Jadunath Sarkar Resource Centre for Historical Research:
The proposed resource resource centre of documents for the social and cultural
history of Bengal in the Bangla language is now open to scholars at the old building
of the Centre, once the residence of the renowned historian Jadunath Sarkar on 10
Lake Terrace, Calcutta 700 029. The Centre was housed here from its inception in
2000. Subsequently the main departments of the Centre moved to the Baishnabghata
In 1973 when the Centre moved in, 10 Lake Terrace was a small two–storied
building; two more storeys were later added. This house has gradually become the one
of the foremost centres of social sciences, contributing vigorously to ongoing
debates in South Asia. Amiya Kumar Bagchi and Nirmala Banerjee laid the foundation
of the basic studies in problems of underdevelopment and growth from a historical
perspective, while Asok Sen and Barun De have initiated a discussion on a
reassessments of nineteenth century Bengal Renaissance, Hitesranjan Sanyal till his
untimely death in the 1988 started completely a new trend in social history of mass
movements in Bengal, combining oral history, field research and archive work.
Some of the Centre’s Scholars, Gautam Bhadra, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Partha
Chatterjee and some of their colleagues played a crucial role in development of
Subaltern Studies. The Centre was also one of the first places to give due
recognition to gender–based social and economic analysis.
After the Centre’s main departments shifted to the new campus, the first two
floors of the building were converted into a guesthouse for the ICSSR–Eastern
Regional Centre and an auditorium. The top two floors have now been renovated to
house the Resource Centre.
The idea behind the Resource Centre is to make available to scholars materials
written in vernacular languages for the social and cultural history of Eastern
India. The Centre has already started on acquiring the printed non–fiction
books and monographs in Bangla and available in the market, for a viable research
library. Some old journals like Sanibarer Chithi and reports and books relating to
Calcutta have been procured. The Resource Centre is proud of possessing a few
private collections. A portion of Edward Dimock’s collection, relating to the
cultural history of Bengal was gifted to the Centre by Loraine Dimock through the
University of Chicago in 2002. The ‘collection’ has a valuable set of
monographs and journals.
A collection of 200 books, mainly children’s fiction in Bangla published
between 1930s to 50s gifted by Arun Dasgupta to the archive has been moved to the
Resource Centre from the archive.
Sevati Mitra gifted her collection of about 200 books to the Archive of the Centre
has been moved to the new Resource Centre. A few text books of History authored by
Bijaychandra Majumder in the 1920s and 30s following the syllabus of Calcutta
University is one of the major attractions in this collection.
An important collection of about 200 books of Hitesranjan Sanyal mainly on local
history, family history and caste gifted to the Centre by Manaswita Sanyal.
Sukumar Mitra gifted the Centre the complete private collection of about 700 books
of Surendranath Dasgupta mostly on Indian philosophy and history that is housed at
the resource Centre.
The private collection of about 3000 books of Debiprasad Chattopadhyay mostly on
psychology and Indian philosophy gifted to the Centre by his family members, this
fabulous book collection moved into the resource centre just recently.