The uniqueness of the Institute's library is that it preserves the precious personal collections of great savants such as Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, Prof. Hiriyanna, Dr.V.Raghavan and others which are hardly available elsewhere.
The Library is comprised of nearly 60,000 books authored by great and popular writers on variety of Sanskrit and Indological subjects like Dance and Music, Epigraphy, Ethics, Law, Language and Literature, Philosophy and Ayurveda. These books are in varied languages like in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, English, German and French. Besides books the library has journals and back volumes. The collection has received and continues generous donations of books.
Similarly, the Institute also has a large collection of noteworthy palm-leaf Manuscripts written in Grantha, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Nandinagari, Tihilari scripts. These manuscripts contain material related to Vedas, Epics, Srauta, Dharmasutras, Philosophy, Literature etc., special mention may be made of Manuscripts written in Manipravala style. The Library also holds the Xerox copies of the Manuscripts on Tala presented by Dr.Robert E. Brown, San Diego State University, USA.
The Manuscript collection is being systematically preserved by adopting periodical manual cleaning , kept separately in an Air conditioned stack room.
Recently the library has adopted the new system called Photolam System. Under this system so far 1500 books were restored to their original shape.
The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute's Library is a Closed Access system with its own special classification of subjects as it is a special library dealing with books specifically on Sanskrit and Indological studies. The library staff are trained in maintaining and preserving by adopting the new techniques. The academic staff of the Institute help the readers in understanding the texts and suggest books for further studies.
Realising the importance of the collection, the Institute is trying to digitize the old books (70- 100 years old) and the Manuscripts. Under the Millennium Project envisaged by the former President Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has digitalized nearly 3000 books published before 1950 on various subjects.
In collaboration with the Govt. Museum, Madras, the K.S.R.I. Library conducted a 3 days Workshop on "Preventive Conservation of Manuscripts" from Aug.30th to Sept.1, 2006. It was well attended by the staff, students from different parts expecially from the Institute of Indian Medicine (Siddha), Chennai, and Tamil University,Thanjavur.
Training Programmes The staff of the KSRI Library attended internship training programmes, workshops conducted by the Govt. Museum, Chennai, C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer Foundation, Chennai and Govt. of Archaeology, Trivandrum.
1. Reprographic services and online services are provided also institutional assistance.
2. 60% of our catalogue can be accessed through our Website : www.ksrisanskrit.in
3. Separate reading room for researchers for their research.
4. Extensive research materials including special Encyclopaedias, Descriptive Catalogues of Manuscripts in various libraries all over the world, and general reference materials are also available.
5. The Library is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on all days except second Saturdays and Sundays and Government Holidays.
6. Members: Enrollment as Patrons, Fellows, Life and Reader and Borrowing Membership.
Mainly through donations provided by the philanthropists, scholars and lovers of Sanskrit and culture in and around India and also abroad.
The present problem is to preserve these books in proper condition since they have become unbound and are in bad condition in the process of handling them for digitalization. The books being more than 70 years old, some even 120 years old ordinary binding cannot be carried out to preserve them in proper condition. We have been advised by the officials of the Tamilnadu Archives and Govt. Museum to adopt a new system called Photolam System which is quite costly.
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Kuppuswami Shastri Research Institute (KSRI)
84, Thiru vi ka Road, Mylapore, Chennai 600 004., Tamilnadu, INDIA