As you stroll by way of the hushed aisles, the scent of historical parchment and polished wooden engulfs you, whereas the tender rustling of the turning pages or the occasional whisper of a librarian guides your senses.
Visiting an outdated library looks like getting into a time machine, with every ebook belonging to a unique period. On one finish, a scientist is discussing his innovations, whereas on the opposite finish, an iconic Jane Austen heroine is rejecting a wedding proposition.
As Albert Einstein as soon as mentioned, “The one factor that you simply completely must know is the situation of the library.” Impressed by his phrases, The Higher India determined to make an inventory of libraries in India that also retain the outdated world’s allure.
1. Goschen Library, Chennai
Located within the coronary heart of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, this iconic library is 96 years outdated. With its charming yellow-painted partitions, the place smells of historical past. The library was arrange by P Vijiaraguvulu Chetty and was constructed in English-style structure. It was constructed to foster a behavior of studying amongst individuals.
The library was ceaselessly visited by Woman Goschen, the spouse of the Governor of Madras. Subsequently, the library was named after her. In its glory days, the library housed about 15,000 books. Even in the present day, the historic library boasts a wealthy assortment of Tamil and English literature.
2. Nationwide Library, Kolkata
Talking of iconic libraries with out mentioning the Nationwide Library could be unfair. The library has 86,000 maps, 3,200 manuscripts and a historical past that dates from the British Raj. Opened in 1836 because the Calcutta Public Library, it was renamed the Imperial Library in 1903 after which the Nationwide Library in 1953.
A report means that “It was on these very grounds that Warren Hastings and his council member, Philip Francis, fought an early morning duel in August 1780.” At present, the place holds a set of digitised copies, books in 18 Indian languages, departments of international languages, Indian and international official paperwork, periodicals and many others.
3. Connemara Public Library, Chennai
Inaugurated in 1896, Connemara Public Library is one other one of many libraries in India that dates again to the British period. Designed by Henry Irwin, the identical architect behind the historic Mysore Palace, the constructing is made in a typical Indo-Saracenic model.
As per a Homegrown report, “Excessive wood ceilings and carved mouldings, superbly carved teak wooden bookshelves, intricate patterns and floral motifs alongside the pillars; strolling into the library is sort of like getting into a time capsule.” The library has over 6,00,000 books in its assortment.
4. State Central Library, Bengaluru
Positioned within the coronary heart of Bengaluru’s beloved Cubbon Park, the State Central Library with its shiny pink exteriors is eye-catching. As per an Indian Specific report, “The State Central Library, housed within the Seshadri Iyer Memorial Corridor, has existed for the reason that constructing began for use as a library 108 years in the past. The origin of the constructing, nonetheless, goes again to Sir Seshadri Iyer, who had served for eighteen years because the dewan of the princely state of Mysore.”
Satisfaction of each Bangalorean, the library homes over 3,140,000 books; its cabinets are full of all the things from books in braille, to educational books and analysis materials to uncommon periodicals. It was awarded the Raja Rammohan Roy Library Basis Award for the most effective State library within the nation in 1999.
5. Eloor Libraries, Kochi
Established in 1976, Eloor Libraries are a series of libraries that are well-loved by the residents. Whereas most libraries attempt to sustain with the occasions, Eloor Libraries have stayed true to their old-world charms. As per a report, “With its hand-painted signage and having largely retained its authentic look from its preliminary days, it gives an escape into easier occasions.”
Based by ebook lover and reader, P Luiz John, the library isn’t just a spot that holds books however a spot of nostalgia for residents of Kochi. In response to Scroll, every department of Eloor Libraries has 10,000 to 12,000 registered members and has a set of 70,000 books of their libraries.
6. Hardayal Municipal Public Library, Delhi
Positioned in Delhi’s beloved Chandni Chowk, the library was given a brand new face in 2021 whereas holding its authenticity. Initially established in 1862, the library, initially referred to as the Institute Library, was named in honour of a freedom fighter. It was initially created as a studying room for the British inside the Lawrence Institute, which is now the City Corridor.
The library has a inventory of 1,70,000 books and as per an India Today report, “The library homes one of many nation’s most interesting assortment of antiquarian books, together with a print of Sir Walter Raleigh’s Historical past of the World (1676), a sequence of early British Indian travelogues and hand-written and gold illuminated translations of Hindu and Muslim spiritual works.”
7. The Federation Corridor Society, Kolkata
Many dwelling in Kolkata go The Federation Corridor Society however only some are conscious that it additionally serves as a library. Again in 1905, when the British have been making an attempt to divide Bengal, protests have been brewing everywhere in the metropolis. On 16 October, hundreds of individuals assembled on the very website of the library to protest the federal government’s transfer.
Ananda Mohan Bose, a fierce chief and politician, was the one who recommended the inspiration of The Federation Corridor with a library which can function a spot for nationwide gatherings and conferences on completely different topics.
8. Sri Aurobindo Bhavan Library, Kolkata
Positioned on 8 Shakespeare Sarani in Kolkata, Aurobindo’s birthplace was transformed right into a library to protect his reminiscence and his love for studying and books. The place has a common and kids’s library.
In response to a report, “The previous gives over 40,000 books and round 100 periodicals, whereas the latter homes about 35,000 books in English, Bengali and Hindi together with an up to date reference service for kids.” The admission is on request and you may click on right here to turn into a member.
So, what number of of those iconic libraries have you ever visited thus far?
(Edited by Padmashree Pande)
(Function picture credit score: Vinaya Okay)