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Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthagar
(THE BHAVAN'S LIBRARY)

History & Milestones

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was found on the premise of preservation and propagation of Bharatiya Sanskriti (Indian culture) and Sanskrit and it stands to reintegrate Indian culture to suit modern conditions. Bhavan's 'Munshi Saraswati Granthagar' is an integral part of Bhavan that furthers these objectives by preserving India's ancient learning and also reaching out to the members of the community offering a vast repertoire of ancient knowledge and wisdom to modern day interpretation to meet the needs for one's own learning and growth.
The Granthagar has grown manifold over the years – offering reading material of general interest to preserving of specialised Indology collection, and also nurturing the reading habits of children and young adults through an appealing children's collection. While the Granthagar has its roots firmly planted in its rich heritage and legacy, it has also adopted technology tools and a contemporary approach to make this knowledge available to more and more people and to suit the present day requirements.
The following charts the Granthagar's journey from its inception to current day and the efforts and contributions of various people to the same.

Our Heritage

  • The Beginning - 1947
    • The Bhavan's Library was established in the year 1947 out of the funds collected by the Munshi Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Committee.
  • Grants and Donations
    • Valuable collections and financial support received from government and many dignitaries over the years.
  • Library Collection
    • A strong Indology and general collection built by 1970s with 70,000 books, 1400 manuscripts, paintings, coins and over 200 periodical subscriptions.
  • Membership
    • Over 1000 members used the Library.
  • Children's Section
    • Founded in the year 1950, continued to be a very active Children's Library for more than 25 years with 7,500 books and enthusiastic participation from children (200 members) in various cultural activities organised by the library.
  • Librarians of the Library
    • Grown under the leadership of many librarians and knowledge experts from and outside Bhavans and supported by the team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff.
  • Library area and Reading Room
    • Spread over more than 10,000 sq. ft area with a Reading Room facility.
  • Visitors to the Library
    • Many Indological researchers from renowned institutes and dignitaries over the world have visited and appreciated the collection over the years.
  • Events and Talks
    • Talks by eminent speakers and workshops on preservation, etc. has been organized over the years.
  • Technology Initiatives
    • Website of the Library and Catalogue on Koha was launched in year 2012. Also a major part of the valuable collection digitized. Enhanced website and Koha catalogue was re-launched in 2019.
Year Event
2019

Saraswati Puja at the Central Bhavan
Saraswati Puja 2019


The Saraswati Puja was performed on Friday 4th October 2019; at the Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthagar (Bhavan's Library), Central Bhavan, Mumbai. On this occasion, a few books on Goddess Saraswati were displayed. Mr and Mrs Krishnakumar Vahalia, Members of Bhavan's Library and Library staff performed the Saraswati Puja. Trusty and Hon. Treasurer Shri. I. R. Khandwalaji and senior officers, staff members of the Bhavan, and the members of Bhavan's Library, attended the puja, and paid floral tributes to Goddess Sarasawati.

2019

Koha website Relaunched
Enhanced Library website and revamped catalogue on Koha that is available round the clock launched in September 2019.

2018

Saraswati Puja at the Central Bhavan

Saraswati Puja 2018

Shri V. V. Bhaskaranji and Miss Tina Daftary

The Saraswati Puja was performed on Monday 15th October 2018; at the Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthagar (Bhavan's Library), Central Bhavan, Mumbai. On this occasion few books on Goddess Saraswati were displayed.
Shri. V. V. Bhaskaran, Director Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; Mrs. Anjali Ambekar, Librarian, Bhavan's Library, and her colleague Miss Tina Daftary performed the Saraswati Puja. The senior officers, staff members of the Bhavan, and the members of Bhavan's Library, attended the puja, and paid floral tributes to Goddess Sarasawati.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: 15 November 2018 (Volume 65, Issue 7)

2018

The Pillars of Bombay School Remembered
Mr. Sandeep Dahisarkar, Researcher and Curator, Bhavan's Library, delivered a talk on 'Rao Bahadur M. V. Dhurandhar and Rao Bahadur G. K. Mhatre: The Two Pillars of Bombay School with Special Reference to Baroda State' on 20th November, 2017, at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara.
The talk was organised as a part of the Heritage Week (18th-26th Nov., 2017), for the Vadodara People's Heritage festival. In his talk, Shri. Sandeep Dahisarkar highlighted the lives of the famous painter, Rao Bahadur M. V. Dhurandhar and the well-known sculptor Rao Bahadur G. K. Mhatre, and discussed various aspects of their work. He also appreciated the role of patronage of Baroda State in promoting Bombay School of Art.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: 15 February 2018 (Volume 64, Issue 13)

2016

Workshop on 'Introduction to Manuscriptology'
A two-day workshop on 'Introduction to Manuscriptology' was organised by Dept. of Sanskrit, Bhavan's Hazarimal Somani College, Mumbai, on 30-11-2015 and 1-12-2015.
Smt.Anjali Ambekar, Librarian, Bhavan's Library, conducted the 4th session on 'Preservation, conservation and cataloguing of Manuscripts.' She discussed various aspects of preservation and conservation of manuscripts, traditional and modern methods of conservation, difference between cataloguing printed books and manuscript catalogues, and importance of special features of manuscript catalogues.
The 5th session on 'Practicals of handling and preservating Manuscripts' was conducted by Smt.Anjali Ambekar, at the Bhavan's Library. She introduced the manuscripts collection of the Library, showed the usage of Neem and tobacco leaves and other substances made for preservation of manuscripts, and also demonstrated the use of fumigation chamber. She also referred to various indigenous methods involving the use of camphor, turmeric, smoke of herbal Dhupa etc. practised for preservation of manuscripts.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: 29 February 2016 (Volume 62, Issue 14)

2013

Saraswati Puja performed as a part of Navaratri celebration, at the Bhavan's Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthagar (Bhavan's Library) arranged at Central Bhavan on Friday, October 11, 2013, at 12.30 pm. On this occasion sacred books were displayed. The senior officers, staff members of the Bhavan participated in the celebration.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: November 15, 2013 (Volume 59, Issue 7)

2012

www.bhavan.info Relaunched
The updated website of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai www.bhavans.info was launched on August 22, 2012 by Shri H. N. Dastur, Executive Secretary and Director General at the Gita Mandir Hall, Bhavan Mumbai.The program began with a prayer by Prof. G. B. Jani, Addl. Director, Bhavan's PG and Research Dept. and introductory remarks were made by Shri Yogesh Kamdar, Joint Director. Shri Kamlesh Mota, Director of Programmes, Kala Kendra gave a brief review of the various sections of the website. As a part of the modernisation of Bhavan's library, the website www.bhavanslibrary.org was also launched at the same function. The library has standardised its operations by adopting Koha Library Management System. The entire library catalogue including the collection in Sanskrit and other languages is now available online.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 31, 2012

2008

Saraswati Puja at the Bhavan's Library
Saraswati Puja was performed at the Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthagar (Bhavan's Library) at Central Bhavan on Wednesday October 8, 2008. On this occasion sacred books, and informative write-ups on Navaratri festival, Saraswati puja and Vijayadashami were displayed. Senior officers and staff members of the Central Bhavan participated in the celebration.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: November 30, 2008

2005

Urvashiben Bhatt Retires
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan gave a farewell to Miss Urvashiben Bhatt, librarian of the Central Bhavan who retired after 28 years' service, on March 31, 2005. Bhavan's President Shri Pravinchandra V. Gandhi, blessed Urvashiben for an active and healthy life and presented her a memento as a token of appreciation . Shri Dhiru S. Mehta, the Executive Secretary and Director General, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Shri H.N. Dastur, the Jt. Executive Secretary of the Bhavan also added grace to the function with their presence. Prof. S. A. Upadhyaya, the Director of Bhavan's P.G. & Research Dept., stressed on the importance of the role of the library and librarian in the cultural and educational activities of Institutions like the Bhavan. Smt. Heena Sarang and Shri Ravi Belekar expressed their best wishes to her. Miss Bhatt thanked the Bhavan and expressed her gratitude to the institution.

Urvashiben Bhatt
Left. Shri Pravinchandra V. Gandhi, President of Bhavan Worldwide seen offering bouquet to Miss Urvashiben Bhatt.
Right. The staff members of Library Smt. Heena Sarang, Shri Ravi Belekar, Shri Chirag Parmar and Shri Thomas presenting memento to Miss. Urvashiben Bhatt.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: May 31, 2005

1999

Books Donated to Bhavan's Library
Shri Kirtan and Smt. Veena Dharia have donated about 400 precious books to Central Bhavan's library in Mumbai. Shri Dharia was imprisoned twice, in 1941 and in 1942, during the freedom struggle and each time he spent six months in prison. He participated in Vinobaji's Sarvodaya movement. Smt. Dharia was also committed to the freedom movement from childhood, and both her father, Shri Bhaiji Bhai Bhavsar, and her brother, were involved in the struggle.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 31 1999

1995

Obituary
Ramjore Dhuria
We regret to record the death of Shri Ramjore Dhuria, an employee of the Central Bhavan on August 24, 1995 at the J.J. Hospital. Bombay. He was 53. Shri Dhuria joined the Bhavan on September 16. 1967 and had been working as an attendant first in Bhavan's Saraswati Mandir Granthaghar (Library) and later in the Sangeet and Nartan Sikshaapeeth. He was a gentle, silent and sincere worker. At a condolence meeting held at the Bhavan on August 28, appreciative references were made to Shri Dhuria's sense of dedication. Among the speakers were Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, Hon. Director of the Sangeet and Nartan Shikshapeeth, Smt. Shashikala D. Kaikini, Principal and Smt. Heena lbrahim Sarang, Asst. Librarian.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 15, 1995

1994
Mrs. Ushaben Gandhi

Smt. Ushaben Gandhi: Bhavan's Librarian Passes Away
The central office of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan sustained a grievous loss with the passing away of Smt. Ushaben S. Gandhi in Bombay on Saturday the 14th May, 1994. Smt. Ushaben was the Librarian of Bhavan's library, Saraswati Mandir. She was only 41. Smt. Ushaben joined Bhavan's library in July, 1982 as a Library Assistant. A science graduate, she took her degree in Library Science in 1981 and M.A. Degree in 1993. She was promoted as Librarian in April, 1990. Smt. Ushaben is survived by her husband and a son aged 9. A condolence meeting was held at the Gita Mandir on May 27, 1994 under the presidentship of Shri S. Ramakrishnan, Executive Secretary of the Bhavan. Prof. S.M. Parekh, Joint Director (Education) and several colleagues of Smt. Ushaben spoke on the occasion expressing their sorrow at the passing of a helpful, co- operative and courteous librarian, and friendly person.
Smt. Ushaben Gandhi

Source: Bhavan's Journal: June 15, 1994

1990

Dr. Schumann's Talk on Buddhism
Dr. H.W. Schumann, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany delivered a talk on Karma and Rebirth in Indian Religions on 31, March, 1990 at the Bhavan's Auditorium. He traced the concept of Rebirth in astika and nastika schools of Indian Philosophy.
Earlier he visited the Bhavan's library and appreciated its lndological collection particularly the Buddhist collection of rare books.
Prof. S. A. Upadhyaya Joint Director (Academic) welcomed the speaker and Dr. K.P. Jog proposed a vote of thanks.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: July 31, 1990

1984

Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts
THE Bhavan has taken up the preparation and publication of a Descriptive Catalogue of rare Manuscripts (1500) in the Central Home Library in Bombay. The Government of India has extended 75% financial assistance. Dr. M. B. Warnekar, Officer on Spécial Duty, is in charge of the project. This is a time-bound project scheduled to be completed in one year.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: September 1, 1984

Pushpaben Shah

Bal Pustakalaya
THE 22nd Annual Day of the Vallabhji Ramji Bal Pustakalaya was celebrated on February 20, 1979, in the Bhavan's Library in Bombay. Smt. (Dr.) Pushpaben Shah who presided over the function advised the children to develop the book reading habit, be they books in English or lndian languages. Care had to be taken in choosing wholesome books, she added. The programme began with the Bhavan's Prayer and ended with a film show, the most popular of films being the one on cricketeer Vinoo Mankad. The prayer was followed by the presentation of the Annual Report for I978. Prizes were given away to the winners of sports competition held on December 25, 1978. The well-attended function was held in an atmosphere of joy and gaiety.
Smt. Pushpaben Shah presenting a toy to a member of the Bal Pustakalaya.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: April 8, 1979

1978

Bal Pustakalaya's Annual Day
THE Bhavan's Sheth Vallabhii Ramji Bal Pustakalaya (Children's Library), Bombay, celebrated its 21st Annual Day, on February 22, 1978. Shri Champak Shah, a Life Member of the Bhavan's Library, and a man of deep culture, presided over the function. Shri Shah recalled his long association with the Bhavan and said that he had high regards for "Bal Pustakalaya" which renders excellent service to children.

N I Panya

He was happy to see the blooming faces of the children, who made full use of the books and periodicals and actively participated in the games and other activities of the Library. He wished all of them a very bright career. The programme ended with a Film Show.
A tiny tot garlandlng Shri Shah. Dr. N.l. Pandya. Bhavan's Chief Librarian, is at right.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: March 26, 1978

1976

Shri Tikekar has been closely associated with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for many years. Indeed, he is one of us. He has often contributed to the "Bhavan's Journal" and has taught at the Bhavan's Rajendra Prasad Institute of Mass Communication.
Shri Tikekar has donated his extraordinary collection of most valuable books to the Bhavan's Library. We at the Bhavan consider it not only as a most substantial addition to our books but also deem it a great honour. To Shri Tikekar, books are living and vibrant, 'to be treated with tender care and love. When our Prof. S.A. Upadhyaya and Dr.N.I. Pandya called on him to bring the donated books to our Library, Shri Tikekar specifically told them to handle books with "fond care and great delicacy and never to tie them with string."

Source: Bhavan's Journal: August 29, 1976

1976

V. R. Bal Pustakalaya
Bhavan's "Sheth Sri Vallabhji Ramji Bal Pustakalaya" (Children's Section of the Munshi Saraswati Mandir) celebrated its 19th Annual Day, in the Bhavan's Library on February 2.
Shri Jagdish Khimani, noted industrialist and a Life Member of the Bhavan's Library, presided over the function.
The programme which began with the Bhavan's prayer, was followed by presentation of report. The President in his interesting and inspiring speech stressed the importance of Bal Pustakalaya and paid compliments to the organisers for running such a Bal Pustakalaya for more than 25 years, especially in view of the fact that there were hardly four or five such Bal Pustakalayas in the great City of Bombay.
He also advised the children to take maximum advantage of the Bal Pustakalaya. The prizes were then distributed by the President who also donated Rs.101 to the Bal Pustakalaya in addition to sweets.
The programme concluded with a film show which was enjoyed by the children.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: March 28, 1976

1976

Donation To Bhavan's Library
Shri Vasant R. Dalal of Messrs. Dalal & Shah has donated 447 valuable books of his late father, Shri R.K. Dalal, to the Munshi Saraswati Mandir, Bhavan's Library in Bombay. Shri Dalal was an intellectual of outstanding calibre and a great friend and well-wisher of Bhavan.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: February 15, 1976

1973

Letter by Smt. Lilavati Mushi.
0n the 28th morning about 25 members of a Parliamentary delegation who had come to Bombay to inspect different libraries, came to visit the Bhavan's Library too.
I welcomed them and showed them round. They were very much pleased. I gave them the following information about the Bhavan's Library.

"The Bhavan's Library established in 1949 is also known as Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthaghar. The Library is having about 70,000 books and about 1,500 MSS. The Library is getting over 200 periodicals and journals. It has a Specialised collection on Indology. The Sanskrit collection of this Library is very rich and there are also many books in other oriental languages. It has a section of rare and valuable books. Some of these and our publications are displayed in this hall today for you to see. It has also a small collection of paintings and coins.
This is a Public Library in the sense that it is open to anyone who is willing to pay a deposit and subscription.
There are over 1,000 members taking advantage of this Library, which works throughout the year from 8.30 A.M. to 8.00 P.M. except on Mondays and a few Bank holidays.
The Library also provides facility to members for reading their own books in the Library over and above Library books. The Library has accepted Inter Library Loan system and is lending and getting books from different libaries located in different parts of India. The queries received personally and through post and telephones are replied. Nothing is charged from anyone who comes for a reference for a day or two, or from research scholars coming for their research projects from different parts of India.
Vallabhaji Ramji Balpustakalay (Children's Library) founded in the year 1950 is attached to the Granthaghar. It has about 7,000 books. The subscription for the membership is only 25 paise per month. A member is entitled to borrow one book and one periodical at a time. It also provides games to the children members. There are about 200 members of this Library."

I have nothing more to add except that please inspire me with wisdom and courage, atleast the courage to serve the Bhavan - your creation - to the last of my breath inspite of all the difficulties one may have to face.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 14, 1973

1973

Deligation of MPs at The Bhavan
A delegation of M.P.s led by Shri Amarnath Vidyalankar and constituting the Parliament Committee on National Libraries Bill, visited the Bhavan on September 28. Smt. Lilavati Munshi, President of the Bhavan, took them round the Bhavan's library (Saraswati Mandir) and showed some rare manuscripts, scrolls, books etc. that were part of the Library's wealth. Thanking the Bhavan for the hospitality shown to the Committee, Shri Amarnath Vidyalankar praised the work of the Bhavan, in particular, its library and publications division. Most of the books in the Bhavan's library and those published by the Bhavan were on Indology, religion, Indian culture and literature and by this the Bhavan contributed much to the enrichment and preservation of traditional Indian culture, he added.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: September 30, 1973

1973

Donation to Bhavan's Library
Shri R. P Bhoopatkar, of Bombay has donated a valuable collection of 547 books to the Bhavan's Library in memory of his father Dr. Popatlal Bhoopatkar. Dr. P Bhoopatkar was a lover of books. He was also a member of the Bhavan's Library for a long time and used to take keen interest in building the Library's collection.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: September 2, 1973

1973

Donation to Bhavans Library
A valuable donation of 350 books, along with a steel cupboard has been received by the Bhavan's Public Library in Bombay from the late Smt. Lakshmiben Arjun Somaiya through the executors of her will. Smt. Lakshmiben was a daughter of Shri Vallabhji Ramji, who had given a munificent donation in cash to the Bhavan's Vallabhji Ramji Children's Library. The Bhavan pays its respectful homage to Smt. Lakshmiben, who even in her last moments, thought of its Library and, following the footsteps of her illustrious father, offered it a generous donation.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: June 24, 1973

1973
Manish Shah
Young Manish Shah, a member of Bhavan's V.R. Bal Pustakalaya, who won the thread and needle race, receiving the prize from Shri Girish Munshi. At the mike is Dr. N.I Pandya, Librarian, Bhavan's Library.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: February 4, 1973

1972

Shri Jagjivandas Dosabhai Lakhani No More
Shri Jagjivandas Dosabhai Lakhani, a founder-member of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, passed away on May 28, 1972 at the age of 81. Shri Lakhani was a close friend and associate of Shri Munshiji. He had taken an active part in founding the Bhavan. He was one of the early treasurers of the Bhavan.
His collection of books on various subjects has been donated to the Bhavan's library.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: July 9, 1972

1972

Addition To Bhavan's Library
Smt. Shantiben Barfiwala of Bombay has donated to the Bhavan's Library a valuable collection of 692 Gujarati and Hindi books. Besides some rare Gujarati books, the major attraction of the collection is a rich variety of books on Music which has specially enriched the Library. These books on musicology, it is hoped, will be helpful to students doing research on the "Study and Teaching of Music in Gujarati."

Source: Bhavan's Journal: April 2, 1972

1972

Cooler For the Bhavan's Library
Dr. (Miss) Haribehn Motilal Kanji of Bombay has donated a big Water Cooler costing about Rs. 6,000/- to the Bhavan's Library (Munshi Saraswati Mandir) in memory of her late sister Anubehn Manikant. The gift, which will be of great help to the students, scholars and members making use of the library, is very much appreciated.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: January 9, 1972

1971

Dr. A.D.Pusalkar Donates Rare Books To Bhavan
Dr. A.D Pusalkar, noted Indologist, has donated a valuable collection of his books to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's library in Bombay. In this collection of nearly 500 books, some rare books on History, Philosophy, Religion, Indology and Literature are included. These books will be helpful to scholars and research students who patronise the library.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: November 28,1971

1970

Bhavan's Library
A valuable collection of 160 books, forming part of the private collections of the late Sir Harsiddhbhai Divatia. who was the Vice-President of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan ever since its inception has been donated by Smt.Jollybehn Divatia to the Bhavan's Library, in memory of Sir H.V Divatia, together with a cupboard for keeping the collection. Among the books donated are rare Gujarati works.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: May 17, 1970

1968

Donation To Bhavan's Library
About 400 valuable books and two wooden cupboards have been donated by Srimati D.K Mulchand of Bombay to the Bhavan's library. The books form part of the rich collection of Sri D.K Mulchand, who had expressed a specific desire, in his last moments, that a part of his valuable collection should be donated to the Bhavan's Library.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: November 17, 1968

1967
Jyotibala Khimjibhai

Young Devotee
Kum. Jyotibala Khimjibhai, a six-year old girl, astounded everyone when she recited slokas from Gita by heart at a function recently held at the Bhavan under the auspices of the Bhavan's Seth V. R. Children's Library, Bombay. It was a masterful display of deep devotion and brilliant memory. But there were more surprises in store for the audience when Jyotibala was given the number of a sloka, she recited that sloka and when some one recited a sloka, she immediately gave the number and chapter of that sloka, This rare devotion to Gita of this girl was highly appreciated by the audience who gave her a great ovation.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: April 23, 1967

1967

Children's Library
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Sheth Sri V.R Children's Library celebrated its 11th annual day by presenting an entertainment programme which was presided by Smt. Lilavati Munshi. Smt. Laxmibahen Somaiya and Principal S.M Parekh were also present. More than thirty boys participated in the function. Amongst the child artistes Sri Sunil Lakdawala on Tabla and Sri Gaurang Barot on flute were outstanding.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: January 1, 1967

1966

Donation to Bhavan's Library
Sri Jagjiwandas Dossabhai has donated a precious collection of about 400 books to Sri Munshi Saraswati Mandir Granthagar (Bhavan's Library), Bombay.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: November 20, 1966

1965

Bhavan's Children's Library
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Seth Vallabhji Ramji Children's Library observed its ninth annual day celebrations on March 15, at the Bhavan's Gita Mandir, Bombay. Smt. Lilavati Munshi presided.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: April 11, 1965

1965

Donation to Bhavan's Library
A valuable collection of about 700 books has been donated to Bhavan's Library by Smt. B.N Motiwala in memory of her husband, the late Sri B.N Motiwala, one of the outstanding social workers of Bombay.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: March 14, 1965

1965

From the report presented as part of the 27th Foundation Day celebrations.
"Donations to the Bhavan's Library of collections of books and periodicals numbering about 1500 by two donors. Shri Shantilal Hiralal Shah and Sri C. B Motiwala."

Source: Bhavan's Journal: January 17, 1965

1964

Donation to Bhavan's Library
A valuable collection of about 1000 books and periodicals, belonging to the late Sri Hiralal Amritlal Shah, Bombay, a great Indologist and scholar, has been donated to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Library by his son Sri Shantilal Hiralal Shah. The collection is mainly of books on Astronomy, Astrology, Ayurveda, Jainism, Philosophy, Religion, Sanskrit Literature, Music, etc.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 11, 1964

1963

Library Week
The last day of the Library Week coincided with the Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations. Smt. Lilavati Munshi, Chairman of the Library Committee, who presided over the function, presented members who have been associated with the Bhavan's Library for over ten years with a copy of Prof. P.A Sorokin's book Reconstruction of Humanity. Dr. N.I Pandya, the Librarian, gave an account of the activities of the Bhavan's Library and said that the response from the public was quite encouraging.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 27, 1963

1963

Library Week
In response to the call of the Maharashtra State Library Association, the Bhavan is celebrating the Library Week from September 25 to October 2, 1963 to focus the attention of the public on the library movement. There are on view valuable and outstanding acquisitions of the Bhavan's Library and educative posters and charts inculcating the library habit. To mark this occasion, those who enrol as members of the Bhavan's during the week will be given Library concessions, details of which can be had from the premises. Existing members who have a long record of continuous membership in the Library will be given token mementos of appreciations and there will be a get together of all members of the Bhavan's library on the last day.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: September 29, 1963

1963
Sri Nallawalla

Our First Donor is 90
Sri Gangadas Mangaldas Vakil Nallawalla, the first donor of the Bhavan, was felicitated on his attaining the age of 90 by the Managing Committee of the Bhavan in a resolution passed by it at its meeting recently.
He has been made an Hon. Life Member of the Bhavan's Library and is a member of the Managing Committee.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: May 26, 1963

1963

Children's Library
The seventh Annual Day of the Vallabhji Ramji Bal Pustakalaya was celebrated in the Gita Mandir of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in February and prizes were distributed in March. Several competitions and games like Musical Chair, Lemon and Spoon race, etc. were held according to different age groups and the children were also served with light refreshments thereafter. The unique feature of this year's celebration was the awarding of all the twenty prizes in the form of National Savings Stamps. This was highly appreciated by the prize-winners and received with the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction of contributing their mite for the defence of their motherland.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: April 28, 1963

1962

Bhavan's Silver Jubilee, December 1962
a) Those donating Rs.1,000/- and above would be enrolled as Life Members of the Bhavan.
b) Those donating Rs.500/- and above would be enrolled as Life Members of the Bhavan's Library. Those who become Life Members of the Bhavan and the Bhavan's Library on this occasion will also be invited to be the Members of the Jubilee Committee.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: October 14, 1962

1962

Felicitations
Sri N.I Pandya, the Chief Librarian of the Bhavan's Library, has been awarded the Ph.D degree by the Gujarat University for his thesis on Philosophical Currents in Mediaeval Gujarati Literature.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: April 15, 1962

1961

Bal Pustakalaya Sheth Vallabhji Balpustakalaya - the Children's section of the Bhavan's library - celebrated its fifth Annual Day on the 15th of January, 1961. Srimati Lilavati Munshi presided over the function which was attended by a large gathering of children and other guests, specially invited for the occasion. After the presidential address, Smt. Munshi distributed prizes to the winners of the competitions held earlier. At the end of the function there was a film show - 'JalDeep' - which interested the children particularly.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: February 5, 1961

From Sri. K.M Munshi's welcome speech at the 23rd Foundation Day Celebrations 3 to 14 December, 1960:
"There were 65,000 volumes in the Library and its membership stood at 1056. The Children's Library had 7500 books."

Source: Bhavan's Journal: December 25, 1960

1960

Children's Library
The Fourth Annual Day of the Vallabhji Ramji Children's Library attached to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan conducted its celebrations last month. On December 11th itself the sports items in connection with the celebrations were held and on the 19th the film 'Jagriti' was exhibited to them. Smt. Lilavati Munshi who presided over the function distributed the Prizes. Speaking on the occasion she said that there is urgent need of children developing their physique and urged their parents to see that the children were fit both intellectually and physically. The celebrations ended with a screening of two films of educational interest.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: February 7, 1960

1959

V. R. Balapustakalaya
The Children Section of the Bhavan's Library called the "Vallabhji Ramji Balpustakalaya", celebrated its third annual function on the 9th February, 1959 under the Presidentship of Smt. Lilavati Munshi. The kids themselves arranged the function. The function started with prayers followed by the welcome speech of Sri Gautam Vora who won the first prize in the elocution competition arranged by the Library. Naina Hariyani gave a pleasing Manipuri Dance item while the mimicries of Ranjit Parekh set the audience rolling with laughter. Bharat gave a music item and the Drama staged by the children was very entertaining. Prizes were distributed by the President.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: March 8, 1959

1958
Sri Muchhala

Sri Muchhala's Gift
Sri Chandabhai Amiruddin Muchhala has added to the many acts of service he has rendered to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan by his gift of over five hundred books to the Bhavan's Library. Several of the books are out of print and very valuable. Included among this rare collection are a Burmese and a Chinese dictionary.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: May 18, 1958

1957

From the Progress Report of Sri. J. H Dave, Hon. Director, at the 11th Annual Convocation of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on November 10, 1957.
"The Bhavan's Library, with its 60,000 volumes, has a readership of 1000."

Source: Bhavan's Journal: December 01, 1957

The Annual Gathering of the Children Section of the Bhavan's Library was held in the Gita Mandir Hall of the Bhavan in the afternoon on the 1st January 1957.
The function started with Musical chair for children from 8 to 10 years. It was followed by the same item for the children between 11 and 14 years. Then the following items of sports took place:

  • Tailing the Donkey
  • Memory Test
  • Throwing the Ball
  • Throwing the Ring
  • "Matala fool", etc.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: March 10, 1957

1957

"A well equipped Library containing over 50,000 volumes including valuable Indological books, a Museum of valuable manuscripts, coins and paintings for scholars to refer..."

Source: Bhavan's Journal: January 27, 1957

1955

Our Kulapati has also presented to the Library books worth Rs.7,175/-.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: January 30, 1955

1953

The Government of India has been pleased to give a loan of Rs.50,000 without interest for our History Scheme and a special grant of Rs.10,000 for our Research Library.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: January 16, 1955

1947

The starting of the Munshi Saraswati Mandir with its varied cultural activities including the Library, Sangit Shikshapith and Kala Kendra in 1947.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: August 15, 1954

1939

On September 1, 1939, the Mumbadevi Sanskrit Pathashala was opened as part of the Bhavan, with the help of the Mumbadevi Trust. In 1940, Shri Nagardas Rughnathdas Jyotish Shikshapith was founded, and the beginnings of a library were made.

Source: Bhavan's Journal: August 15, 1954