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 North Bengal State Library  is a pride of Cooch Behar. This Library has so many valuable manuscripts and Classic "Punthis"  written on hand made papers and palm leaf. There are so many rare books, old journals Indian and Foreign rare documents, reports. The treasure is a cultural heritage of Cooch Behar Kingdom. The library has a long history of 125 years. During the minority of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, Colonel Houghten came to Cooch Behr to act as Commissioner (1864-73). Colonel Houghten established State Library of Cooch Behar in the year 1870 by purchasing a stock of books at an auction sale of M/S.Rozario and Co., in London. In a room of Nilkuthi the library was started. Later it was handed over to the Maharaja Nripendra Narayan who removed the library to Lansdown Hall in the year 1895. Worthwhile to note that in the year 1882 the library was opened for public use.

The library grew richer and larger and became the treasure-island under the direct patronage of Maharaja of Cooch Behar who sanctioned Rs.2,000 as annual grant for the purchase of books. Different punthis, manuscripts and rare documents of Raj-Darawabar  or royal-court were transferred to this library for public benefit. J.W.Troten in his book India under Victoria speaks of this library, “the little State of Cooch Behar on Assam border could be act of a library richer than any to be found in Bengal out side Calcutta”.

In the year 1900, the volume of books came to 8183 as shown below : -
English - 7057  (all books are first Edition)
Bengali - 600
Sanskrit - 107
Urdu & Persian - 111
Modern Language - 130
Manuscripts - 118
Total - 8183

The Library became the storehouse of important documents, reports, journals and rare manuscripts. Most of rare books and documents are century’s old. It became a treasure of the cultural heritage of Cooch Behar Kingdom.

Just on the eve of merger of Cooch Behr State with the Indian Union, the Library was run by five employees including a Librarian of gazetted rank. The library then was under the Director Control of Minister In-charge of State Council. After the merger with the Union Govt., the library shifted under the control of the District Magistrate and the Government sanctioned only one Librarian and a peon [vide order no.-985-Edm(d)].

In a joint meeting with the prominent citizens of the Cooch Behar town on 13-NOV-1967 in the chamber of the Deputy Commissioner (Cooch Behar) it was unanimously resolved to amalgamate the State Library with the District Library, Cooch Behr. The District Library of Cooch Behar was established in the year 1957 under the sponsored Library scheme. According to the above resolution in the year 1968, the then Deputy Commissioner, Sri Bhaskar Ghosh, I.A.S., on the plea of saving the library sent a proposal of amalgamation with the District Library to the D.P.I. , West Bengal.

On the basis of his proposal government accepted the merger and renamed the Library as “North Bengal State Library” [vide G.O.No.,114-Edn(SE)].

At the time of merger on 1-APR-1969, volume of books of the erstwhile State Library and erstwhile Dist. Library are as follows : -
  State Library  :~
English Books -  16,000
Urdu Books -  180
Arabic Books -  135
Persian Books -  205  
Manuscripts (Bengali,
Assamees, Sanskrit)
-  228
Century’s old bound
magazine Indian and foreign. 
-  1,200
Three dimensional box Picture -  50 boxes
Bengali books -  4000
   District Library  :~
English and Bengali books -  12,000

The Library’s present collections. :  70,000 books

Descriptive Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts

    Objects of amalgamation :-
1) To make proper provision for preservation of rare manuscripts and documents.
2) To build up a Research Institute.

Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts
preserved in the State Library of Cooch Behar

Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts
Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts
Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts
Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts
Catalogue of Bengali Manuscripts

Following Bengali Punthis (manuscripts) are also in store :
  1. Ganga-bhakti Tarangini  >> by Durga Prasad  >> in 1222 B.S.

  2. Haraparbati Sangbad & Maharaja's Britanta (completed during the reign of Maharaja Harendra Narayan)  >> in 1863 A.D.

  3. Bidya Sundar and Bhrawa Gita completed during reign of Maharaja Harendra Narayan  >> 1246 B.S.

  4. Dcva-Khanda & Nara-Khanda completed during the reign of Maharaja Harendra Narayan

  5. Brahman Panditer Puthi completed during the reign of Harendra Narayan  >> 1847 A.D.

  6. Legendary Accounts of Royal Family of Cooch Behar.

  7. Kalika Puran

  8. Songs composed by maharaja Harendra Narayan & Sibendra Narayan

  9. Mahabharata Khandav Dahan

List of Assamese Manuscripts
preserved in the State Library of Cooch Behar

1. Garuda-puran  [by]  Sankar Dev
2. Gopi-uddhava-sambad  [by]  Sankar Dev
3. Gita  [by]  Govinda Misra
4. Bhagavata  [by]  Sankar Dev
5. Harish-chandra-upakhyan (with painted boards)  [by]  Sankar Dev
6. Mahabharata (with painted boards)  [by]  Kanshari Kavi
7. Gopi-uddhava-sambad (with painted boards)  [by]  Sankar Dev
8. Gita  [by]  --
9. Bhakti-ratnavali  [by]  Madhav Dev
9A. Suvarna-ghatika-pada  [by]  --
10. Mahabharata (Sabha-parva)  [by]  Dwija Gopinath
11. Mahabharata (Karna Parva)  [by]  Panchanan
12. Ramayana (Adi Kanda)  [by]  Madhav Dev
13. Bhagavata - first Skandha (with painted boards)  [by] Sankar Dev 
14. Bhagavata - second Kandha  [by]  Aniruddha
15. Sri-krishna-janma-rahasya  [by]  Madhav Dev
16. Bhagavata (eleventh Skandha)  [by]  Sankar Dev
17. Ramayana - Bala Kanda (with painted boards)  [by]  Dwija Madhav
18. Bhagavata  [by]  Sankar Dev
19. Bhagavata (Tenth Skandha with painted boards)  [by]  Ananta Kandali
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National Informatics Centre, Cooch Behar District Centre
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