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Uttarpara Joykrishna Public Library

Uttarpara Jaykrishna Public Library is the first free Public library in India. It was established by Jayakrishan Mukeherjee, famous son of Uttarpara. Influenced by Dwarkanath Tagore and guided by London Public Library act 1850 - Joykrishna initiated this novel venture in 1859 when modern public education was a far cry in Bengal or India. Apart from its invaluable collection - it is also famous for its association with people like Michael Madhusudan Dutta, who spent last few days of his life in this library building, Rishi Autobindo - who delivered his famous 'Uttarpara Speech' and many others.

The construction of library building started in 1856 on over one acre land at the cost of Rs. 85,000.

The two storied library with out house and flower garden formally opened on April 15, 1859 though it started working for scholars and researchers as early as 1851.

This library is immensely rich in primary printed materials essential for 17th to 19th century studies and has a collection of about 50 to 60 thousand books.

Sir William Hunter who stayed over here for three years for the compilation of his statistical accounts of Bengal and imperial Gazetteer described this library as a "Treasure House". Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, National Professor in Library science paid a visit in this library in 1952 and remarked that major portion of collection of this library could not be found even in the largest library of the country.


Library Annexure - Reading Room

The library enjoys a cherished association with such great personalities as Governor Sir Ashley Eden, Miss Mary Carpenter, Sir Edwin Arnold, Sir River Thomson, Marquis of Dufferin and Ava Dufferin, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Surendra Nath Bannerjee, Bipin Pal, Kesab Sen and others. The famous catalogue of Rev. James Long, published in 1855, was compiled mostly based on the collection of this library. The great Bengali Poet Michel Madhuson Dutt spent about three months in two times of his last days in the library and it his here that Sri Aurobindo revealed before the public for the first time about his realization of the ultimate in the famous "Uttarpara Speech" on 30th May, 1909.


The majestic Library Building - overlooking Hooghly River

The collection in this library contains very rare and old defunct periodicals both in Bengali and English such as Dig Darson (1818) the first Bengali periodical Bengal Chronicle (1821), Calcutta Monthly Journal (1798) etc. 
   

Date of Establishment :15th April, 1859
Founder of the Library : Babu Jaikrishna Mukherjee
As a Sponsored Library : 1958-1964
As a Govt. Dist. Library : 1964 onwards
As a Group "A" Library : 21st November, 2001 (only financial matter) by Govt. West Bengal 
At Present Staff Strength : 18 nos. (Technical- 7 nos & Non-Technical- 11 nos)
Number of Section : Reading, Lending, Newspaper (Daily), Children, Newspapers & Periodical (Old), Career Guidance, Research, Reference.
Number of Users (Daily) -Lending 74-89 Per day
-Reading 100-120 Per day
-Children 30-35 Per day
-Research 5-6 Per day
-Reference 30-35 Per day
-Newspaper 50-6- Per day
-Career Guidance 40-45 Per day
Number of Books : 45000 (old & rare books 17th to 19th century onwards)
Number of Periodical (old) : 2500 Nos.
New Bengali & English Books : 65000 Nos.
Bounded New Periodicals : 20,000 Nos.
Number of Manuscripts : 450 Nos.
Acquisition of annexed building: 14th August, 1998
Date of Establishment of Brailee Section : 2003 

  

 

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