operates as an umbrella organisation at the mid-tier District administrative level. The rate of taxation is fixed in law but the LLA can request a higher rate if the State government agrees to it. The State government matches the funds generated by the cess. The LLA determines the conditions of entry to the libraries under its control.[7][8]
Cities with a population in excess of 50,000 must have a central library of their own and provisions exist for expansion to include branch libraries and other means of devolved access if demand should require such. In addition to libraries that are administered by the LLA, the Act provides for a register of other libraries. This is maintained by the DPL, who has the power to issue grants from State resources to those institutions listed. With the exception of the city of Madras, these grants cannot be less than the cess collected elsewhere.[7]
Further resources are obtained by a modification caused by the Act. The Press and Registration of Books Act of 1857 is amended such that a situation somewhat akin to copyright libraries exists. All publishers within the State are required to provide five copies of their output to the State government, which in turn passes on four of those copies to the State Central Library.[7][8]
Until various reorganisations of States, the Act applied to parts of what are now Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.[9][10]


Several perceived failings in the Madras Public Libraries Act have been addressed in subsequent Acts elsewhere. For example, the Hyderabad legislation, which later became the Andhra Pradesh Public Libraries Act, states that there should be a completely separate department of government to administer the libraries; that the head of the State Library Committee (in this case called the State Library Council) should be elected rather than defaulting to the portfolio of the current Education Minister; and that all local administrative areas should have their own library authority. Furthermore, the amount and extent of the cess collected was improved by extending the range of taxes upon which the surcharge was levied; and the government, through the State Library Council, has a duty to train the librarians.[7] A key strategy which was embodied in the Act was the formulation of a hierarchical system whereby the local libraries were connected to the District libraries and they, in turn, were connected to the State Central Library and the National Library. Centralised acquisition and resource sharing was envisaged. This strategy had formed a part of the Second Five Year Plan but it appears not to have been enforced with any haste; Brahmanda Barua wrote in 1992 that throughout India "The network principle has nowhere been applied in organising the libraries."[11]
Bhatt believes that the Karnataka Public Libraries Act is the most adequate and best functioning in the evolution of such Acts, and notes that the lack of provision for a cess in the later Acts for Maharashtra and West Bengal are a significant failing. In the case of Karnataka, there is a State Library Authority which is presided over by the Minister for Education, and also a fully-fledged Department of Public Libraries and local administrative bodies. The cess applies to a wide range of taxes, including those on property and vehicles, and there is further funding in non-city areas as a consequence of the stipulation that the State government must give to the local bodies 3% of all revenues received from land taxes in their area. The financing of the State Library Authority is determined by the lower authorities and private libraries can request grants but are not automatically entitled to them.[7]

Recent situation nationally[edit]

By 2002 there had been a total of 12 public library acts in place, although two of those - for Hyderabad and Kolhapur - had been superseded due to changes in the administrative structure of those areas,[3] and two others had not been enforced.[4] Narasimha Raju considered that these Acts had proved to be "by and large ineffective", due to a combination of poor financing, poor administrative structure and, in some States, the "lethargy and negative attitude" of their governments. Raju also identified problems with the rapidly changing face of technology and noted that most of the libraries were unable to adapt to developments in television, radio and video recording. The Indian Library Association had taken on the campaign to improve matters, principally by promoting new legislation to replace that which already existed and Raju noted that many believed legislation should exist for the entire country rather than being a piecemeal system.[3]
Despite only eight Acts being in force, all twenty-five States and seven Union Territories had a central library and 75% of the Districts, which are the next tier of administration, had a similar facility. While legislated areas such as Maharashtra (1967) relied on volunteers and development of free libraries from the core of an existing subscription library system, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka (1965) and Andhra Pradesh (1960) were thought by T. Malleshappa to be the most developed when quantified by density of libraries and percentage of the population who had free access.[4] D. B. Eswara Reddy, writing in the same publication, bemoaned the poor provision below District level, with 90% of the rural population not having access even to a reading room or circulating library, let alone modern multimedia and computing technology. Despite legislation and theoretical targets, library facilities remained the preserve of the urban elite and, for example, in Andhra Pradesh most children in rural areas were first-generation literates.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ Panda, B. D. (1993). Handbook of Public Library System. Anmol Publications. p. 115. ISBN 9788170417736OCLC 36878321.
  2. Jump up^ Bhatt, Ramesh Kumar (1995). History and Development of Libraries in India. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. pp. 114–116. ISBN 978-81-7099-582-1OCLC 33162755.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d Raju, Narasimha (2002). "Library Legislation in India: an Introspection". In Sardana, J. L. Libraries and information studies in retrospect and prospect: essays in honour of Prof. D. R. Kalia 2. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. pp. 383–387. ISBN 978-81-7022-930-8. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Malleshappa, T. (2002). "Impact of Library Legislation on Public Library Services". In Sardana, J. L. Libraries and information studies in retrospect and prospect: essays in honour of Prof. D. R. Kalia 2. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. pp. 389–390.ISBN 978-81-7022-930-8. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  5. Jump up^ Bhatt, Ramesh Kumar (1995). History and Development of Libraries in India. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. p. 116. ISBN 978-81-7099-582-1OCLC 33162755.
  6. Jump up^ Patel, Jashu; Kumar, Krishan (2001). Libraries and Librarianship in India. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 80, 97.ISBN 978-0-313-29423-5.
  7. Jump up to:a b c d e f Bhatt, Ramesh Kumar (1995). History and Development of Libraries in India. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. pp. 118–120.ISBN 978-81-7099-582-1OCLC 33162755.
  8. Jump up to:a b Taher, Mohamed (1994). Librarianship and library science in India: an outline of historical perspectives. Concepts in communication informatics & librarianship 60. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 97. ISBN 978-81-7022-524-9.
  9. Jump up^ Taher, Mohamed (2001). Libraries in India's national developmental perspective: a saga of fifty years since independence. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 331. ISBN 978-81-7022-842-4.
  10. Jump up^ Taher, Mohamed (1994). Librarianship and library science in India: an outline of historical perspectives. Concepts in communication informatics & librarianship 60. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 131. ISBN 978-81-7022-524-9.
  11. Jump up^ Barua, Brahmanda Pratap (1992). National policy on library and information systems and services for India: perspectives and projections. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. pp. 83, 88. ISBN 978-81-7154-730-2. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  12. Jump up^ Reddy, D. B. Eswara (2002). "Integrated Rural Library Development". In Sardana, J. L. Libraries and information studies in retrospect and prospect: essays in honour of Prof. D. R. Kalia 2. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. pp. 348–350. ISBN 978-81-7022-930-8. Retrieved 2011-08-11.

National Library of India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
National Library of India
India Education .jpg
DirectorSwapan Kumar Chakravorty
LocationBelvedere EstateAliporeKolkata, India Flag of India.svg
22.533206°N 88.333318°E
The National Library of India (Bengali: ভারতের জাতীয় গ্রন্থাগার) at Belvedere, Kolkata, is the largest library in India by volume and India's library of public record. It is under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. The library is designated to collect, disseminate and preserve the printed material produced in India. The library is situated on the scenic 30 acre (120,000 m²) Belvedere Estate, in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). The Library is the largest in India, with a collection in excess of 2.2 million books.[1] It is India's only Category 6 library and is one of the four depository libraries in the country where publishers are required, under The Delivery of Books And Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, "to supply books published in India, by Indians abroad or any title that might be of interest to Indians".[2] It is also India's sole repository library where all books, publications and official documents in its custody have to be stored in perpetuity.[2]




National Library
  • Acquisition and conservation of all significant national production of printed material, excluding ephemera.
  • Collection of printed material concerning the country, no matter where it is published, and as a corollary, the acquisition of photographic records of such material that is not available with in the country
  • Acquisition and conservation of foreign material required by the country.
  • Rendering of bibliographical and documents services of current and retrospective material, both general and specialised.
  • Acting as a referral centre purveying full and accurate knowledge.


The Calcutta Public Library[edit]

The history of the National Library began with the formation of Calcutta Public Library in 1836. That was a non-governmental institution and was run on a proprietary basis. People contributing INR 300 in subscription became the proprietors. Prince Dwarkanath Tagore was the first proprietor of that Library.INR 300 at that time was a significant amount, so poor students and others were allowed free use the library for some period of time.
Lord Metcalfe, the Governor General at that time, transferred 4,675 volumes from the library of the College of Fort WilliamCalcutta to the Calcutta Public Library. This and donations of books from individuals formed the nucleus of the library. Both Indian and foreign books, especially British, were purchased for the library. Donations were regularly made by individuals as well as by the government.
The Calcutta Public Library had a unique position as the first public library in this part of the world. Such a well-organized and efficiently run library was rare even in Europe during the first half of the 19th century. Because of the efforts of the Calcutta Public Library, the present National Library has many extremely rare books and journals in its collection.

The Imperial Library[edit]

The Imperial Library
Built after the model of the Town Hall at Ypres. A fine example of the Public Buildings in Calcutta (Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries).The Imperial Library was formed in 1891 by combining a number of Secretariat libraries in Calcutta. Of those, the most important and interesting was the library of the Home Department, which contained many books formerly belonging to the library of East India College, Fort William and the library of the East India Board in London. But the use of the library was restricted to the superior officers of the Government.

Amalgamation of The Calcutta Public Library and Imperial Library[edit]

Metcalfe Hall-the location of Imperial Library
In 1903, Lord Curzon, the Governor-General of India, conceived the idea of opening a library for the use of the public. He noticed both the libraries—Imperial Library and Calcutta Public Library were under-utilized because of limited access and lack of amenities. He decided to amalgamate the rich collection of both of these libraries.
The new amalgamated library, called Imperial Library, was formally opened to the public on 30 January 1903 at Metcalfe Hall, Kolkata. Metcalfe Hall had earlier been the residence of the Governor-Generals Wellington, Cornwallis and Warren Hastings.
"It is intended that it should be a library of reference, a working place for students and a repository of material for the future historians of India, in which, so far as possible, every work written about India, at any time, can be seen and read."
— The Gazette of India[5]

Declaring the Imperial Library as the National Library[edit]

After Independence the Government of India changed the name of the Imperial Library to the National Library, with the enactment of the Imperial Library (Change of Name) Act, 1948, and the collection was shifted from the Esplanade to the present Belvedere Estate. On 1 February 1953, the National Library was opened to the public, inaugurated by then Union Minister of Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. B. S. Kesavan was appointed the first Librarian of the National Library.

Discovery of hidden chamber[edit]

In 2010, the Ministry of Culture, the owner of the library, decided to get the library building restored by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). While taking stock of the library building, the conservation engineers discovered a previously unknown room. The ground-floor room, about 1000 sq. ft. in size, seems to have no opening of any kind.[6] The ASI archaeologists tried to search the first floor area (that forms the ceiling of the room) for a trap door, but found nothing. Since the building is of historical and cultural importance, ASI decided to bore a hole through the wall instead of breaking it. There was speculations about the room being a punishment room used by Warren Hastings and other British officials, or a place to store treasure.[6] After six months of study, it was determined to be not a room at all, but merely "a block stuffed with mud, perhaps constructed by the British architects to strengthen the base of the building."[7]


Indian Languages Collection[8][edit]

Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee donated his entire personal collection of 80,000 books to the National (formerly Imperial) Library of India and it is arranged in a separate section at the annexe building.
The National Library receives books and periodicals in almost all Indian languages. These are received under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954. Language divisions acquire, process and provide reading materials in all major Indian languages. HindiKashmiriPunjabiSindhiTelugu and Urdu language divisions maintain their own stacks. Other language books are stacked in the Stack division. Language divisions are also responsible for answering reference queries. The library has separate Indian language divisions for AssameseBengaliGujaratiHindiKannadaKashmiri,MalayalamMarathiOriyaPunjabiSanskritSindhiTamilTelugu and UrduSanskritlanguage division also collects and processes Pali and Prakrit books. English books published in India are collected under D.B. Act.

Assamese Language Collection[edit]

In 1963, a separate division was established in the National Library to collect and process Assamese books. At present the division has 12,000 books. This collection has some works published between 1840 and 1900. Some of the important publications are Asamiya Larar Mitra by Anandaram Dhekial Phukan (1849), Larabodh Byakaran by Dharmeswar Goswami (1884), Prakrit Bhugol by Lambodara Datta (1884) and several volumes of Sri Sankardev's Kirattan, Gunamala, Srimad Bhagavad, Bargit, Rukmini Haran Nat, and Ankiyanat. Volumes of the periodical Arunodoi (1846–1853, 1856–1858) are also available in the collection.

Bengali Language Collection[edit]

The library has 85,000 books in its Bengali collection. The collection contains very rare and valuable books as well as periodicals published from the last quarter of the 18th century. Early Bengali plays and novels are well represented. The collection has many rare items such as the manuscripts of Sarat Chandra ChattopadhyayBibhutibhushan BandyopadhyayJibanananda Das and Bishnu Dey. 154 letters of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose written to his nephew Sri Asok Nath Bose and letters to Sarat Chandra Bose are also available in the collection. The collection has the complete set of Rabindranath Tagore’s works, except a few of his early works. This includes 190 first editions of Tagore’s works. Some of the rare and important works in this collection are: A Grammar of the Bengal Language (1778) by Nathaniel Brassey Halhed, which is the earliest printed book in Bengali, Henry Forster’s A Vocabulary in Two parts, English and Bangalee (1799), William Carey’s Dialogues, Intended to Facilitate the Acquiring of the Bengali Language ( 1801),Ramram Basu’s Raja Pratapaditya Charitra (1801), Mrityunjay Vidyalankar’s Batris Simhansan (1802), Ramayana translated byKrittibas Ojha and published in five volumes, Mahabharat translated by Kashiram Das (1802), Chandicharan Munshi’s Tota Itihas (1805), Jayanarayan Ghosal’s Sri Karunanidhanavilasa (1814), William Carey’s Dictionary of the Bengali Language, 2 volumes (1815–1825). There are 400 titles of Bengali periodicals including many rare 19th century periodicals such as Digdarshan (1818) first Bengali monthly and the first issue of Samachar Darpan (1831) – the first Bengali weekly.

Gujarati Language Collection[edit]

The library has 37,000 Gujarati books. 1100 of them are titles published prior to 1900. This collection also has 30 albums of paintings by Kanu Desai published between 1936 and 1956. Ancient Jaina miniature paintings are well reproduced in Sri Jaina Chitravali, Sri Jaina Chitra Patavali and other valuable books edited by Sarabhai Nawab. The authentic editions of the poetic works of medieval Gujarati poets such as Narsinh MehtaMirabai, Premanand and Symal Bhat are also part of the holdings. The rare titles include Robert Drummond’s Illustrations of Grammatical Parts Guzerattee, Maratta and English Languages (1808), translations of Aesop’s Fables by Bapushastri Pandya Raykaval (1818), Edalji Patel's Suratani Tavarikh (1890) and Jnana Chakra—a Gujarati encyclopaedia in 9 volumes (1867).

Hindi Language Division[edit]

The collection building of Hindi books has been continuing since the time of the Imperial Library, and a separate division was established in 1960. At present 80,000 Hindi books are in the library collection. The collection has rare works published during the last decades of the 18th Century. Many of the publications published by Lulloo Lal, the first printer, publisher and writer of Kolkata, are represented in this collection. The following rare books published by Lulloo Lal are in the library: Braja Bhasha Grammar (1811), Lataife Hindi (1821), Rajaniti (1827), and Prem Sagur (1842). In addition, the library has The Oriental Linguist with an Extensive Vocabulary English and Hindoostanee and Hindoostanee and English by John B. Gilchrist (1798), Hindi-Roman Orthoepigraphical Ultimatum by John B. Gilchrist (1804), Rajneeti by Narayana Pandit (1809), Sudamacaritra by Haldhara Dasa (1819), Raga Kalpadruma (1843), Baital Pachisi by Duncan Forbes (1861), Dictionary of Hindee and English by J. T. Thompson (1862), Yavan Bhasa ka Vyakaran by Hooper William (1874), Siva Simha Saroja by Siva Simha Senagar (1878), Hindi Pradipa edited by Balkrishna Bhatt (1877–1909), Brief Account of the Solar System in Hindi (1940), and a microfilm copy of Bal Bodhini (1874–77)--a monthly journal for women edited by Bharatendu Harishchandra. There are also about 1200 rare first issues of important journals.

Kannada Language Collection[edit]

A separate Kannada division was set up in 1963 in the National Library. In 1960, the library purchased the personal collection of H. Channakeshava Ayyangar. It consists of 1300 books published between the last two decades of the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th century. An important contribution toward building the collection was the efforts of G. P. Rajarathnam, a noted Kannada author. Immediately after the enactment of the D.B. Act, Rajaratnam toured the erstwhile Mysore state to create awareness among the publishers about the Act. He collected about 1500 books without any expense to the library. The Kannada collection in the library is particularly useful for the study of the cultural history of Karnataka. At present there are 32,000 Kannada books in the library.

Kashmiri Language Collection[edit]

The Kashmiri division was formed in 1983. Currently the library has 500 Kashmiri books. Some of the important items in this collection are Muhammad Yusuf Teng’s Shirin Qalm (2 volumes), Wiyur edited by Ghulam Muhammad Rafiq, Ghulam Nabi Khyal’s Akah Nandun, Nurnama (sayings of Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali) and compiled by Muhammad Amin Kaim, Fazil and Kashmiri’s Krishna Lila.

Malayalam Language Collection[edit]

The Malayalam division was established as a separate division in 1963, with around 5000 books. Now the collection has 34,500 books. The earliest printed book, Centum Adagia Malabarica, a Latin translation of Malayalam proverbs, dates back to 1791. The Latin translations are printed alongside the Malayalam originals. Rare and old books include Robert Drummond’s Grammar of the Malabar Language (1799), Dr Gundart’s Malayalam-English Dictionary (1872) Vartamanapustakam by Parammachkal Govarnnodoracchan, Appu Nedungadi’s Kundalata and Oyyarathu Chandu Menon’s Indulekha (1889). Apart from these, many works representing earlier periods are part of this collection. A few of these are Ramacaritam (earliest known Malayalam work), works of Niranam (a 15th century poet),Cherusseri Namboothiri’s Krishnagatha (16th century), Vadakkan Pattukal (Ballads of North Malabar), Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan’s Adhyatama Ramayana, Ramapurathu Warrier’s Kucelavrtam, and Kunchan Nambiar’s Tullol.

Marathi Language Collection[edit]

The Marathi division was established in 1963 with a collection of 8900 volumes. The division now has 37,000 books in its collection. In 1954 the National Library purchased the library of the Bengal Nagpur Railway Indian Institute, Kharagpur, which had a good number of Marathi books. Sir Jadunath Sarkar collection also has about 350 Marathi books, mostly on the history of the Marathas. The division has many rare and old Marathi publications. These include William Carey's A Grammar of the Mahratta Language (1805) and Dictionary of the Maharatta Language (1810), Simhasana Battisi (1814), Raghuji Bhonsalyaci Vanshavali (1815), Vans Kennedy's A Dictionary of Maratta Language (1824), Nava Karar (1850), A Short Account of Railways by K. Bhatwadekar (1854), Charles Hutton's algebra asBijaganit (1856), Tukaram’s Abhangachi Gatha (1869) edited by Vishnu Parashuram Pandit and Shankar Pandurang Pandit,Itihasaprisiddha Purushanche va Striyanche Povade edited by H. A. Acworth (1891).

Oriya Language Collection[edit]

A separate Oriya division was established in 1973. The Imperial Library had only 133 books; later the collection was increased to 425 books. Currently, the division has 19,500 books. The oldest publication available in the Oriya collection dates back to 1831. It is Rev.Amos Sutton’s Introductory Grammar of Oriya Language . Some of the other rarities in the collection are Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda, translated by Dharanidhara, Amos Sutton’s An Oriya Dictionary, 3 volumes (1841–3), Dharmapustakara Adibhaya (1842–3), andPurnachandra Oriya Bhashakosha (1931–40), a lexicon of the Oriya language compiled by Gopala Chandra Praharaj.

Punjabi Language Collection[edit]

A separate division for the acquisition and processing of Punjabi language books was established in 1974. Most of the works in this collection are of recent origin. There are a few old and rare Punjabi books, such as William Carey’s A Grammar of Punjabee Language (1812), Samuel Starkey’s A Dictionary of English Punjabee (1849), Geographical Description of the Panjab (1850), Bhai Santosh Singh’s Guru Paratap Suraj Granthavali (1882) and Gurudas Bhai’s Vars (1893).

Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit Languages Collection[edit]

Sanskrit has a rich literature in many fields of knowledge. A separate division in the library collects and processes Sanskrit books. At present the division has over 20,000 Sanskrit books, printed in the Devanagari script. Almost all Indian language divisions possess Sanskrit works printed in their respective language scripts. The library also has a rich collection of Sanskrit works edited or translated with original scripts, in English and many other foreign languages. The collection attracts scholars from India and abroad. Apart from Sanskrit, books in Pali and Prakrit languages are also collected and processed by this division. At present the library has about 500 books in Pali and a comparable collection of books in Prakrit.

Sindhi Language Collection[edit]

Since 1957, the library has been building a collection of Sindhi books. At present the library has 2100 Sindhi books. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s Shah Jo Risalo and Shah Jo Sher are the rare items in this collection.

Tamil Language Collection[edit]

The Tamil division was formed in 1963. The division currently has 57,000 books. Apart from this, the library has 1000 Tamil books and 300 Tamil manuscripts in the Vaiyapuri Pillai collection. There are many rare and old works among the Tamil titles. Early printed Tamil books in the library include the Tamil Bible (1723), Johann Phillip Fabricius’s A Malabar and English Dictionary (1779), a Tamil translation of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim's Progress (1793), and Caldwell’s Comparative Grammar of Dravidian languages (1850). The collection also includes standard editions of five great Sangam Classics.

Telugu Language Collection[edit]

The Telugu division was started in the National Library in 1963. The collection has a good number of old Telugu books published since the earlier decades of the 19th century. Some of the rarities in Telugu available in this collection are William Carey’s Grammar of Telugu Language (1814), C. P. Brown’s A Vocabulary of Gentoo and English (1818), Vakyavali (1852), Catalogue of Telugu books in the British Library, London (1912) compiled by L. D. Barnett.

Urdu Language Collection[edit]

Like Arabic and Persian, the Urdu collection was substantial since the days of Imperial Library. Special collections such as the Buhar Library, Hidayat Husain collection, Zakariya collection and Imambara collection have some Urdu books and manuscripts. In 1968 a separate Urdu division was set up formed in the library. At present it has more than 20,000 books. Some of the oldest are Uklakhi Hindee or Indian Ethics (1803), and Mir Muhamad Taki’s Kulliuat-e-Mir (1811).

English Language Collection[10][edit]

The National Library has an invaluable collection of books in the English language, because of the systematic development by Calcutta Public Library and the Imperial Library. Way back in 1848, an attempt was made to acquire journals issued by the foreign learned institutions. Serious works were purchased in larger numbers than light literature. The same policy has been pursued in recent times. Although the library has English books and other reading materials in almost all subjects, the collection is especially rich in the humanities, British and Indian history and literature

Foreign Languages Collections[11][edit]

One of the aims of the National Library is to collect all the books published on India, anywhere in the world and in any language. At the same time it collects reading materials on other subjects in different languages for the use of the country. The Imperial Library had a good number of Arabic and Persian works and a few other foreign language books. In 1985 the European Languages Division was reorganised and five separate divisions were formed. These are East Asian Languages Division, Germanic Languages Division, Romance Languages Division, Slavonic Languages Division,West Asian and African Languages Division. The foreign language works are mainly acquired through purchase, gift and exchange. The divisions mentioned are responsible for collection development, collection organisation and information dissemination to the readers in the respective languages. They also maintain their own stacks and provide reading facilities.

East Asian Languages Collection[edit]

A separate division collects, processes and preserves Chinese and other East Asian languages. At present the collection has 15,000 Chinese books and one thousand each in Japanese, Korean, TibetanNepali and Thai languages.

Germanic Languages Collection[edit]

The Germanic Languages division was formed in the library in the year 1985. The division has books in German, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish. But the largest number of books is in German. The division has book exchange agreements with seven Germanic language-speaking countries. Berliner Zeitung, a newspaper published from former East Germany is available in this collection.

Romance Languages Collection[edit]

Romance Languages division came into existence in 1985, along with other foreign languages divisions. Although the collection includes books and other materials in languages belonging to the Romance group, the largest number of books is in French, about 5000. About 2000 Romanian and a handful of books in Italian and Spanish are also available.

Slavonic Languages Collection[edit]

The collection has books in Slavonic languages, spoken in Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, former Yugoslaviaand other countries and peoples of the region. It deals with reading materials in 28 languages. But the largest collection is in theRussian language. At present the division has 65,000 books.

West Asian and African Languages Collection[edit]

The Buhar Library may be considered the nucleus of West Asian and African languages collection. The division has a handful of books in other West Asian languages such as Hebrew and Amharic. The largest number of books is in Persian and Arabic, approximately 12,000 in Arabic and 12,000 in Persian. The collection includes the lexicons compiled and prepared by Indians authors of the past and edited by the ‘native’ scholars of the College of Fort William and European orientalists of the said college. The division also holds a large numbers of historical works published under the Bibliotheca Indica series of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in the 19th century. A large number of Arabic and Persian books and manuscripts can also be found in Sir Abdur Rahim Collection, Hidayat Husain Collection, Zakaria Collection and Imambara Collection. Sir Jadunath Sarkar Collection also has 200 Persian manuscripts. These manuscripts relate mainly to the later Mughal period (1659–1837) and the early years of British rule.

Rare books[12][edit]

The National Library has an impressive number of rare books and other reading materials. In 1973, a separate Rare Books division was established. At present the books published prior to 1860 are considered rare books, along with limited and first editions, books distinguished by their design, illustration or history, and a few other criteria. Along with rare books, manuscripts and microfilms of the library are also stacked in this division. The division also provides reading facilities to the users who wish to consult these items. At present the division has 4700 monographs, 3000 manuscripts and 1500 microfilms


National Library has about 3600 rare and historically important manuscripts in different languages. These manuscripts are preserved separately along with other important and rare books in the Rare Books division.

Science and Technology Collection[14][edit]

Following the recommendations of the Reviewing Committee (1968), the Science and Technology division was set up in 1972. The basic function of this division is to collect and disseminate the core material in science and technology. At present the division holds about 17,000 books and monographs and 800 current print periodicals. The division provides reading facilities and has an open access stack system.

Indian official documents[15][edit]

All the publications of Government of India, State Governments, Union Territories, Government Undertakings, Autonomous Bodies are collected, processed and preserved separately. A separate division for this purpose was established in 1972. The library owns a rich collection of Indian official documents from the days of the East India Company to the present. The collection also includes the documents published by the Government of Great Britain relating to India. A good collection of Myanmarese documents and few documents of Aden, Sri Lanka, Persian Gulf Political Residency are also part of this collection. At present, the division holds around 490,000 documents.

Foreign official documents[16][edit]

The National Library is one of the repository libraries for United Nations Organisation and its agencies. Thus all the publications of UN and its agencies are received by the library free of cost. These documents are processed and stacked separately. The library also receives publications of the governments of the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, the Commonwealth nations, and the publications of the European Economic Committee. Almost all the volumes of the sessional sets of British Parliamentary papers since the beginning of the 19th century are available. Apart from the depositary copies, the library acquires selected foreign publications through purchase. At present the library has around 400,000 foreign official documents.

Newspapers and periodicals[17][edit]

All the newspapers and periodicals in Indian languages are received and processed in their respective language divisions. But English newspapers and periodicals, both the Indian and foreign, are acquired and processed separately. A separate Serials division is responsible for acquiring and processing of English newspapers and periodicals. The library has a rich collection of late 19th and early 20th century newspapers and periodicals, but almost all of them are incomplete sets. There are catalogues for periodicals, newspapers and gazettes available in the library up to 1953.

Maps and prints[18][edit]

The library has an extensive collection of maps from the 17th century onwards. Indian topographical sheets of earlier days (at scale of one inch, half-inch and quarter-inch to a mile) and maps of natural resources, population, transport and communication systems, agricultural production, soil, vegetation and the geology of India form the major part of the collection. At present the library has 85,000 printed maps, 54 cartographic manuscripts, and 280 atlases


The library has around 500 rolls of microfilms and 1000 microfiches. These are preserved in the Rare Books division. The Census of India (1872–1951) is one of the most important and rare document available in the form of microfiches.

Conservation activities[20]

One of the basic functions of the National Library is to conserve the printed heritage for future generations. For this purpose the library has separate divisions for physical, chemical, reprographic and digital conservation.

Physical conservation

Books damaged by human error or by natural causes are mended, repaired and bound in the Binding division. Journals are bound by volume.

Chemical conservation

The Laboratory division of the library, established in 1968, is taking care of the chemical treatment of books. Advanced procedures of chemical treatment are adopted to restore brittle and damaged books. The library is in the process of developing non-chemical treatment system for the preservation of printed materials. An indigenously developed fumigation chamber is being used to destroy the eggs and larvae of insects and termites. Encapsulation is another method of preservation that has been developed by the library.

Reprographic preservation

Most of the 19th century newspapers, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts have already been microfilmed. 5000 rolls of microfilms are already produced so far by the Reprography division.


The scanning and archiving of rare and brittle books and other documents on compact disc has started. English books and documents published before 1900 and Indian publications preceding 1920 are considered for digitisation. 9140 selected books in Indian and English languages have already been scanned and stored—a total of over 3.2 million pages.[21]

ReferencesJump up

  1. ^ Official website of National Library of IndiaIntroduction of National Library of India
  2. Jump up to:a b "A long shelf life"HT Mint. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaAims of National Library of India
  4. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaHistory of National Library of India
  5. Jump up^ "History of National Library of India".
  6. Jump up to:a b Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey (22 November 2010). "Secret chamber in National Library"The Times of India. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  7. Jump up^ Debaleena Sengupta (22 May 2011). "Room With No View"Business Standard. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaIndian Languages Collection of National Library of India
  9. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaLibrarians of National Library of India
  10. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaEnglish Languages Collection of National Library of India
  11. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaForeign Languages Collection of National Library of India
  12. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaRare Collection of National Library of India
  13. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaManuscripts Collection of National Library of India
  14. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaScience and Technology Collection of National Library of India
  15. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaIndian official documents Collection of National Library of India
  16. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaForeign official documents Collection of National Library of India
  17. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaNewspapers and Periodicals Collection of National Library of India
  18. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaMaps and Prints Collection of National Library of India
  19. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaMicroforms Collection of National Library of India
  20. Jump up^ Official website of National Library of IndiaConservation Procedure of National Library of India
  21. Jump up^ "National Library turns over a digital leaf". The Calcutta Telegraph. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2012.

Fax: + 91-33-24792968
Dear Publisher,
As you know, under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, the National Library, Calcutta is entitled to receive a copy of every publication brought out by anyone anywhere in the country. I am enclosing. As you will kindly see, there is no discretion on the part of any publisher to decide what is to be sent to us and what need not be sent. In the past nearly every publisher was scrupulously observing his/her obligations under the Act. Unfortunately over the years this commitment to discharge their obligations weakened on the part of many publishers, a process unfortunately assisted by our failure to remind and urge them to keep to the law. Be that as it may, the National Library has found itself in the recent years in the unenviable position of having to remind defaulting publishers from time to time and not receiving sufficiently positive response from many of them. We have not thought of seeking the legal remedies provided for in the Act. We sincerely believe that the publishing community in India is enlightened enough to realise the importance of depositing one copy of every publication brought out by the members of the community to the National Library, Calcutta. The National Library enjoys the status of an institution of national importance provided for under our Constitution. Besides this formal status, it is well known that it is intended to be and remains the largest and principal treasure house of the country's cultural heritage embodied in written and printed, and now increasingly electronically converted matter. I am sure a reminder from us to the members of the publishing community in the country of the need to help us preserve and build up this treasure house will not be taken amiss.
Apart from the obligation cast upon publishers under the law, there is also an advantage they stand to enjoy by depositing their publications to the National Library. It provides them with an excellent, why, unique opportunity of using the forum of the Indian National Bibliography to give the widest possible publicity to their publications not only in this country but virtually all over the world. For it is well known that the Indian National Bibliography is procured by all leading libraries and learned institutions throughout the English speaking world and much beyond. I don't have to elaborate the commercial advantage that this opportunity for publicity offers to the Indian publishers.
May I request you kindly to refresh your memory about the provisions of the Act and take steps for regular supply of all future publications to the National Library, Calcutta
Yours sincerely,



[The delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954: No. 27 of 1954, as amended by the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Amendment Act, 1956: No. 99 of 1956.]

An Act. to provide for Delivery of Books to the National Library, Calcutta, and other public libraries.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows :-
1. Short title and extent. -
(a) This Act may be called the Delivery of Books 'and Newspapers' (Public Libraries) Act, 1954
(b) It extends to the whole of India
2. Definitions. - In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, -
(a) "book" includes every volume, part or division of a volume and pamphlet, in any language, and every sheet of music, map, chart or plan separately printed or lithographed, but does not include a newspaper published in conformity with the provisions of Section 5 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (XXV of 1867);
"(aa) 'newspaper' means any printed periodical work containing public news or comments on public news published in conformity with the provisions of Section 5 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867;"1
(b) "public libraries" means the National Library at Calcutta and any three other libraries which may be specified by the Central Government in this behalf by notification in the Official Gazette.
3. Delivery of books to public libraries. -
(1) Subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, but without prejudice to the provisions contained in Section 9 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (XXV of 1867), the publisher of every book published in the territories to which this Act extends after the commencement of this Act shall, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, deliver at his own expense a copy of the book to the National Library at Calcutta and one such copy to each of the other three public libraries within thirty days from the date of its publication.
(2) The copy delivered to the National Library shall be a copy of the whole book with all maps and illustrations belonging thereto, finished and coloured in the same manner as the best copies of the same, and shall be bound, sewed or stitched together, and on the best paper on which any copy of the book is printed.
(3) The copy delivered to any other public library shall be on the paper on which the largest number of copies of the book is printed for sale, and shall be in the like condition as the books prepared for sale.
"3A. Delivery of newspapers to public libraries. - Subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, but without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Press and Registration of Books Act, but 1867, the publisher of every newspaper, published in the territories to which this Act extends, shall deliver at his own expense one copy of each issue of such newspaper as soon as it is published to each such public library as may be notified in this behalf by the Central Government in the Official Gazette."1
(4) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to any second or subsequent edition of a book in which edition no additions or alterations either in the letter-press or in the maps, book prints or other engravings belonging to the book have been made, and a copy of the first or some preceding edition of which book has been delivered under this Act.
4. Receipt for books delivered. - The person in charge of a public library (whether called a librarian or by any other name) or any other person authorised by him in this behalf to whom a copy of a book is delivered under section 3 shall give to the publisher a receipt in writing therefor.
5. Penalty. - Any publisher who contravenes any provision of this Act. or of any rule made there under shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees and, "if the contravention is in respect of a book, shall also be punishable with fine which shall be equivalent to"1 the value of the book, and the court trying the offence may direct that the whole or any part of the fine realised from him shall be paid, by way of compensation to the public library to which the book or "newspaper"1 as the case may be ought to have been delivered.
6. Cognizance of offences. -
(a) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act save on complaint made by an officer empowered in this behalf by the Central Government by a general or special Order.
(b) No court inferior to that of a presidency magistrate or a magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
7. Application of Act to books and newspapers published by Government. - "This Act shall also apply to books and newspapers published by or under the authority of the Government but shall not apply to books meant for official use only."1

8. Power to make rules. - The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

 GAZETTE OF INDIA, Pt. II, Sec. 3, dated 19-3-1955
National Library, CalcuttaNew Delhi, 11th March, 1955

S. R. O. 587. - In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 8 of the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 (27 of 1954), The Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely :-

1. Short title. - These rules may be called the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Rules, 1955.
2. Definitions. - In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires :-
(a) "the Act" means the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 (27 of 1954);
(b) "Librarian", in relation to a public library, means the person in charge of such public library, and includes any person authorised by him in this behalf to discharge all or any of the functions imposed on him by or under the Act;
(c) "section" means section of the Act; and
(d) all words and expressions used but not defined in these rules shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act.
3. Mode of delivery. - Subject to the provisions of section 3 a copy of every book published by a publisher shall be delivered by him to the librarian of each public library either by registered post or through a special messenger and the librarian to whom the copy is so delivered shall forthwith acknowledge receipt thereof in the Form annexed hereto and send it to the publisher by registered post and such receipt shall be conclusive proof of the fact that a copy of the book has been duly delivered to the public library of which he is the librarian.

4. Prosecution of a defaulting publisher. - Where a copy of the book published after the 20th day of May, 1954 has not been delivered to a public library within a period of thirty days from the date of its publication, the officer empowered under sub-section (1) of section 6 may at any time after the expiry of the said period make a complaint to the court against the publisher of such book for his failure to deliver a copy to the public library named in the complaint and such complaint shall be inquired into and tried by the court according to the procedure laid in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898):
Provided that before a complaint is made to the court, a notice thereof may be given to the publisher by the librarian stating that he has failed to deliver a copy of such book within a period of thirty days of its publication and that if a copy is not delivered within a period of thirty days of the receipt of the notice he shall make himself liable to a penalty under section 5.
5. Information regarding the correct date of publication. - The publisher of every book shall affix on the copy of the book delivered to every public library a stamp bearing the date of the publication of the book and specifying that "the copy delivered is pursuant to the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954."
6. Memoranda of Books. - The publisher of every book shall furnish to the librarian a statement containing (so far as may be practicable) the following particulars, that is to say, -
(1) the title of the book and the contents of the title page, with a translation into English of such title and contents, when the same are not in the English language;
(2) the language in which the book is written;
(3) the name of the author, translator or editor of the book or any part thereof;
(4) the subject;
(5) the place of printing and the place of publication;
(6) the name or firm of the printer and the name or firm of the publisher;
(7) the date of issue from the press or of the publication;
(8) the number of sheets, leaves or pages;
(9) the size;
(10) the first, second or other number of the edition;
(11) the number of copies of which the edition consists
(12) whether the book is printed or lithographed;
(13) the price at which the book is sold to the public; and
(14) the name and residence of the proprietor of the copyright or of any portion of such copyright.

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