India

Libraries Without Borders collected and dispatched 2000 French- and English-language books (theater collections and children’s literature) to develop the Heritage Library of Gokarna, created in 1948.

Context

Created in 1948, the “Study Circle” heritage library includes an impressive collection of lithographed books dating from the end of the eighteenth- and the beginning of the nineteenth-centuries. Nearly two hundred year old textbooks and even older books engraved on wood strips are also part of the library’s collection.

Altogether, the library contains nearly 70,000 books in 38 languages, including rare books that have suffered from poor conservation conditions and are deteriorating. The creation of a place for reading, culture and heritage is the occasion, not just to give a new life to these books through conservation and the promotion of their content, but also to create the village’s first library.

A further objective of the project is to create a center for cultural and artistic exchange between France and India.

Our approach

BSF ensured the collection and dispatch of 2000 French- and English-language books (theater collections and children’s literature). BSF team trained the Center’s staff in library administration, library event planning and document conservation.

These activities benefitted the entire population of the village (25,851 inhabitants in 2001) and had the following objectives:

  • To promote and preserve Indian cultural heritage.
  • To make the precious collections of the “Study Circle” library accessible.
  • To help develop knowledge, inspire cultural activity in the region and give access to training and jobs.
  • To create a space for work, resources and exchange.
  • To encourage reading, access to education and literacy among children who are not in school.
  • To support a first rate public reading structure in Gokarna, which to date has none.

Partners

The Pandrata Circle Association

Alliance Française in Bangalore

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