Weather :

Timings : Weekdays: 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM,
Weekends: 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Connemara Public Library, Chennai Overview

The year 1896 witnessed the inauguration of a new and remarkable landmark in the city of Chennai- the Connemara Library, which is a treasure trove of books, newspapers, periodicals and other related texts. A library is a place where you will unquestionably find every text that you can look for.

The Connemara Public Library is one of the four national depository libraries of the country and hence, it receives copies of all books and other texts that published in India. Its history dates back to over a hundred years, and till date, the library remains a repository of century-old publications.

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Collections and Structure of the Connemara Library

The Connemara Library is home to several rare books of extreme value. Some of the historical acquisitions here include The Bible published in 1608, Accounts of the trade in India by Lockyer (Charles) and a German copy of 'Antony and Cleopatra' among others. The old volumes are covered with chiffon cloth to preserve them.

Other than these rare copies, the Connemara Public Library has over six hundred thousand books to choose from. You will find every possible title that you are looking for here, whether it is an Indian publication or a book by a foreign author. From the latest edition of a newly published book to a fifty-year-old text, the library has it all.So, if you an avid reader and love reading books in a quiet environment, the Connemara Library awaits your arrival with open arms.

The fantastic collection at the Connemara Library includes books, journals, magazines and Braille manuscripts among other texts. Located at Egmore in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, it forms a small part of the Madras museum as well. A new building was added to the library in the year 1973. This new structure boasts of a vast collection of textbooks that a visitor might be looking for.

The building has a video room, a periodical hall, a reference room and an entire floor that is solely dedicated to Indian books. The total collection of books in the library goes up to beyond six lakh copies! The Connemara Library has everything that a literature geek or book lover could wish for. It is thus in no way an overstatement to say that the library is a readers' heaven.

That the library is well maintained adds to the grandeur of the place. The only drawback that one can think of concerning the Connemara Library is that because of the enormous collection of books; the library usually remains crowded.

Connemara Library Timings

The timings of the Connemara Public Library are as follows:
Weekdays (including Saturdays): 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM 
Sundays: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM 

The library remains open on all days throughout the year, except on three national holidays (Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October, Republic Day on 26 January and Independence Day on 15 August) and six festival holidays: Vijaydashmi Day, Saraswati Pooja, Tamil New Year Day, Pongal, Christmas and Diwali.

History of Connemara Library

When the number of books exceeded the storage capacity of the library of the Hailey Bury College in England, a place where Indian civilians are trained; the books were sent to the Madras Government. The government, in turn, handed them over to the Madras Museum. The Madras Museum was then a part of the British Museum Library, and until the year 1890, the books were safely kept here.

In the year 1890, the then governor of Madras, Lord Connemara felt the need to establish a public library in Chennai and to establish the same; he laid the foundation stone on March 22 in 1890.
Finally, on 5 December in 1896, the Connemara Public Library was inaugurated. As is evident, the library is named after Lord Connemara, because of whose efforts the library was actually established.

The Connemara Library came into formal existence as an organization only in the year 1929, when a librarian was appointed. The library was opened too all in the year 1930, and the services included lending and home delivery. In 1950, it gained the status of a state-centred library under the Tamil Nadu Public Libraries Act, 1948 and in 1955, the United Nations recognized it as its depository centre.

Architecture of Connemara Library

The Connemara Library holds a place of pride and prestige in the country not only for its remarkable collection but also because of its exceptional architecture. The library was built on the lines of the British Museum Library and with its ornate wooden carvings and stained glass panels, bears testimony to the old style of British architecture.

The entire complex now boasts of buildings that reflect architectural unity, even while demonstrating the various stages of Indo-Saracenic development, right from the Gothic-neo-Byzantine to the Rajput Mughal and Southern Hindu Deccani style.

Another building was added to the main structure in the year 1973. This three storied new building is where all functions of the library now take place. The new building comprises of a textbook section, a reference room, periodicals hall, a Braille library, an entire large floor dedicated to books in Indian languages, a video room, a browsing centre, a permanent book fair centre, an IAS study centre and Xerox facilities.

Tips For Visiting Connemara Library

1. The Connemara Library does not require compulsory membership to read books. Any person can sit there and enjoy reading in silence.
2. You can borrow books from the library by paying a nominal amount as the membership fee. Note that it is mandatory to be a resident of the city to be eligible to be a member.

How To Reach Connemara Public Library

The Connemara Public Library is located on the Pantheon Road, Egmore, near the Madras Museum and Art Gallery. It is just 3 kilometres from Chennai Central. One can quickly reach the library by hiring a rickshaw or rented vehicles.

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