Collection Development


One of its kind in the world ...

"The Patna Oriental Public Library is one of the finest collections on Moslem literature in the World," remarked V.C. Scott O'Connor, an orientalist of Edinburgh, England.


Khuda Bakhsh had struggled hard for years and paid fancy prices for rare manuscripts and books to build his precious collection. Slowly but surely, fame of this collection crossed even the international borders. The British Museum once made him a magnificent offer for his collection but he declined. He told to O'Connor ...

"I am a poor man and the sum they offered me was a princely fortune, but could I ever part for money with that to which my father and I have dedicated our lives ?"

... and as he said, his clear-cut features betrayed a single emotion; his large luminous eyes welled up with tears.

"No" he said "the collection is for Patna and the gift shall be laid at the feet of the Patna public".

The Library specializes in Islamic Studies, Tibb (Unani Medicine), Tazkira (Biography), Tasawwuf (Islamic Mysticism), Comparative religions, Medieval History, South East Asian History, West Asian History, Central Asian History, Medieval Science, Literature on Freedom Movement and National Integration as also Urdu, Persian and Arabic Literatures.

It contains over 21,000 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Hindi and Sanskrit and Palm-Leaves. It includes splendours of arts of Iranian, Mughal, Central Asian, Kashmiri and Rajasthani schools besides Calligraphic Masterpieces.


The library has more than 2.5 Lakhs printed books in different languages and subjects. Another important part of the collection includes about 3,000 epistles of eminent literary personages.


4 Manuscripts of the Library (2 in Arabic & 2 in Persian) have been declared as part of VIGYAN NIDHI ( Manuscript Treasure of India ) by the National Mission for Manuscripts in 2006.

The Artifacts

The artifacts shown above are just a sample taken out of the large collection with the Library. Please click on any of the artifacts shown above to see them with better clarity.