The National Library is the largest library in India. It is under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. The library is designated to collect, disseminate and preserve the printed material produced in India. The Library is the largest in India, with a collection in excess of 2.2 million books. Before independence, it was the official residence of Lt. Governor of Bengal.
The rare books section comprises of books, manuscripts that date back to the pre 1860 era. This library not only has a remarkable stock of books and articles but also such a medium which is used as a link for correspondence with the past generation. It is one of the heritage buildings too. The library has separate Indian language division for Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu Languages. Sanskrit language division also collects and process Pali and Prakrit books. English books published in India are also collected under D.B. Act.
Around 18 thousand readers daily gather here to accumulate knowledge on various subjects. The collection comprises about 20,00,000 books and 5,00,000 manuscripts. Its gigantic campus encompasses 130 acres of land. At present, the National Library is the 2nd largest public library in Asia for which several notable persons have donated their valuable collections at different times. Sadar-Ud-ddin, the Zaminder of Buhor, Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, Surendra Nath Sen etc. are some famous donors. These have added to the value and content of books in this prestigious institution.