Akademi library a hit with scholars

The research library of the Punjabi Sahitya Akademi is a repository of the rich heritage of Punjab’s culture. It has a rare collection, besides books on Punjabi, English and Urdu literature.

It also has books on economics, sociology and Hindi, besides religious books. It also has the distinction of having Guru Granth Sahib’s manuscript of 1796. The man behind updating the library is Prem Singh Bajaj who took over in 1993 after he retired as principal of Lajpat Rai DAV College, Jagroan.

Bajaj comes to the library in the morning and remains there until evening. He says 34,000 books have been added to the library since 1993. Out of these, only 1,000 had been purchased and the remaining were donated.

Research scholars from Guru Nanak Dev University, Delhi University, Punjabi University, Panjab University and Meerut University, among others, often visit the library for research.

Scholars from universities of Japan, Poland, the US and Canada also visit the library. “We have PhD thesis of Pakistani scholars from Panjab University, Lahore, Multan and Bahawalpur in Shahmukhi Lipi (script),” he said. The akademi was established in 1954. In 1966, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the then Vice-President of India, laid the foundation stone of the building, also known as Punjabi Bhawan.

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