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Indian National Bibliography



Indian National Bibliography (INB) has been conceived as an authoritative bibliographical record of documents published in 14 major languages in India (Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Sanskrit, Oriya, Urdu, English and Punjabi) received by the National Library, Kolkata, under the Delivery of Books & Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954 (D. B. Act). It is said that without bibliography the records of civilization would be an uncharted chaos of miscellaneous contributions to knowledge, unorganized and inapplicable to human needs. It is the duty of all nations to provide a national bibliography which includes all the published materials in the country, only then would it be possible to obtain a survey of the world's literary population. The importance of bibliography is well understood in countries where there are large as well as organized libraries as centres of research. A national bibliography has to be a bibliography of books published within the geographical boundaries of a country, irrespective of the language in which it is printed. 

        It is a huge task for a country with diverse languages and scripts to achieve comprehensive bibliographic control of significantly high literary output. INB's objective is to document the nation's published heritage to make the publications known to present and future generations. Over the years, unprecedented growth has occurred in publication output of regional languages in India; it is of utmost importance to document all the resources published in vernacular languages. 

       A critical approach endeavours to address a range of contextual aspects in which any problem is situated. For a vast country like India (with language and cultural diversities) there are a number of problems associated with the publication of a national bibliography. Indian National Bibliography started publishing in 1958 and completed 50 years of its publication in 2008; this study summarizes the major events in the publication process, its current status, and traces its future growth. 

          The Central Reference Library (CRL), Kolkata, is responsible for the compilation and sale of INB and Index Indiana, the index of periodical literature appearing in the Indian-language periodicals. The author has a special interest in this topic as she submitted her MLIS dissertation entitled 'Indian National Bibliography: a study' covering the period 195 8- April 1994 at the University of Mumbai [Bombay] in 1994. This study is subdivided into the manual phase till 1999 and automated production of INB since June 2000. The author takes a broader view of the production of INB, in particular the receiving of documents from the National Library, compilation, publishing and advocacy to raise awareness.


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