|Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Jadunath Sarkar Resource Centre for Historical Research
The process of building a resource centre
of documents for the social and cultural history of Bengal in
the Bangla language is in its last phases 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 1973 till 2000. Subsequently the main
departments of the Centre moved to the Baishnabghata Patuli campus.
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.
Important collections at the Resource Centre:
Almost the complete set of the major Bangla daily, Anandabazar Patrika from 1944 to 2000 and a few other Anandabazar group publications acquired through the Anandabazar group of publications are housed at the new Resource Centre.
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.