(Last Updated on : 03-01-2013)
Rajendralal Mitra was a pioneer in scientific study as well as contributed to archaeology substantially. He belonged neither to the Hindu College nor to the Sanskrit College group. His most notable publications were the two miscellanies Vividhartha-samgraha and Rahasya-sandarbha. Vividhartha-samgraha was started under the patronage of the Vernacular Literature Society.
He also authored Antiquities of Orissa
(1872). He was appointed librarian of the Asiatic Society. He has also served as a philological secretary, as vice-president and as the first Indian president of the Asiatic Society
in 1885. He was the third son of Janmejay Mitra, and one of the pioneers of the Indian Renaissance
He was born in a respectable Kayastha family in eastern suburb of Kolkata
. He was one of the most learned men of India of the time. He was known for his mastery of the English language. Later he resigned his job with the Asiatic Society in 1856 to take up the post of Director of the newly set up Wards' Institution. He stayed in this job till 1880.
He has delivered numerous lectures on different occasions in English and Bengali. He also contributed to the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland; Journal of the Anthropological Society; Journal of the Photographic Society of Bengal; Calcutta Review and Mookerjee's Magazine, The Englishman; The Daily News; The statesman, The Phoenix, The Citizen, The Friend of India, The Indian Field and The Hindu patriot. His contribution to the early development of photography in India was also enormous. He was also the first Secretary and Treasurer of the Indian Photography Society. He wrote on technical subjects as he wanted to develop the Bengali language
as a vehicle for expression of different disciplines unknown before. He was extensively involved with public life. He attained national status as a public leader. He also received the honorary degree of LL.D from the University of Calcutta
in 1875 and the title of Raja in 1888. He died in Calcutta on the 26th of July 1891.
He is highly praised as the pioneer historian of the Indo-Aryan race. His other works included: The Antiquities of Orissa, a similarly illustrated work on Bodh Gaya (1878) and Indo-Aryans (1881)