David Sassoon Library & Reading Room
A commemorative postage stamp on the David Sassoon Library, a famous library & heritage structure in Mumbai :
Issued on Nov 30, 1998
Issued for : Previous recognition of the importance of this monument by the Postal Department came in the form of a special postal cover on the occasion of the 140th Anniversary of the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room. Now the Department of Posts is happy to issue this commemorative stamp on this historic institution.
Stamp & F.D.C. : Shri J.P. Irani
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Two Colour
Denomination : 300 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.
Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printers : India Security Press, Nashik
- The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room in the historic Fort area of Mumbai has since its completion in 1870, been a landmark in the city.
- Constructed in 1870, this Heritage building was conceived as the “Bombay Mechanics’ Institute” by some young mechanics working in the Royal Mint and Government Dockyard as an association to promote knowledge and learning. The objective was to set a library and museum of mechanical models and architectural designs as well as to organise lectures and discussions on science and technology.
- The institute began in a room in old clock tower above the entrance to the Government Dockyard, Marine Street, Fort. It was shifted to a room in the Fort area, then back to its original clock tower room and finally to its present Venetian Gothic building. At the front of the building is a 12 feet wide arcade, the central portion of which, begin one floor higher than the rest of the building, forms a clock tower. Nestle behind the building, a re-landscaped small verdant garden serves as a wonderful outdoor, reading and relaxation area for the Institute’s members.
- The Library owes its beautiful building to the generosity of Sir David Sassoon, the great Merchant Prince of Bombay of those days, who gave a donation of Rs. 60,000/- in 1863 to the Mechanics’ Institute to provide it with a suitable building. The Government gave a like amount and leased at a nominal rent and excellent site on the Esplanade measuring 1,485 sq. yards. It was designed by Col. F.A. Fuller, who designed some of the best known buildings of the city. The building was formally opened on 24th March, 1870 as the renamed “THE DAVID SASSOON MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”.
- The Library has a collection of about 45,000 books in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. A part of this is a priceless collection of old and rare books, the oldest dates back to 1798. The process of computerisation is well underway and some major projects that the Institute looks forward to are micro-filming and the installation of Internet access facilities. A harmonious blending of tradition and modernity is what the Library has worked to achieve and maintain through all its efforts to restore what has existed and to install these facilities that a modern library needs.
- One fact that deserves special mention is that the David Sassoon Library Building with the generous financial help of corporate houses, trusts and individuals is the first of the Grade 1 Heritage monuments to undergo conservation recently. Also the first meeting of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation was held in the Library building. This Library has played an important role in the industrial, educational and social development of Mumbai.
- Text : Based on material supplied by the David Sassoon Library.