Library movement and development in Manipur
- Part 2 -

Ch. Ibohal Singh *

Library at Manipur University (MU) , Canchipur as seen on October 21 2014
Library at Manipur University (MU) , Canchipur as seen on October 21 2014 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam

2. A Brief Account of the Origin and Development of Library in Manipur

The origin of library and its development in Manipur is associated with the origin of literature. In order to trace the origin of library in the state we need also to look back to the origin of literature and literary aspects since literature constitutes the shadow of culture, socio-economic condition, tradition, etc. of the Manipuri society.

Again, moreover, library is the only agent procuring, processing, preserving and disseminating the literature of the past. Giridhari Singh (2011) observed that there are exemplary evidences that the people of Manipur started writing from the 3rd century A.D. Manipuri kings were patrons of learning. They developed Pandit Loisang (Council of Learning) for writing and production of books and other literature and maintained library.

Writing of Cheitharol Kumbaba( Royal chronicle) started with the Pakhangba's accession to the throne in 33A.D.Maintenance of the chronicle by the Pandit loisang is believed to be started from the 5th Century, A.D., an ample evidence of developing library. King Khagemba maintained the palace library properly from 1597 and the books and other manuscripts (puyas) preserved during his reign are still having high position in Manipuri Literature today.

The royal library suffered a setback during the reign of King Pamheiba following Puya Meithaba (burning of puya) in 1729.The Kings of Manipur continued to maintain royal library for a long time even though there were setbacks in between because of many reasons.

The library movement in Manipur, as per records and evidences so far received, is believed to be started by Dr. H. Atulchndra Singh by establishing Manipur Club in 1927 with the provision of library facilities. Establishment of schools like Johnstone School (1885) marked the beginning of library in academic institution (school) in the state.

Library established in D.M. College (1946) and JNU Centre for Post Graduate Studies(1972) are the landmarks in the history of library development for higher education system at college and university level in the state. Public Library, in real sense, came up in the state, as the effort of the Government by the establishing the present State Central Library as the District Library in 1958.

The participation by the state government in the varied schemes of the RRRLF since 1981-82 has given an opportunity to develop and promote the public library system in the state. Opening of the Department of Library and Information Science by Manipur University in 1986 has also influenced a lot towards the promotion and development of library in the state.

With the establishment of MALA in 1987, the library movement in this part of the country, in fact, took a concrete shape. The participation of the voluntary organizations of the state in the development and movement of the library is also of great significance. The READ (Rural Education And Development) India also has reached this northeastern corner of the country in the development of rural library and community resource centres since 2009. The NSS Cell, Manipur University has also launched a project to establish NSS Community Library in the rural areas.

3. Some Past Studies

Studies on library movement and development are found to occupy a major place in the area of research in Library and Information Science. There is a large size of literature focusing on various issues related to movement and development of library systems across the world. India is also not an exception to this. Such studies in respect of Manipur are found to be carried out since late eighties.

Opening of the Department of Library and Information Science in Manipur University in 1986 and emergence of the Manipur Library Association (MALA) in 1987 have given ample scope for studying on various aspects of the movement and development of libraries in the state. Giridhari Singh (2014), Khomdon Singh (1991, 1997, 2014), Chaoba (1996),Sabita Devi(2014), Sanajaoba Singh(2014) have undertaken different studies on public library movement and development and the need for legislative support for the same.

Ibohal Singh & Madhuri Devi (2008) in a study discussed about the public library services in knowledge for all programmes taking into account the eighty years experience in Manipur which also analysed the public library movement and development in the state. A sizeable number of studies are also found to be carried out by some scholars covering aspects of library movement of the state since recent past.

4. Objectives and Scope of the Study

The basic objectives of the present study are:
i) To highlight the beginning of library with the birth of human civilization;
ii) To assess briefly the scenario of the movement in India;
iii) To trace the historical account of the library development and movement in Manipur;
iv) To understand the agencies contributing towards the movement and development of the library;and
v) To outline a yardstick for the enhancement of the movement in the state.

The general scope of the study, on the other hand , has been limited to the public library movement and its development that have taken place since last about 90 years in the state.

5. Historical Perspective on Library Movement and Development

With the entry into the second half decade of the 21st Century, Manipur, a tiny border state of India has also stepped into the almost 90 (ninety) years of its library movement and development. Many ups and downs mobility in this very important aspect of human society have been witnessed during the period. During the last 90 years there have been many contributory efforts from different angles for the cause of the movement.

In fact, as done in other parts of the world, the public library movement in this small state also started as a result of the people's movement, the efforts of the Government was made in the later stage. The public library movement was started in the state from the side of individuals, voluntary organizations, philanthropists, etc. The initiative of the Government in this regards came a bit late. The following sections of the paper are a narration of the story, highlighting the experience of the last about 90 years in the state, in this regard.

The very idea of the library movement in this part of the country was conceived in the year 1927 with the establishment of Manipur Club, mainly to provide public library services by Dr. H. Atulchandra Singh, a Philanthropist, a great social reformer, indeed a multifaceted person of the 20th Century. While Manipuris, not only in the state, but also those in different parts of the world particularly in South East Asian Region are celebrating September as the Jananeta Irawat Month we are also observing the 10th September every year , the birth day of Atulchandra as Manipur Library Day.

The great philanthropist was born on the 10th September, 1897 at Kakwa Nameirakpam Leikai , an outskirt of about 5 Km from Imphal along the Indo-Myanmar Road ( NH-39). As a social reformer characterized by multifaceted nature Atulchandra contributed a lot for the welfare of the people of the state. His pioneering efforts since mid 1920s are too many to mention.

He launched free Homeopathic Treatment, established a number of Schools including Politechnics, Vocational Training Centres, popularized Hindi and Sanskrit Education, Games and Sports, took initiatives in Theatre and Cooperative movement, etc. in the soil of the land. He was a real pioneer of the public library movement of the state.

To be continued......

* Ch. Ibohal Singh, Ph.D., wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on October 17, 2016.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Yubi Lakpi @Yaoshang #1: Gallery
  • Cheirao Chingkaba @Singjamei : Gallery
  • Intl Day to End Racial Discrimination
  • Listen :: Poem
  • Burglary: security emergency in Lamka
  • Career options in printing press #2
  • Vitamin C: Antioxidant in your anti-ageing
  • Clarification regarding NIA summon
  • Issues of education should be priority
  • Why outside after Class XII ?
  • NSCN-IM asks Centre for 'clarity'
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Candle Light for Pravish @Delhi: Gallery
  • RTE taunts Kamuching: Mapithel Dam
  • Please dont become slave to any holy book
  • Pravish's Parents meet HM Rajnath Singh
  • Assam Rifles celebrates Cheiraoba
  • Job requirements @SKY Hospital
  • Nursing opportunity across Europe
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Education: addressing the core issue
  • Call to amend the Army Act
  • MoUs inked to boost tourism in NE
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chingkaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Kakwa: Gallery
  • Human right intimidated by SF: Amnesty Intl
  • Bikers rally to spread awareness on Cancer
  • TB survivor resolves to make TB-free ..
  • State Level World Kidney Day
  • Course in Comparative Literature at NEHU
  • Candle Light at DU for Pravish Chanam
  • PS issue stands as litmus test for CM
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Premier League coaches train : Gallery
  • Culturals @ Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #4
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #2
  • Prevention of cruelty to trees
  • Premier League coach train NE participant
  • GoI may sign agreement without NSCN(K)
  • Manipur celebrates New Year with gaiety
  • Zeliang denies involvement in terror funding
  • Shopping: Sajibu Nongma Panba #1: Gallery
  • Stall @Science Congress, MU #1: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year)
  • Saving Nambul: Convergence of view
  • Job @ PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities
  • Seminar on 'Conflicts in South Asia'
  • Luck matters; but not always
  • On completing one year in office
  • Spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • DGAR visits Manipur on his farewell visit
  • PM at Science Congress @MU #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #3: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • A tribute to Stephen Hawking
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #3
  • Effect of a Sleepless Night :: Peom
  • Psychology at MIT School of Vedic Sciences
  • So near yet so far
  • Naga CSOs walking with JCILPS
  • Vegetables grown @Thanga #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Fancy Dress Contest: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #2: Gallery
  • Truth of Life :: Poem
  • Celebration of womanhood
  • HQ IGAR (S) celebrates 15th Raising Day
  • Jet Airways for more flights for NE
  • Publicity doing good, Garbage filth continue
  • Other issue overriding education: Class XII
  • Wortam: The Rising Young Mashangva
  • Eidi Ethantani by Eyoom :: Review
  • OMCT : UA on harassment of Ranjeeta
  • Mass destruction of opium poppy cultivation
  • Career options in printing press
  • IBSD launches hi-tech facility for farmers
  • Bangalore Yaoshang - Cheiraoba Thabal
  • Quality over quantity
  • What will the PM have to say ?
  • Zeliang gets fresh summon from NIA
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #4 : Gallery
  • Nengneingah, Lungkhambou :: eMing
  • Yaoshang Water & color #2: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #2
  • BJP led Govt, not flunk in first year
  • Demand handing of Pravish case to CBI
  • PDA Govt claims false credit: NPF
  • Feminism & Path to Women's Liberation
  • Word of caution from Ibobi: BJP to listen
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #4 : Gallery
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #1
  • Nigol :: Poem
  • List of Portfolios : Nagaland Govt
  • Clarify: Report of Zeliang summoned by NIA
  • Academic Programs offered by PHFI
  • Cong speaks: Changes expected in future
  • One year under the BJP: Significant but..
  • Students @ Class X Exam #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khongman: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #1
  • Cry Of A Dying River...21 :: Peom
  • Manipur-Nagaland border disputes
  • Not a word on beauty on Women's Day
  • Women Religious Tour reaches New Delhi
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira- Nari Puraskar Award: Gallery
  • Human Rights Defender intimidated by Army
  • Rooftop Solar Power Plants: Gallery
  • Home stay for nature tourism in Manipur
  • Moodle: A learning management system
  • You can't stop small newspapers ...
  • BJP show in NE State: The backroom boys
  • Moldhin Chan: A Thado-Kuki Folktale #2
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam, Thoubal River & Tumukhong
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Time for "Nokphade" to go global
  • Campaign on International Women's Day
  • War between Left & Right has begun
  • Poppy plantation, destruction & missing link
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #1: Gallery
  • Harassment of Ranjeeta (HRA) by Army
  • Women's positions need to change
  • The Weeds :: Poem
  • We now know gold was created in space
  • Issues of women's rights should be priority
  • Protection of paddy land Act
  • Thabal Chongba @Khurai : Gallery
  • Bor-keina race @Yaoshang Fest : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #1: Gallery
  • Tanushree @Elecrama Startup Award: Vote
  • Indian Science Congress in MU: Act East?
  • Fulbright 'pathways' for college leaving class
  • Job @ St. Stone Medical Devices
  • Army jawan martyred in Bongjai IED blast
  • National Integration Tour for Women
  • AR conduct Yaoshang sport festival
  • Condemns rising vendetta politics in NE
  • Yaoshang Sport - Marathon #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #2: Gallery
  • NERIST Director post vacant since 2014
  • Dynamic Startup 3.0 at MIMS, MU
  • NDPP Legislature 1st Meeting at Kohima
  • 8th Theatre Olympics at Guwahati
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #1: Gallery
  • Sentinel Cup Equestrian #5 : Gallery
  • Translating inclusion into seclusion is..
  • Condemns land acquisition of muslim
  • News erroneously portraying Zeliang
  • Report: Shillong Lajong vs East Bengal
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #1: Gallery
  • LGBTQ Yaoshang Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • M. Shenbangpu : Akademi Award 2014
  • Tribe: A concept in a state of crisis
  • Neiphiu's NDPP-BJP alliance stakes claim
  • Digital footprints: Blueprints for detection
  • Rio refutes news about 'Naga Peace'
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang with Governor : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira: Highest Civilian Honour
  • Rejoinder to "MCPCR in dire straits"
  • Stop harassment of Urikhimbham
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Timeline
  • 8th AMWJU Sports Meet : Gallery
  • March Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #2 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #3 : Gallery
  • Cultural @ Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Festival of Colours to Sports Festival
  • Food Processing Training @Oinam : Gallery
  • Loree Kaju Luita Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #1 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-ni Token Celebration at Chadong
  • Students @ Class X Exam #1 : Gallery
  • AoNna tEnaba :: Seireng
  • Thanga Keithel : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #5: Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic