Jul 4, 2010

State Library at Baroda - 1895

Photograph of the State Library at Baroda, Gujarat from the Curzon Collection, taken by an unknown photographer during the 1890s. The library was built in 1876 and designed by Major Charles Mant (1840-81) in the Indo-Saracenic style. He was a pioneer of the style and used it in his designs for other civic and state buildings in Baroda such as the Countess of Dufferin hospital and his masterpiece, the Lakshmi Vilas Palace. The library is one of the public offices contained within the Juni Kothi or old fort. It predates the Baroda Library movement initiated in c.1910 by the Gaekwar Maharaja Sayaji Rao III (ruled 1875-1939), which founded the Central Library, a system of state-aided libraries, reading rooms, travelling libraries and the first library school in India.