Asiatic Society, Kolkata

The resolution to establish the Asiatick Society was passed on 15th January, 1784 in the Grand Jury Room of the Supreme Court at Calcutta with Sir Robert  Chambers as the Chair. In 1984 on 25th June the Asiatic Society was declared an Institute of National Importance by an Act of Parliament consequent upon which the Asiatic Society Act 1964, Regulations and By-Laws came into force. 

The name of the Society underwent several changes during the last two centuries such as the Asiatick Society of Bengal (1832-1935), The Royal Asiatick Society of Bengal (1936-1951) and in July 1952 it came to be known as the Asiatic Society. It was shifted to a newly constructed building at Park Street, Kolkata in the year 1808. 

The immediate aims of the Asiatic Society included Augmentation of Research activities, collection of manuscripts from various sources and study of Indian Culture and Civilization, The Asiatic Society was registered in the year 1961 as per the Society’s Act. It was a members’ society. The pioneering role of the members of the Society was remarkable. 

Objectives of the Asiatic Society

  • to organize, initiate and promote researches in Humanities and Science in Asia,
  • to establish, build, erect, construct, maintain and run research Institutions, reading rooms, museums, auditoriums and lecture halls,
  • to organize lectures, seminars, symposia, discussions, meetings and award of medals, prizes and scholarships in furtherance of the objectives.

Asiatic Society Library

The Library of the Asiatic Society is its most important asset and its importance lies not only in numerical strength of its holdings but also in its rich and unique contents. The collection has been built up mainly with gift received from the members, dating back to 1784, when the Society received with thanks seven Persian manuscripts from Henri Richardson. The next gift came from William Marsden, F.R.S., his book, History of Island of Sumatra (1783) on 10 November, 1784. 

In the Twentieth Century, valuable collection of books were received from Dr. B.C. Law, Dr. G.W. Gurner, Rama Prasad Chanda, Dr. Pratul Chandra Gupta, Dr. Nirmal Kumar Bose, Dr. Pratap Chandra Chunder and several individuals  The collection has been placed in:
  • Library and Reading Room equipped with Printed Books and Periodicals
  • Museum with Manuscripts, Archival documents and Artifacts.

Asiatic Society Museum

The museum of Asiatic Society has a large collection of Paintings, Manuscripts, Sculptures, Bronzes, Coins and Inscriptions.

Contact Details

Asiatic Society
1, PARK STREET, KOLKATA : 700 016 

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