Top 10 Best Libraries in Kolkata for readers

Looking for Kolkata’s Best Libraries? In addition to harboring highly educated individuals, Kolkata has long been known for owning and fostering information. Bengal experienced a flourishing period under British control, which is sometimes linked to a wealth of literary knowledge and insight. A large portion of White people’s cultural legacy is preserved in written works including epics, novels, manuscripts, and so forth.

Now, Kolkata will be a center for literary knowledge. ‘Bengali’ books, novels, scriptures, and other indigenous knowledge are among the indigenous artifacts of Kolkata, which also comprise westernized literature and culture. So 

list of 10 best libraries of Kolkata for your next visit:

1. National Library

With more than two million books, 86,000 maps, 3,200 manuscripts, and a background stretching back to the British Raj, the National Library of India comes in first place on this list. On a 30-acre estate, it originally opened to the public in January 1903.


They now have digitized copies, books in 18 Indian languages, six foreign language departments, official documents from India and abroad, newspapers, periodicals, and microforms in their collection. They have a sizable collection that includes rare pieces created before 1860.


Memberships for borrowing and research are distinct. A reader’s pass is required to enter the main reading room.

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Timing: 9 am–8 pm.


2. British Council Library

On Camac Street, the Elgin Public Library is home to more than 20,000 books, DVDs, journals, and newspapers. The library is pleased to support British culture.

The UK may be reached by phone for everything, from life events to anything else! Their top-notch library has everything from audiobooks to online educational resources, and it is accessible to British Council library members.

There are nine different countries represented in this library network. The library in Kolkata was established in 1950. Overall, the library upholds British history and culture, living true to its name!

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Timing: 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

British Council Library

3. Vivekananda Pathagar

It is the sole Town Library in Kolkata’s Jadavpur neighborhood. There are more than 14,000 English and Bengali books available, covering both young-adult and adult adventure novels, novellas, and articles.

At Sharat Chandra Banerjee’s residence, a group of young social activists and freedom fighters established the Basanta Memorial Library in 1919 in honor of their late comrade, Basanta Mitra.

The Library was moved to its current site on a permanent basis in 1941. In 1961, it was given the new name Basanta Smriti Pathagar to honor the 100th anniversary of Rabindranath’s birth. In addition, the town library has been supported by the government since 1982.

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Timing: 9:30 am - 6:30 pm.

Vivekananda Pathagar

4. State Central Library

In a heavily populated area of Kolkata, the State Central Library serves as the umbrella organization for all library activities. In Ultadanga, Kolkata, it presently boasts a six-story, fully furnished structure where it was first established in 1956 at Emerald Tower.


Readers can take advantage of the location’s numerous amenities, which include book lending, a reading area, and bibliographical and reference services. With assistance from the state and federal governments, it also benefits society by offering services to young people, readers who are blind, and other public libraries.


Despite the fact that there are other new private libraries opening up all over the city, this one still serves the general public and is highly recommended!

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Timing: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.

State Central Library

5. American Library

It is currently run by the Public Affairs Office of the American Consulate General in Kolkata and was once known as the United States Information Service (USIS) library.


Its principal objective is to improve people’s awareness of American history, culture, values, institutions, politics, and daily life. To maintain a consistent focus on America, it keeps 15,000 books, 162 American publications, and 3 newspapers on hand. Additionally, it includes e Library USA, a virtual library that offers online access to millions of books and audio-visual works.


It includes information from databases like Gale, Britannica, and CQ to help college and high school students with their research. Through the Online Public Access catalog, the books are also accessible online.which has an internet connection.

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Timing: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

American Library

6. RamaKrishna Mission Institute of Cultural Library

It has a general collection of about 2,03,766 volumes, 5 rare articles, and 424 journals from India and abroad and is situated in Golpark, Kolkata. This library is owned by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute, however anyone can use it.


The hallmark of this location is its emphasis on “Indology,” the study of Indian history, culture, and values. It also offers rare volumes on Vivekananda, making it a popular destination for philosophical studies and mind-nourishing activities.


The General, Children’s, and Junior wings make up the library’s three sections. Along with all of these books, it contains a significant collection of musical recitals that have been recorded over time. If you want to have a peaceful, a calm evening with philosophical talks and lectures that will expand your thinking.

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Timing: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm.

RamaKrishna Mission Institute

7. IIM Library

In 1962, the institute’s library was founded and given the B.C. Roy Memorial moniker in honor of Dr. B. C. Roy, who served as the organization’s first chairman. It was made largely to satisfy the institute’s criteria for the academic program. Over 1.6 lakh volumes and bound periodicals are housed in the library’s collection. It has access to more than 40,000 full-text journals online and has subscriptions to 500 journals.


One of Asia’s top management libraries, according to many. Since the entire transaction is computerized, everyone benefits from a far more productive procedure. Reading and borrowing books from a library that is so precisely maintained and luxuriously built is incredibly convenient!

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Timing: 09:15AM - 6:00AM

IIM Library

8. Boy’s own Library

Kolkata’s premier library, the Boy’s Own Library and Young Men’s Institute, is situated at 2 Boys Own Library Row.


It was established in 1909 by three institutions with the express objective of cultivating male brotherhood via reading, education, and knowledge while also encouraging morality and intelligence. The 45,000 books and about 900 members, who participate in a variety of social activities, demonstrate the library’s age and legacy.


It is a non-political, non-communal organization that promotes cultural exchange, including the growth of West Bengal’s overall library movement.

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Timing: 09:15AM - 6:00AM

Boy’s own Library

9. Chaitanya Library

Its the child’s Own Library and Young Men’s Institution, which is situated at 2 Boys Own Library Row in Kolkata, has established itself as the top library in the area. Three schools jointly established it in 1909 with the express objective of encouraging male friendship via reading, education, and knowledge while also elevating morality with intelligence.

The library’s 45,000 books and membership of about 900 people who participate in numerous social events show its age and heritage. It is a non-political, non-communal organization whose mission is to promote cultural exchange, including the expansion of West Bengal’s library movement as a whole.

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Timing: 07:00AM - 9:00AM

Chaitanya Library

10. Asiatic Society Library

With the help of membership donations, the library has amassed a sizable collection of rare and distinctive books. For instance, Henri Richardson displayed seven Persian manuscripts in 1784.


A Tibetan xylograph, an embellished Quran manuscript, an old Gulistan book, and manuscripts of the Badshanamah bearing Shahjahan’s signature are among the items on display. The volumes on art and architecture, history, literature, archaeology, Ayurveda, medicine, folklore, biographies, travel, and more are kept in the ancient and new buildings, which are home to more than 28 different languages.

The oldest bound book in the Metcalfe Hall library’s collection is the Philosophical Transactions from 1669.

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Timing: Monday to Friday 9.45 a.m. to 6.15 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday closed

Asiatic Society Library

In the hopes that these places would be your next stop to read, research, and love in Kolkata, we will keep on bringing you the best of places to read, So that your passion of stories and literature never ceases, write and explore. Hardbounds and paperbacks are still preferred over phones, laptops, and kindles by those who still use libraries.


You now know what to do after eating wonderful food and enjoying some beautiful sightseeing: visit libraries. If you have ever visited one of these libraries, please share your experience with us.


Then, have a great reading day!

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