Explore the Asiatic Society in Kolkata

Kolkata is the city of joy, art, and culture. It has to offer a bounty of places for travelers. People can go for a full day or a half day city tour and must include Asiatic Society in their travel list. Asiatic Society is one of the ancient museums in Kolkata. It was established by Sir Williams Jones on January 1784 under the patronage of Warren Hastings. Besides, it was built during the British rule in India in the area of Park Street. Also, it contains both a Library and a Museum.

History of Asiatic Society and the name change –

Many a time the name of Asiatic Society got changed. During the time of its first foundation, the name of the society was “Asiatick Society”. Later in 1825, the Society dropped out the alphabet “k”, to rename it as “The Asiatic society”. Yet again, in 1832, the society was renamed as “The Asiatic Society of Bengal”. Finally, in July 1951, the present name came into existence. Moreover, in earlier times all the important meetings used to take place in the Asiatic Society.

The Library-

Many people consider the Library as the crowning glory of the Asiatic society. The house of the Library contains 117,000 books and approximately 90,000 journals. These are published in several languages as well. Moreover, it is famous for the collection of literature and scientific research of 20,000 volumes. The volumes include Persian, Arabic, Hindi manuscript and a bit of rare Sanskrit. Besides, it was a dream project for Sir Williams Jones in which he had visualized a center for Asian studies.

Furthermore, The Asiatic Society is one of the primary storehouses of information regarding the ancient history of the land. The collection in the Society has three parts such as printed books and periodical of museums objects, manuscripts, and archives. It has four sections of printed books department such as

●   Perso -Arabic Urdu language
●   Sino Tibetan language
●   Sanskrit and other modern languages
●   South Asian languages

The Museum-

In the Museum we can find an extensive collection of books and manuscripts. Furthermore, it has a large collection of coins, paintings, sculptures, inscriptions and bronze. Besides, members like Henri Richardson had gifted several Persian manuscripts to the society to display. Some of the beautiful paintings that the museum displays are “Warren Hastings”, “A ‘Ghat’ at Banaras”, “Infant Christ”, “Cupid asleep on cloud”, “John Dewitt”, “Cleopatra”, and “Wellesley”.

Therefore, the trip to this historic place can amaze you. Besides, it’s a treasure trove for those who have air for the history of the Indian culture. The Asiatic Society is very much helpful for social science researchers. Also, it is very beneficial for research students who promote art and culture.

Trivia –

• On January 1784, Sir Williams Jones built the Asiatic Society during the British Era in Kolkata.
• It contains a Museum and a Library.
• On July 1951, the society got the new name as ‘The Asiatic Society’.
• Besides, the Library has 117,000 books and 90,000 journals approximately.
• Henri Richardson, one of the members, had gifted many Persian manuscripts.
• Furthermore, the museum displays several beautiful paintings, coins, bronze etc.
• The society is very helpful for researchers and students pursuing studies of art and culture.