History of Daniel Poor Memorial Library
The name of Dr. Daniel Poor is prominent amongst the pioneer missionaries of the American Board. He had established the American Ceylon Mission in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in the year 1816. He had also founded the American Madura Mission in Madurai (previously known as Madura) in the year 1835. The key person responsible for building Daniel Poor Memorial Library was the granddaughter of Dr. Daniel Poor named Samuel A Morman. The latter, on 26th January 1926, had donated a huge sum of money to the American Board of Missionaries for the same. J. A. Sanders served the library from the year 1914 to 1920 as its first librarian and has played a crucial role in establishing the college library. In its first year, the library was set up in the main hall of the college and had a collection of 5000 books. The ground floor of the present building was planned to host a stack room with a capacity of about 50,000 volumes, a teacher's room and a small museum. Two lecture rooms and a library study room were also to be set up in the first floor.
Sections of Daniel Poor Memorial Library
Currently the library building houses a reading room, a reference section, a stack room, a computerized student access catalogue system and a technical section. Over 76,000 volumes are housed in the stack room of the library. A small rare book collection, current periodicals and back volumes of periodicals are available in the first floor of the library. During 1987-1988 the mezzanine floor was built as a structural addition to the library. Owing to this, the space for shelving books doubled and the space for reading room also got expanded greatly.
Collections of Daniel Poor Memorial Library
In addition to a huge collection of books, Daniel Poor Memorial Library is also a repository for archaeological artefacts, rare antiques and ancient coins of Chola dynasty, Pandya dynasty and others. The rare archives section has preserved a number of ancient palm leaf script copies like Manimekalai and Tiruvacakam. Significant letter correspondences between The American Missionaries and the Indian Government have also been displayed in the library. Other articles of the rich collection include Indonesian wood carvings, five metal bronze statues of Vishnu and other Hindu deities, wood carvings from Nayak period and wooden statues belonging to 1000 years ago.