Roja Muthiah Research Library

Roja Muthiah Research Library is situated inside Taramani Technology campus, close to MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. The library has a collection of over 100,000 books, journals and articles dating back to 19th century. And all this was the collection of one man, Roja Muthiah. The story behind the library is as fascinating as the library itself.

Roja Muthiah started his career as a signboard artist in the village of Kottaiyur near Karaikudi. From what we know he was an inveterat bibliophile, collecting all sorts of books, journals and newspaper. These were available for researchers to read at a nominal fee in his house in Kottaiyur. After his death in 1992, the library was in danger of being dissolved. That’s when the Tamil writer Ambai (pseudonym of C.S. Lakshmi) brought this to the notice of A.K. Ramanujam. AKR in turn got the Chief Bibliographer for South Asian Studies in University of Chicago, Mr. James Nye interested. The University of Chicago raised the money and bought out the entire collection from the family and moved it to Chennai. Initially at Mogappair, now the library has moved to Taramani.

You can check the catalgoue and search on line at this site of The University of Chicago

1 Comment so far

  1. WA (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

    Interesting stuff. Have heard a lot about this gentleman. Is the library accessible to the public?

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