Monday, May 18

Central Library Known as “Edward Museum”

Recent actions in the Central Library near Bharat Talkies are making the wrong noises.This red sand stone building is completing its hundred years and there aren't proper caretakers . The custodians- the Education Department of Madhya Pradesh, Swami Vivekananda Library Staff and the P.W.D together have brutally hacked the beautiful monument by removing the antique furniture out and having used bathroom tiles and the harrowing result is visible at the entry itself.

Today we stand up to make a silent protest by gathering at the library lighting a few candles and laying wreath mourning at 6 pm today for the library a fabulous creation of well known architect Sir Swinton Jacob patronized by Nawab Sultan Jahan Begum.

The building was built in 1908, by the then Begum Shajhan, Mr. B. Ghosal was the first Curator, a beautiful red stone building, with Teak wood and oak furniture, huge almaharas filed with thousands rare books, written by the Begams of Bhopal, and Ghosal being a Bengali had personal contact with Ravindera Nath Tagore and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the one and only library had a beautiful garden and every week army band used to play at the Gazebo out side the building, in the middle of the city, it was a pride of Bhopal.

After independence in 1956 it was handed over to the Education department, since then nobody took interest in this beautiful building, roof started leaking furniture saw the dark days of neglect we saw with despair and frustration.. Ms. Susheila Ghosal grand daughter Shri Ghosal did show a lot of interest & initiatives. Unfortunately the project which was to be undertaken by the Tourism Department for making it a Museum of Rare books slipped from the hands due to the lackadaisical approach .

On 13 May 2009 some foreigners were seen by Miss Ghoshal visiting the building to buy few books. An active social worker, dedicated to the cause school history teacher Miss Ghoshal working for past 25 years sent a letter to the department questions the selling of books and other things in the Library.

After receiving a frantic call from my teacher 3 days back while i was travelling ..along with our batch mates we have shown our concern towards the cause by forming a human chain today to protest and save the Heritage building .This is the same building which once was noteworthy and now fail to acknowledge the attention of state government and others like any other building.The library has been ignored and brushed aside.


  1. I appreciate the cause taken up by you but I have few reservations on it. I believe books here are more important then building there are many buildings which are 100 year old in Bhopal and outside with historical value but they all need restoration badly. For years no one including the so called scholarly community of Bhopal cared for these priceless books. I have visited this library before and I was shattered to see the condition of these precious books. Someone told me then the book were being stolen and sold (obviously to foreigners as we Indians don’t care for them). Can we do some thing for these books?? Western countries are digitalizing there books as you can see it on Google books. Can we do it here? Please do something for books also…

  2. Pande.. we are working on it.. we are trying our level best to follow it up with few department of the MP Govt...hopefull u will see some gud results..

    we are having a meeting on 24thh with couple of officilas to give them our piece of mind as they have been missing on it ever siice Mr SULEMANS tranfer for MP.. :)

  3. Pande.... the demands tabled by us have been accepted by the Urban Development Department.. Today the PS, Mr R Chandra agreed and directed the concerned officrs/department to give life to the 100 year old building and to the Library...
    The property will be DECLARED as a heritage building with its original name..
    The reading room is will be converted into the library-Books Museum.. the hall adjacent to the library where partys and weddings are being organised will be exclusively for the seminar and conferences.... the old area already dedicated for the oldies will ahve a cafeterai along with a garden.

    The books will be preserved and also getting online with the help of the DFID.

    Conservation Architect will replace the oedinary one ...a team from Luckhnow is being called by us who are specialist on conservation of old Books..

    lotts done today.. am happy and Proud..
    the credit will go the aware citizens and Mr Raghav Chandra who gave ear to our views and initiated the matter in a days time..