Brief History of Patna University Library


The Bayley Memorial Library was established in the memory of Sir Charles Bayley, the first Lieutenant Governor of Bihar and Orissa, who retired in the year 1915. An Amount of Rs. 48,550 /- was promised, but no significant progress was made till the year 1920. The then Government in its letter No. 785-E., dated 1st March 1923, suggested the trustees of Bayley Memorial Library to collect the arrear and transfer the amount to the Patna University for establishing a section of its library to be known as the Bayley Memorial Collection. In the meeting held on 29th March 1923, the trustees agreed to transfer the amount to Patna University provided:

  1. 1. The books purchased from the fund should be known as “Bayley Memorial Collection’.
  2. 2. Separate library building constructed from the fund should be known as “Bayley Memorial Library’.
  3. 3. The “Bayley Memorial Collection’ and the “Bayley Memorial Library’ should be open to the public for reading and lending process.

The Patna University Syndicate in its meeting held on 11th September 1923 accepted the above mentioned conditions. Subsequently Government through its letter No. 336-E., dated 4th February 1924 sanctioned a grant of Rs 50,000/- for the “Bayley Memorial Collection”. In March 1924, Patna University received Rs. 46,090/-of which Rs. 43,125 was amount collected as donation and rest of the amount was the accumulated interest less contingent expenditure.
The Patna University Library was established on 24th September 1919 with few textbooks purchased with a sum of Rs. 8000/- sanctioned by Lieutenant Governor of Bihar and Orissa as a special grant. The Library was shifted to the north of Wheeler Senate House in a building specially constructed for it within a decade of the establishment of Patna University. In the year 1936 a sum of Rs. 32,000/- was sanctioned for adding two more units to the main building. There were three sections in the Library- the first was known as the University General Library, which was mainly for teachers, students and registered graduates. The second was known as Bayley Memorial Collections meant for the use of general public as well as teachers and students; and the third was known as Banaili Economic Collection for the use of research Scholars.
In the year 1924 the government granted a sum of Rs. 50,000/- for the purchase of books, etc. The amount received from government was placed in fixed deposit up to 1931. The income on the fixed deposits and Government Promissory Notes amounted to Rs. 4,252/- per year and this amount was spent on the purchase of books and maintenance of a part of the library staff. In the year 1920 the Raja of Banaili donated a sum of Rs. 5,000/- to purchase books on Economics. Some valuable Government Reports and rare books in Economics were purchased with this fund. In the year 1935, Lt. Col. O. A. R. Berkeley Hill, retired Director of the Ranchi Radium Institute, donated his valuable collection of 452 books on Psychology, Sociology and General Medicines to this Library.
Table: List of notable donors in the amount received from the Bayley Memorial Trust

S. No Name

Amount (Rs.)


Mahrajadhiraja of Darbhanga
Maharaja Bahadur of Hathwa
Maharani Sahiba of Bettiah
Maharaja Bahadur of Gidhour
Raja Bahadur of Amawan
Raja Bahadur of Banaili
Sir Edward Gait
Raja Bahadur Jyoti Prasad Singh Deo of Panchet (Manbhum)
Maharaja of Mayurbhanj
Raja of Dhenkanal State
Babu Ganesh Dutt Singh
Raja of Rampur State
Raja of Athgarh State
Raja of Talcher State
Raja of Chainpur
Nawab Saiyid Imdad Imam




At the end of the year 1936, the general section of the Patna University Library had 23,794 books. Besides these there were 11,071 books in Bayley Memorial Collection and 718 books in the Banaili Economic Collection. In the year 1967 the different sections of the Patna University Library had 1,56,368 books. In 1946 the number of books issued to users was 25,796 and in the year 1965 the number rose to 57,067.
Presently the Patna University Library is located in specially designed spacious three storied building constructed in 53,250 sq. feet area, exclusively for library purpose. This new library building was inaugurated on 17.12.1958 by Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, the then chairman of University Grants Commission, New Delhi. It has a vast collection of 3 lac books, 15,000 journals, more than 25,000 PhD. Thesis, 5763 rare manuscripts and many silver coins belonging to 13th to 14th Century AD. It was collected by Pandit Vishnu Lal Shastri, Pandit Jagannath Mishra, Maulana A. balkhi, Dr. K.A.Imam and others. A descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts and Hand list of Dharmashastra and Karmakand were prepared by Pandit Jagannath Mishra and published by Patna University in 1970 & 1977 respectively. The manuscripts are encrypted on palm leaves, animal skin, woods, etc. written in Maithili, Bengali, Tibetan, Awadhi, Tamil, Sanskrit, Chinese, Oriya, Devnagri, Nepali, Arabic, Persian and Urdu pertaining to the period from 14th  Century AD. Some of the notable manuscripts are Saroj Kalika and Malti Madhvan of 14th  Century AD, Tolinama, Risala Sifat Jaruriya of 15th Century AD, Jahangirnama, Brihad Jatak, Khatmaye Ferhanse of 16th  Century and Mashnavi Seen Khushro and Laila Majnu of 17th  Century AD. By the assistance of National Mission of Manuscripts conservation of Government of India all the valuable manuscripts have been cleaned and conservation of manuscripts is in progress. Soon after the completion of conservation process, the digitization of all the manuscripts will be started with the assistance of state and central government.
In addition to Bayley Memorial Collections, Banaili Economic Collections and Berkeley Hill Collections Patna University Library has following collections:

  • R.B.S.S. Saba Hindi Collections
  • Gandhi Memorial Collections
  • A. S. Altekar Collections
  • B. R. Mishra Collections
  • Lohiya Collections
  • Gopal Roy Collections (Hindi Collections)
  • Rangi Prasad Singh Collections
  • D. N. Sharma Collections
  • N. L. Nadda Collections
  • Aniruddha Jha Collections

The Patna University Library building which is more than 50 years old was renovated in the year 2017. The then Hon’ble Chancellor Shri Keshrinath Tripathi opened the renovated building for the use students and teachers on 26th July 2017. 
The Institute of Library and Information Science of Patna University was established in on its first floor in 1980 on the approval of Government of Bihar. In this Institute Bachelor of Library and information Science (BLIS) course is running since 1981 whereas Master of Library and information Science (MLIS) course has been started in 2012. Having well qualified & learned guest faculty members and adequately available infrastructure the institute is source of well trained library professionals for the state and the nation.
The University Library has been thoroughly renovated and refurbished with ACs and ICT facility. E-learning resources including more than 25000 e-journals from 20 leading publishers are made available to all faculty and students through e-Shodh Sindhu apart from 256974 books, about 25000 theses/dissertations, 49 current journals, 13 newspapers, 68 magazines in hard form. The Computers of the University are connected with LAN (Local Area Network) connection and provides free WiFi Internet through NKN Internet connectivity with 500 MB bandwidth to its users.
The Library is being automated and all the books, manuscripts, journals and other relevant materials are in the process of being digitized so as to provide remote access to the Patna University Library resources. The publication section of Patna University Library ensures timely publication of Patna University Journal (An annual peer reviewed Journal of Patna University) and Samvad of Patna University. PU Library has recently signed MoU with Shodhganga and is now accessing the URKUND the anti plagiarism software to check the PhD thesis and research papers before putting it to public domain.