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Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar


Origin

The Sikh Reference Library the only one of its kind for researchers on Sikhism. Golden Temple (also called Harimandir SahibSri Guru Ram Das Library

The concept of Sikh Reference library came into existence in 1947, however the idea took many years to materialize. The concept was put forth by Princess Bamba, the daughter of Dalip Singh Sukerchakia. She was the last member of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's family. The idea was carried forward by Dr Ganda Singh from local Khalsa College. He with the help of Sikh History Research Board was instrumental in giving the reference library its present shape. Initially it was started at Khalsa College but later it was shifted to its present location at the Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex.

Building

The library is located within the Golden Temple premises. It occupies a part of the building that surrounds on all sides (parikarma) the Golden Temple and the Holy Pond it is in. The library is on the right of the Golden Temple, opposite to the Sikh History Museum.

Location

The reference library is located within the Golden Temple premises. It is on the right side of the Golden Temple, opposite to Sikh Museum. It is on the Ist floor of the Mahakavi Santokh Singh Hall.

Staff

The library has following posts:
Sr.No.DesignationNo. of Posts
1LibrarianBagicha Singh
2Research Scholars7
3Computer Operators2
4Assistants1

Research Scholars: The library also employes research scholars who not only help the information seekers in the library with the library resources but are also themselves involved in researching the rich resources in the library and bring to light the wisdom contained therein. Their findings are published by publication division of the management regularly.

Collection

The library is not a regular lending library but a reference centre. So, only reference resources are maintained in this library. However a collection of 22,000+ books is also available in the library that act as reference sources for the visitors.

The library has newspaper archives since 1927 onwards for The Tribune, a popular english daily. The newspapers have been filed into bound volumes to preserve it for a long time and the arrangement is datewise. Similar, archives for many other newspapers are also available including those published in Punjabi. A part of the collection was damaged during operation blue star.

The library has more than 500 Sri Guru Granth Sahib manuscripts and around 55 Dasam Granth manuscripts. Apart from this the library also treasures 1500+ manuscripts which are not directly related to Sri Guru Granth Sahib but were consulted by Sikh Gurus when they were compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib. These manuscripts contain vanis (verses) by Hindu and Muslim saints. They too are of great historical importance.

A e-catalogues for library books is available for easy location using Library Manager software. The manuscripts collection has been digitized into electronic format.

Membership

Being a reference library no regular membership is given to the public. The library collection is not available for lending but anybody can consult the library resources within the library premises. The book borrowers can contact the Sri Guru Ram Das Library that is located nearby and offers regular membership to book borrowers. Access to a part of the collection is highly restriced and only very sincere scholars are allowed to consult it under the supervision of the library staff. However, digital format of such rare collection is now available. The way the Golden Temple is open to all the reference library is also open to one all. Visitors with interest and questions on Sikhism are always welcome.

Information Technology

The library is acquring latest state of the art technology to bring efficiency in its services. The library has 5 PCs with internet connectivity. Photocopy facility is also available. The catalogue of library collection is available in electronic format.

Working Hours

All the departments at Golden Temple are being managed by SGPC and two types of staff is there, based on the type of job they perform. The regular office staff works from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The staff that performs duties at the Sanctum sanctorum works round the clock so works in shifts. The library follows regular hours.

The library offers its services as under,

  • Summer 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
    Lunch Break 1:00 to 2:00
  • Winter 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    Lunch Break 1:00 to 1:30

The library remains closed on Sundays and other holidays observed by SGPC according to Nanak Shahi calendar on special occasions relaed to Sikh Gurus.

Contact

Sikh Reference Library,
Golden Temple Complex,
Amritsar (Pb.)-143001.
INDIA.
Phone: +91 183 255 3957/58/59 (Ext. 447)
E-mail: bagichasingh_natt@yahoo.in
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