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Asiatic Society, Kolkata

Page history last edited by Paul Keenan 11 years, 1 month ago

Date of tip: September 2007

Source: Erica Wald, e.l.wald@lse.ac.uk 


Location: 1 Park Street, Kolkata 700 016 and at Metcalf Hall on 12 Strand Road (at Hare Street), Kolkata


How to get there: Take the Metro to Park Street.  The Asiatic Society is at the top of Park Street, a few doors down from the Singer sewing machine store. 


Language: English, Bengali


Getting started: You will need a photocopy of your passport and visa, as well as a letter of introduction from your supervisor.


Opening Hours: 10am-7pm


General working conditions: Very good working conditions in the main library.  The main library has air conditioning, so is very comfortable to work in, even during the summer months.  There is a card catalogue of holdings as you walk in on the right-hand side.  This is also the catalogue for items which are held at the Metcalf Hall site (journals), which does not have a card catalogue.  Metcalf Hall has about 6 desks for readers.  It does not have air conditioning, but has fans over the desks.  I found the librarians to be very helpful (especially so at Metcalf Hall).


Consultation: Requests should be made on the pink slips of paper which are kept on top of the card catalogue.  Records generally take about 30 minutes to arrive.  Microfiche requests need to be made to the Microfiche librarian.


Policy on technology: Laptops are allowed, however, digital cameras are not. 


Photocopy policy: 50 paise per copy.  Payment needs to be made in advance to the cash desk.  You should bring your completed photocopy request form (signed by the librarian) to the cash desk, deposit your money, and then bring the photocopy form to the photocopiest.  Copies are generally turned around in 1-7 days.  


Particularities: There is no cafeteria, however, Park Street and Strand Road both have quite a few local restaurants (or street food).  On Park Street, you can try: Hot Kati Roll (street food, but generally safe); Peter Cat Restaurant; Baristas Café; Oxford Book Store Café; or Flury’s.  Hare Street/Strand Road has mostly street food.   


Etc: Mrs Bashanti Nandan, the Assistant Librarian at Strand Road and Mr Murari Bhattacharya, her assistant, are especially knowledgeable and helpful.  Mr Bhattacharya is like a walking card-catalogue for the journals on site, so it is a good idea to ask him for information if there is something specific you are looking for.  


Places to Stay: I stayed at the AIIS Guest House, on Swinhoe Street, Ballygunge [NB. see West Bengal State Archive] 

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