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National Library, Kolkata (Calcutta)

(4.3/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web)
The National Library of India on the Belvedere Estate in Alipore, 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 printed material produced in India. The library is situated on the scenic 30acre Belvedere Estate. It is the largest in India with a collection in excess of 2.2 million books. Before independence, it was the official residence of Lt. Governor of Bengal.HistoryThe Calcutta Public LibraryThe history of the National Library began with the formation of the Calcutta Public Library in 1836.That was a non-governmental institution and was run on a proprietary basis. People contributing in subscription became the proprietors. Prince Dwarkanath Tagore was the first proprietor of that Library. ₹ 300 at that time was a significant amount, so poor students and others were allowed free use of 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 William, Kolkata 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Every Indian should know about it. We may get information about different subjects. Very good collection of books are available here.  more »
  • Calcutta Public Library was established in 1836. It was not a Government institution. It ran on a proprietary basis. Any subscriber paying Rs 300 at one time or in three instalments was considered a p...  more »
  • The national library is by far the biggest public library in India by volume of books, journals and other literary collections. If you're looking for some books that ran out of publication or some of ...  more »
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  • After the independence of India, the National Library came into being in place of Imperial Library by the “Imperial Library (Change of Name) Act” in 1948. It was accorded a special status of an institution of national importance in the Article 62 in the 7th Schedule of the Union list of the Constitution of India and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then Union Minister of Education opened the Library to Public on 1st February 1953.
  • Met my girlfriend here, we have been in love for two years now. Its hard to make love to her given all the paper cuts I'd get, but we do it anyway.
  • the only library in india where you can find alllanguages of the world, the all subjects in all indian languages, you can have opportunitee to avail all past record of orders since east india company in ininddia , allrecords of legal proceedings , foreign journals ,allindia gazetts since inception , calcutta gazetts since inceptions , herewe have the libray of ours nephew,nice ,childrens , and last of all , otherthan books , the atmosphere , the green environment , which is totly nil other side in calcutta. iactually come to librry for later causes.(green environment)which were developed,generated by this library staffs who are mostly no more . from abhijit ey , 10 ,m.lmitra road ,ground floor , kolkata , 700017
  • Undoubtedly the best library in the city and its reading room environment is also good.Its also the best place to spend with some very good books.
  • So nice place ! I love this place as I am a member in this library! Best library in Asia! Lot of readers and visitors come to visit this place around all over the world!