Institution of History to Modern Age Library
Historical Pune is well known as a seat of the Maratha Empire & also a beehive of intellectuals from almost all disciplines from the 16th century onwards. In 1818 the end of the Peshwa regime & the beginning of the British East India Company, up to 1860 was a period of twilight & transition in all aspects of the society viz. economics, trade& commerce, employment, education, social hierarchy, etc. This induced a need amongst the new rulers i.e. British Administration to induct modern education & modern governance. As a result, Sir George Clark, the Governor of Bombay ordered Judge Henry Braun of Bombay to establish a library at Poona to benefit the natives. Hence with the help of eminent scholars & gentlemen of social recognition from Poona established a library named Poona Native General Library at Budhwar Wada of Peshwas on February 7, 1848, i.e. Magha Shuddha 3, Saka 1769 Plavang name. This is present-day’s Pune City General Library at Belbaug Chowk, Laxmi Road, Pune at House No.181.
In establishing the library, eminent personalities namely Justice Mahadeo Govind Ranade, Lokhitvadi Gopalrao Hari Deshmukh, Krishnashatri Chiploonkar, Prof.Kero Laxman Chhatre, Daji Neelkanth Nagarkar, Vishnu Parshuram Ranade, Sonya Bapu Mande, Vishnu Moreshwar Bhide & others took wholehearted efforts with toil & money.
The library NGL at Budhwar Wada was destroyed by an incendiary on the night of May 18, 1879. Poona Arbitration Court provided temporary accommodation of the library. The library changed two places on upto April 1889. With the efforts of Justice Ranade & other associates & supporters of the library purchased the present place from Belbagkar Raosaheb Madhav Ballal Phadnis & constructed a two-storied building through Kanitkar contractors. the new building opened on July 30, 1889, at the hands of His Excellency Donald James Mackay Reay Governor of Bombay.
A.D.1848 to 1879,1879 to 1889,1889 to 1921, 1921 to 1948,1948 to 1989,1989 to 2000 & 2000 to 2013 are the major periods in which the library took long strides to develop into a modern institution serving readers from all walks of life, trade & tastes. It has a large collection of books covering myriads of titles & subjects.
Now the library has started expansion into suburbs of Pune such as Warje Kothrud & Bibwewadi. Addresses of branches are as under-
Now stepping into the IT regime, the library is venturing into Web-based service to the readers with modern library systems making user-friendly selection & delivery process.
Suggestions are welcome through a web link,e- mail, telephone, or personal visit.