Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Press and Literature (contd-1)

Printing Press which was unknown in India first came into being in this country in the 19th century though it was started sometimes earlier. This helped in giving publicity to various types of literature, among the people living far away. This is best illustrated by the growth of the modern type of news paper which has been justly described as the Fourth Estate. The journalism was started in India by some Europeasns and all the early periodicals in India were written in English and edited by English men. The first paper , a weekly, called Bengal Gazette, was started by J.A.Hicky in 1780, who described it as " a weekly political and commercial paper open to all parties, but influenced by none".Hicky not only reiterated the view that the liberty of the press was essential to the very existence of an Englishman, but added that "the subject should have full liberty to declare his principles and opinions, and every action which tends to coerce the liberty is tyrranical and injurious to the communities." But Hicky was put to

Introduction to the Collection

The collection of early, English-language Indian newspapers held by the British Library Newspapers is founded on two, very fine historic collections:
  • newspapers once part of the British Museum Library and still held today by the British Library Newspapers in Colindale in their original, hard copy format, and
  • newspaper holdings from the former India Office Library, which are held in the British Library Newspapers on microfilm only.
The following titles are held for the given dates and numbers. The place of publication within India (Agra, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, or Serampore) is given in each case. The holdings date from 1780 onwards.
All items are consulted in the Newspaper Reading Rooms in Colindale, north west London; some titles may need to be consulted on the Security Tables only in the Main Reading Room. Staff will advise, as appropriate.
Collection highlights include:

Monday, November 16, 2009

P. Thankappan Nair

A visit to the National Library courtesy of Amitava Mukhopadhyay has given me another avenue to explore for traces of my great-great grandfather, Edward Alkin. After a tour of the Rare Books section (where I saw a copy of Hicky's Bengal Gazette or Calcutta General Advertiser, 1780; William Carey's 1806 Grammar of Sungskrit Languages; Edward Fry's 1799 Pantographia 'containing accurate copies of all the known alphabets of the world' (and a dedication to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society) and a Tibetan manuscript written in 1670 and gifted to the Library by his Holiness the Dalai Lama), I was slightly stunned to meet P. Thankappan Nair. Mr Nair is an esteemed historian whose area of expertise is Calcutta. He has published 48 books and I had just come across some references to his writings at the Asiatic Society last week.