At the busy area of Chennai’s Nuungambakkam, lies a quiet and serene library in a small building inside the premises of the Department of Public Instruction.
The single story building sorrounded with trees has influences of Rajasthani architecture, and once you enter the library, you are reminded of the colonial era with the beautiful large wooden doors, high rise ceiling and steep ladders that lead you to large bookshelves filled with books. The library which is 200 years old immediately gives a vintage vibe . The Madras literary society was first established in 1812 as Asiatic Society of Madras at College of fort st George. It moved to its current location in the year 1906. The library has more than 50,000 books, many of which are around 150 years old. The library has books on mathematics, philosophy, science, law, literature and various other subject matter.
It has some of the rare books like Aristotle’s “Arretolis Opera Omania QVAE Extant Graece and Latine which was published in 1619 .It also has a children’s section at one corner which contains books for children along with small chairs and tables for them. In order to conserve and restore the books, the library has an interesting concept called “adopt a book” where readers can contribute towards restoration of a book and the name of the contributor is added in the inner pages of the book .
The Madras literary societies has had members like Annie besant, TT Krishnamachari and Subash Chandra Bose. The library is keeping many treasured books alive and has become a part of Chennai’s rich Heritage