The National Library in Kolkata is the largest library in India. It is an institution of National importance under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. National Library is situated on a scenic 30 acres Belvedere Estate, in Kolkata. The library is designated to collect, disseminate and preserve the printed material produced in the country.
The origins of the National Library can be traced back to 1836 when the
Calcutta Public Library was established. The then Governor General, Lord
Metcalf transferred 4,675 volumes from the library of the College of
Fort William to the Calcutta Public Library. In 1891, the Imperial
Library was formed by combining a number of Secretariat libraries. Lord
Curzon, the then Governor General of India, conceived the idea of
opening a library for the use of the public. He amalgamated Calcutta
Public Library with the Imperial Library. The library was formally
opened to the public on 30th January 1903 at Metcalf Hall, Kolkata.
After independence, the library was renamed as the National Library.