KHUDA BAKHSH ORIENTAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, Patna; The largest library in India. ॥Heritage ॥ Books

Close to the banks of the Ganges, in Patna, stands the Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library. Though founded earlier, it was opened for public in October, 1891 by the illustrious son of Bihar Khan Bahadur Khuda Bakhsh with 4,000 manuscripts, of which he inherited 1,400 from his father. Khuda Bakhsh donated his entire personal collection to the people of Patna by a deed of trust.

Acknowledging the immense historical and intellectual value of its rich and valued collection, the Government of India declared the Library an Institution of National Importance by an act of Parliament in 1969. The Library, an autonomous institution is fully funded by the Ministry of Culture.

The Library is a unique repository of the past heritage, preserved in the form of manuscripts, written on paper, palm-leaf, deer-skin, cloth and sundry materials. At the same time it has a modern face, housing about printed books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English and Hindi, besides a few in German, French, Punjabi, Japanese and Russian. The Library combines the twin features of a centre of research in Oriental studies and a public library catering to the needs of students, youth and senior citizens. It is now developing into a digital library, with more than 2,000 Manuscripts available in digital format to reader within the library.

The Library is equipped with LAN and e-mail facilities with Internet connectivity. The Library has two reading rooms, one for researchers and scholars, and the other for casual readers. The Library welcomes scholars, researchers and readers from all over the world and caters to their need. Reference service is extended through fax, phone and through the e-mail also. Services are also rendered to scholars at home and abroad through supply of microfilm, Xerox, photograph, etc. which is a special feature of this Library.

Curzon Reading Room named after Lord Curzon is open for all. A large number of newspapers, magazines in English, Urdu and Hindi, reference books and books for competitive exams are available in this Reading Room.

The Library is making relentless efforts to acquire and preserve manuscripts and book and disseminate knowledge employing all possible means. Scholarly Workshops, Symposia, Talks, Lectures and Seminars are being organised to create research-based awareness of knowledge both on National and International levels. The library promotes research activities in specific areas such as Islamic Studies, Arabic, Persian and Urdu Literature, Comparative Religion, Tibb or Unani medicine, Tasawwuf of Mysticism, History of the Islamic land, Medieval Indian History and Culture and the National movement.

Towards the dissemination of knowledge on a yet larger scale, the Library has been publishing its rarities. A full-fledged section of Research and Publication is working on relevant material. The Library has a sizeable number of its own publications to its credit. A quarterly research journal is also being published regularly since 1977.
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