Friday, 10 March 2017

Connemara Public Library, Chennai,one of Asia's largest

Connemara Public Library at Egmore, Chennai,.wandertrails.com
Connemara Public Library, Egmore in Chennai,www.pinterest.com
 Connemara Public Library at Egmore in Chennai city, the oldest library in India, was previously part of Madras Museum and got its own building in the year 1896. It is worth mentioning that  this library was originally  functioning successfully by bringing the surplus books from Hailey bury and Imperial Service College Libraries in England. It is one among the four National Depository Libraries in India which receive a copy of all books, newspapers and periodicals published in India. First established in 1890, this library has a fabulous collection of standard works, pretty old publications, etc., besides serving as a depository library for the UN. It is one of the Asia's largest public libraries. Greatly  benefited  from the efforts of the Madras Literary Society, the Oriental Manuscripts Library and the Records Office, it is believed, to contain more than 600,000 valuable books and is a heaven for researchers and book worms.
Connemara Public Library, Egmore in Chennai, MakeMyTrip
Connemara Public Library, Chennai..flickr.com/photos/mdeii
Connemara Public Library at Egmore, Chennai. TripAdvisor
  When Madras was the Presidency under the direct British Crown administration, London way back in 1860, it was one Captain Jesse Mitchell started a small library as part of Madras Museum to cater to the people whose  main hobby was reading. He decided to bring to Madras  a vast volume of surplus books lying unused in  the libraries of Hailey bury College  and these were sent to the Madras Government, which redirected them to  the Madras Museum. In those days, Hailey bury College in Hartford Heath, Hertfordshire was the main institution where civil servants of the Indian Civil Service were given special training in various aspects of Colonial Administration. Madras Museum was founded based on the model of the British Museum. At one stage, a separate building became a necessity and the then Governor of Madras, Lord Connemara, an Angelo-Irish gentleman, laid  the foundation on 22 March 1890. Opened to public as a free library, it was named after Lord
Connemara and it came up on a vast ground used to be called the
The Pantheon. With the passing  of Madras Public Libraries Act of 1948, after India's independence, it became a separate public library in the same year. 

A Braille Library, an IAS study center, video room, reference room, etc., were  added later. One entire floor is dedicated to  books on various Indian languages.  The state government allocated funds every year to purchase valuable books of Indian origin as well as books from overseas.
 
As per Public Libraries Act of 1954 under the provision of Delivery of Books and Newspapers,  Indian publishers have to deposit a copy of their publication with this library. In 1973 itself additional buildings came up to accommodate countless books, periodicals, and other services. One striking aspect of the old colonial structure is it is not stuck with one type of style. As a matter of fact, its impressive architecture is a combination of Indo-Saracenic, Gothic cum neo-Byzantine, Rajput Mughal and typical  Southern Hindu- Deccani style. The library,  for unknown reasons, is yet to be a  member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connemara_Public_Library