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Barton Library

Barton Library, the oldest library of Bhavnagar, was built in the 19th century. This library speaks of the cultural and chronological significance of Bhavnagar as well as Gujarat. It stands in the centre of the city and is often visited by people of all age groups. It contains manuscripts written in various languages. The library has derived its name from Colonel Barton, who was Saurashtra’s prime British representative. It is stated that even Mahatma Gandhi used to come to Barton Library for reading. This attracts several historians to the library even today. Barton Library has also been awarded the Best Librarian award for its age-old services to society. The library committee of the Barton Library is trying to bring replicas of great paintings and organise exhibitions at the library.

Barton Library

The Beginning

Barton Library stands in the middle of Bhavnagar. In existence since 1882, this library has been appreciated for its historic and cultural significance by locals and outside visitors. The library attracts over 1000 people everyday who come here to read daily newspapers and magazines from in an around Bhavnagar. This library works in close association with the Chhagan Prasad Desai library in the city. The library holds a prominent place among other well-known libraries of Gujarat such as the ones at Surat, Ahmadabad and Bharuch. The library was earlier run in its own building constructed at Navapara in 1882 AD but this building was later given to the Majiraj Girls High School.

Library’s Collection

The library has been visited by several intellectuals since the start as it houses a huge collection of old and new books. The library started with a mere 5000 books that were donated by Chhagan Prasad Desai. The number received a bump in during the reign of Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji in 1960 when it reached 15980. Today, there are more than 60,000 books in the library. There are more than 25,000 Gujarati books, about 19,000 English books and about 4,500 Hindi books. The library also has some Sanskrit books.

Barton Library also has some rare manuscripts. About 11 daily newspapers in English, Gujarati and Hindi arrive at the library every day. About 1450 people issue books from the library every day. The library was awarded with the best librarian award twice. It is now being looked after by Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation and Excel Crop Care Limited.

In the Pipeline

The library committee aims at introducing replicas of the finest paintings of India, along with an album of some famous libraries. There are plans to organise paintings, cinematography, architecture and photography exhibitions at the library at regular intervals. The committee is also contemplating organising lectures on various subjects by renowned artists. The main aim of this is to establish a deep relation between books and arts available at the Barton Library.

Near Barton Library

Next to the library is a popular museum that was established in the 19th century called the Barton Museum. It houses Colonel Barton’s personal collection comprising weapons, coins, woodcarvings, and other things such as agricultural equipment and fossils. The first floor of the museum has a Gandhi Samriti, which that was made in 1955.

Useful Information

Timings: 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM from Tuesday to Saturday.

Sunday Timings: 8:30 AM to 11:30  AM. Remains closed on Monday.

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Barton Library
Barton Library
Barton Library
Barton Library
Barton Library
Barton Library

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