| Collections | Collection Organisation |  | Legal Deposite | Purchase | Gift Collections | Exchange | Repository |


Legal Deposit

Legal deposit, under the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act 1954 (commonly known as the D. B. Act) is the main source of the National Library collection. Under the provision of this Act, all publishers of the country, including Government agencies have to deposit one copy of their publications to the National Library and obtain a certificate of legal deposit. Newspapers and periodicals published in India are also to be deposited with the National Library.


Books and periodicals published outside the country and selected Indian publications are purchased. The purchase of books is centralised. The Acquisition (Book Order) division is responsible for procuring books through purchase.

Purchase policy: The selection of items follows the guidelines framed by the Reviewing Committee (1969) and the Committee of Management (1974), which are in turn based on the policy envisaged by Lord Curzon while opening the Imperial Library to the public. His policy was ‘the general idea of the whole Library is that it should contain all the books that have been written about India in popular tongue, with each additions as are required to make it a good all-round library of standard works of reference.’


In 2009-10, a revised policy was put in place. New vendors were enlisted by advertisement, e-correspondence with vendors was introduced, and lists were obtained through e-mail.


Gifts (Click here for Policy)

National Library receives books and other published materials through gifts by individuals, institutions and libraries. One may donate any number of books to the library. Only those books which are not available in the library are generally accepted as gift.

Many noted scholars or their heirs have donated their complete collections. Among the more substantial gift collections are those named after Sir Asutosh Mukhopadhyay, Jadunath Sarkar, S. N. Sen, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Munsi Sayyid Satruddin of Buhar, Imambara Zakaria, Sir Abdur Rahim, Hedayat Husain, Vaiyapuri Pillai, Ram Das Sen, and Barid Baran Mukherjee.


The National Library has exchange relationship with 215 institutions in 90 countries. Through these institutions the library collects foreign publications, which are hard to acquire through the usual channels. In 2010, the National Library revised its Gift and Exchange policy.


United Nations Organisation has recognised the National Library as a repository library for its publications and those brought out by its agencies. The National Library receives all publications of UNO, its agencies and from a few governments of other countries.


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