- Distance Education
|Librarian||Thiru. V. Kalaiappan|
|Contact Address||ORI Library, University of Madras, Marina Campus, Chennai 600 005.|
The University of Madras, the Mother University of many a university in our Tamil Nadu and neigbhouring states has started language departments from 1907. Dr.S.R. Ranganathan, the first University Librarian emphasized the need for the language collection in 1930s and started collecting valuable documents in various languages. These collections were made use of by Faculty Members, Research Scholars and students for their knowledge development and Research work. When the language departments were moved to the Marina Campus, the language collections were separated from the Madras University Library and moved to the Marina Campus in the late 1970s to form an Oriental Research Institute Library where books on Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Samskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Urdu were housed.
The Library at present caters to the needs of Faculty members, Research Scholars and Students in carrying out Research not only in their own language but also for comparative studies. Important and rare books of all the major branches of Literature are available in the Library. A separate reference section is also available.
The linguistics books collection of this Library serve as a bridge between various languages. The various projects in the past were carried out making use of the ORI library. The language departments are now concentrating on the exhaustive study of the cultural peculiarities of the states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu as reflected in the language and literature. The collection of the ORI Library also mainly concentrates on this area. The Library houses books on dance, Music, Martial arts, Cultural History and traditional account of the origin of the languages, various cults prevailing in different states, books on herbal plants, a good collection of dictionaries for the Lexicon projects of the Tamil Language Department and Aesthetics etc., A good collection books on the above areas are stored in the Library.
The library houses some very old and rare books in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalarn, Kannada, Samskrit and Hindi. There are books in a plethora of topics like Tamil, Malayalam, Samskrit language, its literature, linguistics, art, architecture, Ayurveda, Yoga, Ancient Indian Mathematics, Astronomy, Culture, Vedas, Puranas and many more, which are very rare to find elsewhere. The Library has a very rare collection of Unani system of medicine, documents on Arabic, Persian, Urdu language, literature, Islamic studies, Islamic Architecture and Art.
Recently the Department of Malayalarn has produced two theses for the award of Ph.D.degree on Kerala ' s Dance form Mohiniyattarn which is a well known form of dance called Thasiyattam in Tamilnadu for which the libarary has come forward to support the projects in many ways.
At present each language contains around six to ten thousand books. The Library is planning to automate the entire collection in computerized database with bar coding facility for issue and return of documents for the members of the Library. The ORI Library is also going to be networked with other campus Libraries in near future.
The ORI Library is planning to digitalise the multi-lingual documents to preserve the vast literature, magnificent opulence and majestic sciences for the future generation.