History of Rampur Raza Library
Rampur Raza Library was set up in the year 1774 by Nawab Faizullah Khan who reigned over the state till 1794. Nawab Muhammad Yusuf Ali Khan, a famed poet of Urdu and the disciple of the renowned poet Mirza Ghalib had created a separate department in the library. He also moved the collection to the newly built rooms of Kothi Genralie. Famous illuminators, binders and calligraphers from Kashmir and other regions of India were also invited by him to the library for their contribution. Further enrichment of the library was carried out by the later Nawabs. A recognised scholar, Nawab Kalbe Ali Khan (1865-87), had a keen interest in the rare collection of manuscripts and paintings and later added to the collection with the help of other connoisseurs. In 1892, the collection was shifted to the new building near Toshakhana with the addition of old printed books. Exceptional interest was shown by the last Nawab Raza Ali Khan (1930-1966) who purchased a number of books on Indian classical music and rare manuscripts.
Collection of Rampur Raza Library
Rampur Raza Library houses a rich collection of 60,000 printed books, 17,000 manuscripts, 3000 rare specimen of Islamic calligraphy, 5,000 miniature paintings, antiquities of Nawabs, ancient astronomical instruments and 1500 rare coins of gold, silver and copper belonging to the period between 5th century B.C to 19th century A.D. It is also a treasury of Mughal antiquities and palm leaf manuscripts of various languages.
Management of Rampur Raza Library
In 1949 the Rampur state was merged in the union of India and following this, the control and management of the library was granted to a Trust, formed on 6th August 1951. This management continued till July, 1975. At the advice of Prof. S. Nurul Hasan, who regularly visited the library for education and scientific research, measures were taken to provide financial grants and better management to the library. Consequently the library was taken over by the Government of India on 1 July 1975 under an Act of Parliament. Afterwards Nawab Syed Murtaza Ali Khan was nominated as the Vice-Chairman of the newly created Board for library under sub-section 5 (1) of the Act. The post of Vice-Chairman was however abolished after his demise on February 8, 1982. Presently the library is an autonomous institution under Department of Culture, Government of India having a national stature and is funded by Central Government. Rampur Raza Library Board is presently responsible for the management of the library which includes 12 members. The chairman of the body is the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.