World Libraries


Bibliographies Of Indian Library Science: A Literature Review

floral device Introduction

The importance of bibliographies needs hardly to be emphasised to professional librarians. Bibliography is synonymous with librarianship. It is the key instrument to record the literary output of a nation or of a discipline. The quality of any research depends upon the bibliographical tools used to identify and access the relevant literature. It has aptly been said that all research begins with a bibliography and ends with a better and a larger one. Library literature in English at the international level has been fairly covered by indexes, abstracts, and bibliographies, both current and retrospective [1].

In India efforts have always been underway to take bibliographical stock of the library literature [2]. Since the 1970s, beginning with R.G. Prasher’s bibliography, there has been a flurry of activity in this area. A sizeable number of general and specialised bibliographies have been published. The present paper makes a brief survey of the work done in this area.

floral device Bibliography of Bibliographies

There is no bibliography of bibliographies for library science literature in India. Obviously, there are not enough items to fill a separate publication; the major ones can still be counted on one’s fingertips. The famous Bibliography of Bibliographies in India, by D.R. Kalia and M.K. Jain (Delhi: Concept Publishing, 1975) records only eight entries (Nos. 720–727; pp. 102–103) for library science. It omits most of the bibliographies available in mimeographed form. For a fairly complete list of reference sources one has to turn to the reliable and widely-known Guide to Reference Materials on India, compiled and edited by N.N. Gidwani and K. Navalani (Jaipur: Saraswati Publications, 1974, two volumes). It is a fundamental and comprehensive source for reference works of every kind on every aspect of India. Over time, the Guide has proven its value and authenticity. Indian reference works in library and information science, both printed and other, have been enumerated under different subject headings in Volume I, pp. 581–598. It is still a basic source to initiate research in any aspect of Indian studies, but it needs revision and updating.

floral device General Bibliographies

Coverage of library literature is found in both the national bibliography and in the country’s in–print list.

Indian National Bibliography (Calcutta: Central Reference Lib., 1958).Frequency varies.

Entries are in Dewey Decimal Classification sequence, with a detailed index of authors, titles, and subjects.

Indian Books in Print, 1955/67–; (Delhi: Indian Bibliographies Bureau, 1969– ). Irregular.

A classified listing according to Dewey, with author and title indexes. The pioneering bibliography in the library field was P. N. Kaula’s Indian Library Literature (Delhi: Delhi Library Association, 1966). This was actually an exhibition catalogue in mimeographed form. The published lists begin with:

Ram Gopal Prasher. Indian Library Literature: An Annotated Bibliography (New Delhi: Today and Tomorrow’s, 1971). xxxix, 504 p.

It lists 3,550 entries, classified by Dewey, of all types of documents on library science published in India from 1955 to 1970. Subject and author indexes have been provided. It is a major source of Indian LIS literature and still the only one covering that period. Prasher’s work has been continued by the following bibliographies:

Sewa Singh, Inder Vir Malhan and R.L. Arora, Indian Library Literature, 1971–1980 (New Delhi: Today and Tomorrow's, 1986). xxvii, 391 p. 2,831 entries.
Sewa Singh, Indian Library Literature, 1981–1985 (New Delhi: Ess Ess Publications, 1988). 355 p. 1,936 entries.
Sewa Singh, Indian Library and Information Science Literature, 1985–1990 (New Delhi: Ess Ess, 1991). 612 p. 2,712 entries.

These bibliographies carry forward the work done by R.G. Prasher. In style and presentation, they are modeled on their illustrious predecessor. Covering published literature only, they are arranged by Dewey and provide subject and author indexes. Some entries are annotated. A parallel, consolidated two–volume monumental work has now been produced:

B.M. Gupta, Libraries, Archives and Information Technology: An Annotated Bibliography, 1970–1990 (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1991–1992). 2 vols. (Handbook of Libraries, Archives and Information Centers in India, 11 and 12).

This work crowns all previous efforts. Part I comprises 2,957 entries culled from about 200 serials, 150 conference proceedings, and 50 books. Part II comprises 2,395 entries. It includes books and reports published by 174 publishers, papers published in 189 Indian and foreign serials, 110 seminar conference proceedings, and 57 edited books. The arrangement is by broad topic, with author and subject indexes. Coverage extends to literature published in India, about India wherever published, and authored by Indians abroad. Selected writings about South Asia are also included. However, its aim of total inclusiveness eludes it on some counts. It also has a directory of publishers, and a list of Indian LIS periodicals with their addresses. There is a separate list of monographs published from 1980 to 1990 arranged by publisher. The third volume, devoted to information technology, was in press in early 1994. This imposing work is a de facto national bibliography of Indian library literature.

Another bibliography, quite a selective one, is:

Savitri Devi and Nutan Johri. Bibliographic Reprints: Library Science and Informatics (New Delhi: NASSDOC,1986). 88 p. Mimeographed for restricted circulation.

On the request of researchers, the National Social Sciences Documentation Centre (NASSDOC) of New Delhi prepares bibliographies on social science topics for nominal payment. This book is a cumulation of 750 small bibliographies prepared at different times. The book has been divided into alphabetically–arranged broad subject groups such as “Books and book trade,” “Cataloguing,” “Citation indexes,” “Islamic libraries,” “Librarianship as a profession,” “Special libraries,” and “Libraries and information networks.” An appendix lists 27 LIS periodicals.

Numerically, Indian library literature in English ranks just after U.S. and British library publications. Indian library science is valued and respected in international professional circles. Library education is considered to be a model for the Third World. As might be expected, library literature bibliographies published abroad list numerous references to Indian library literature.

A.M. Abdul Hug and Mohammed M. Aman, Librarianship and the Third World: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Literature on Developing Nations, 1960–1975 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1977).

It has a total of 1,469 entries arranged first by country and then alphabetically by author. Each entry is followed by a brief descriptive abstract. For India there are 235 entries for books, periodical articles, and reports concerning library history, problems, planning, systems, and library education. Some entries relevant to India are in the section on Asia (Nos. 382–414) and in "International aspects" (Nos. 1249). There is no subject index. A comparable work is:

Godfrey Raymond Nunn, Asian Libraries and Librarianship: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Books and Periodicals, and Draft Syllabus (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973). 137 p.

This bibliography of 353 books and periodicals is the outcome of many seminars given at the University of Hawaii Graduate School of Library Studies since 1966 in the series “Administration of Libraries in Asia and Library Planning in Asia.” The author claims that the work “draws attention to neglected sources of information on libraries and librarianship in the general reference literature on Asia.” The text has been divided into four sections. The first section is on Asia in general; the second on South Asian countries, namely Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan; the third section records literature on the southeastern countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia; and the fourth section is on East Asian countries, China, Japan, and Korea. Under each country, first the material on publishing, generation, and distribution of publications is listed. Next there are entries on libraries in general, followed by references on different kinds of libraries such as national, university, special, and public libraries. Topics on cataloguing and classification, library education, library associations, library buildings, etc. are also included. Under each heading a list of important periodicals is usually placed ahead of books; further arrangement is by year of publication. India, with 72 entries (pp. 15–30), is far ahead of all other countries in the coverage given.

Another useful title is:

Bibliography of Asian Studies (Ann Arbor, Mich. : Association of Asian Studies, University of Michigan, 1954–). Annual.

Each volume lists more that 15,000 entries. The heading “Library and information science” is given under all the regions. An author index is at the end.

A full-fledged current awareness service was launched in 1967:

Indian Library and Information Science Abstracts (Calcutta: Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres, 1965– Quarterly). Irregular.

It is a classified list of Indian periodical literature, with abstracts. Short communications, and conference papers in English and other vernacular languages are included. A separate section is devoted to books. The entries are arranged by Colon Classification with separate author and subject indexes. It is quarterly in principle, but often a yearly issue is published to catch up with the time schedule. The 1988 yearly issue appeared in 1993. This issue lists 436 entries. It is now a by-product of a machine-readable bibliographic database of Indian library literature created with the financial support of the National Information System in Science and Technology (NISSAT).

floral device Specialised Bibliographies

There are a few special bibliographies devoted to a narrower subject or a special kind of material. These are published as monographs, journal articles, or dissertations. An important example:

R.K. Koul, Indic Names: A Documentation List (New Delhi: Seemant Prakashan, 1980). 104 p.

It is a survey of studies in Indic names and the problems they pose to cataloguers. The bibliographic section provides 97 annotated entries from 26 documents (17 periodicals, both Indian and foreign, and nine books) of the period 1935 to 1972. Arrangement is by Colon Classification, extended for the purpose. Author and subject indexes have been provided.

Another such documentation list is:

K.K. Patna, Documentation on Acquisition in Libraries (Patna: Janaki Prakashan, 1982). 56 p.

It lists 106 entries on book selection and acquisition from 21 periodicals of the period 1950 to 1966. The arrangement is by Colon Classification, augmented by author and subject indexes.

I.V. Malhan and Shabad Kapur, Library Education: A Select Bibliography (New Delhi: Metropolitan, 1982). 264 p.

All 1,947 references, both Indian and foreign, have been arranged by broader subjects divided further by topic or aspects. Author and title indexes have been provided.

Shabad Kapur, Classification and Cataloguing: A Select Bibliography (New Delhi: Harman Publishing House, 1988). xv, 392 p.

This bibliography comprises 4,510 highly selective entries covering the period 1951 to 1986. The first part, on classification, comprises 1,448 entries; the second part, on cataloguing, comprises 2,728 entries. A supplement lists 333 entries. It covers literature in English published anywhere.

Sewa Singh and Sukhbir Singh, Colon Classification: A Select Bibliography (Delhi: Ess Ess Publications, 1992). 86 p.

Issued on Ranganathan’s birth centenary, it comprises 701 entries pertaining to books, periodical literature, and the Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC, Bangalore) seminars. The arrangement is by subject, with author and subject indexes.

M.P. Satija and Amrik Singh, Bibliography of Colon Classification, 1930–1993 (New Delhi: MD Publications, 1994). 118 p.

With more than 1,350 entries culled from various publication media, it has the distinction of being the largest bibliography on any individual classification system. Arranged by year, and within the year by author, the entries provide full bibliographical details. Arrangement is supplemented by author and subject approaches.

S.R. Ranganathan has attracted many bibliographers. The most outstanding bibliography remains the one presented to him as a festschrift:

A.K. Dasgupta, An Essay in Personal Bibliography: A Bibliography of Writings on and by S.R. Ranganathan (Bombay: Asia, 1967). 405 p.

This classic and model work lists 1,905 colon-classified entries covering the literature published by and on Ranganathan in all the world languages. Chronological and alphabetical indexes have been provided.

O.K. Chaudhary, Dr. S.R. Ranganathan: A Bibliography (New Delhi: NASSDOC, 1985). iv, 200 p. Mimeographed.

Occasioned by an international conference on Ranganathan in November 1985 at New Delhi, it lists more than 1,600 writings by and about Ranganathan. The main arrangement is under subject headings, with further arrangement by title. In the case of books, their published reviews, if any, have been listed below the host entry. An author index is given.

Two recent guides to the Ranganathan literature appeared in journals:

M.P. Satija, “Sources of Research on Ranganathan,” International Library Review, volume 19, number 2 (July 1987), pp. 311–320.
M. P. Satija, “"Birth Centenary Literature on Ranganathan,” Third World Libraries, volume 4, number 1 (Fall 1993), p. 1725.

In 1992 the DRTC announced plans to create a complete database on Ranganathan. Its completion and availability for use are eagerly awaited.

Now we come to two bibliographies of LIS dissertations in India. Master’s and higher degree LIS students have to write a dissertation as part of their studies. Over the years there has been a sizable accumulation of dissertations covering a wide range of current and retrospective problems and issues. There are about 40 library schools offering the M.Lib.Sc. besides the associateships of the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (Insdoc New Delhi) and DRTC Bangalore. The number of such dissertations is sizable enough to warrant a bibliography. The first bibliography of LIS dissertations is:

Vijay Pathak and L.S. Ramiah, Bibliography of Research in Library and Information Science in India (Gurgaon: Indian Documentation Service, 1986). xvii, 152 p.

It lists 966 M.Lib.I.Sc. and 57 Ph.D. and M.Phil. dissertations totalling 1,024 items, in an alphabetical arrangement with subject index. A more extensive compilation is:

P.S.G. Kumar, A. Tejomurty, and H.R. Chopra, Research in Library and Information Science in India: a Bibliography of Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.L.I.Sc. Dissertations (New Delhi: Concept, 1987). xvi, 344 p.

It lists 1,780 dissertations, including those of INSDOC associateships. The arrangement is a bit difficult. There are five sections spread in nine parts. Part I lists 1,431 M.L.I.S. dissertations arranged under subject headings. Parts I, II, and III have author, institutional, and chronological indexes to Part I. Part IV is a subject list of 74 Ph.D. theses. Parts V, VI, and VII are author, institutional, and supervisor indexes to the Ph.D. theses. Part VIII lists 13 M.Phil. dissertations of Delhi University arranged by subject. Part IX lists 52 then-ongoing Ph.D. research projects. An appendix lists some M.L.I.S. dissertations of the year 1985. The work is not exhaustive. It was updated by:

Dev Raj Sharma and D.K. Sharma, “Doctoral Theses in Library and Information Science Accepted by Indian Universities,” CLIS Observer volume 9, numbers 1/2 (January–June 1992), pp. 39–45.

This is a list of 80 dissertations, arranged by author. A complete guide to sources of Indian LIS dissertations is available:

M.P. Satija, “Sources of Indian Library and Information Science Dissertations,” Libri, volume 39, number 1 (March 1989), pp. 71–78.

floral device Indexes to Individual Journals

Indian library science journals of standing are adequately covered by the national and international indexing and abstracting services. In all there are about two dozen current journals. Late and irregular publication are their common and unfailing characteristics. Poor physical and academic standards, small circulation, and lack of professional staff are other problems they face. Many journals are not bringing out their annual and other cumulative indexes, mostly owing to high costs and lack of staff. This situation has prompted some individual efforts to compile indexes as independent and commercial publications. However, the first cumulative index was non–commercial. It was a cumulative index to LibraryHerald, vols. 1–20 (1958–59 to 1981–82). This was published as a combined issue of the Herald, vol. 21-3/-4 (October 1982–January 1983). It listed 360 articles and 60 book reviews, arranged by subject. Three other journals have been indexed.

A. Tejomurty and K.H. Shukla, Thirty-three Years of Annals of Library Science and Documentation (Jaipur: RBSA Publishers, 1988). 187 p.

Annals was pioneering journal, established in 1954. Its history has been eventful. It is now published by the Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (INSDOC, New Delhi). The index is a cumulative list of 588 articles published between 1954 and 1986. The text has been divided into four sections. First is the subject part, while the other sections are author, title, and chronological indexes respectively.

The index to the first 25 volumes of another famous journal has been published:

Sukhbir Singh, Twenty-five Years of Library Science Writings: Index to Articles in Library Science with a Slant to Documentation (New Delhi: Ess Ess Publications, 1991). 130 p.

This is a cumulative index to 452 papers published in the first 25 volumes (1964–1988) of the journal founded by Ranganathan and sponsored by the Sarada Ranganathan Endowment and the DRTC Bangalore. The key part is arranged under subject headings and their subdivisions. Author, title, and chronological indexes have been provided.

S.S. Pal, Herald of Library Science: Cumulative Index, Vols. 22–28, 1983–1989 (Lucknow: Herald of Library Science, 1990). 45 p.

This author and subject index covers articles, reports, surveys, technical notes, conferences, seminars, lectures, interviews, awards, and profiles, but unfortunately excludes book reviews. It indexes all the entries in a single alphabetical sequence. This is a skillfully compiled index with high retrieval value. It updates an earlier index of the journal:

S.S. Pal, Herald of Library Science: Trend Report, Citation and Index, 1962–1983 (Chandigarh: Gina House, 1985). 94 p.

Part I is an evaluation of the journal’s contents and coverage since its inception in 1962. Part II is a list of 812 articles arranged alphabetically by author. Part III is a subject index.

floral device Library Catalogues

Some of the library schools and other institutions have important collections of library literature. For example, Madras, Benaras, Hindu, Panjab, and Delhi Universities have old and rich LIS collections. Similarly, the libraries of DRTC; INSDOC; NASSDOC; the Indian Library Association, New Delhi; and the Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres, Calcutta, are large and varied. But only NASSDOC has taken the initiative to compile a catalogue of its library science holdings:

S.P. Agrawal, Library and Information Science Literature: SSDC Resource List (New Delhi: NASSDOC, 1985). viii, 182 p

Divided into four sections, it catalogues about 1,200 non-serial items with full bibliographic detail.

floral device Union Catalogues

NASSDOC followed its library catalog with another significant effort:

S.C. Garkoti and Indira Kaul, Union Catalogue of Library Science and Informatic Publications: Delhi Libraries (New Delhi: NASSDOC, 1986). 385 p.

It is a union catalogue of 3,000 non-serial LIS holdings in 31 Delhi libraries. Entries are arranged alphabetically by title. Each entry gives author and year, followed by the symbols of the holding libraries. Forms of material range from books to reports, standards, and conference proceedings. Some of the documents are rare. Author and subject indexes have been provided.

An updated and commercially produced union catalogue has been recently published:

S.P. Agrawal and Pushpa Rani Sharma, Communication, Informatics and Librarianship In India: An introductory Guide to Publications Based on a Survey of Libraries in the Capital City of India (New Delhi: Concept, 1972). 476 p. (Concepts in Communication, Informatics and Librarianship, 34).

A subject list was recently published:

S.P. Agrawal and Pushpa Rani Sharma, Subject Guide to Communications, Informatics and Librarianship in India (New Delhi: Concept, 1993). (Concepts in Communication, Informatics and Librarianship, 53).

It is a union catalogue of about 3,550 non–serial LIS publications available in about 33 Delhi libraries. The key part, entitled “Basic guide,” is arranged by title. It is followed by a chapter (pp. 164–279) wrongly entitled “Subject approach,” which repeats the arrangement and information (sans author and year) given in the previous chapter. An author index has been given. The subject volume is a valuable source. Even browsing through it gives sheer pleasure and the pleasant surprise of serendiptitiously discovering some gems and classics of the professional literature.

No union catalogue of LIS periodicals in India is available, though some efforts are underway. To some extent the vacuum has been filled by the Union Catalogue Series of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). There is reasonably good coverage of back issues of library science periodicals in:

ICSSR Catalogue of Social Science Periodicals–Serials: National Library, Calcutta (New Delhi: ICSSR, 1976).

floral device Assessment

Gaps are still there, especially in the coverage of grey literature. Conferences and seminars are frequently held but their papers and proceedings are not always published. Individual efforts regarding the covered literature are commendable, but not sufficient, sometimes not authentic and never exhaustive. The mortality rate of journals is too high, which keeps some literature out of the bibliographic net. Nevertheless, in India valuable efforts have been made to compile and study the sources of LIS literature in India.

floral device References

[1] Ray Prytherch, Sources of lnformation in Librarianship and Information Science (third ed.; Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 1993). 300 p.

[2] Ray Prytherch and M.P. Satija, “Indian Library and Information Science Literature: A Guide to Its Coverage and Control,” Libri, volume 36, number 2 (June 1986), pp. 163–186.

About the Author

M.P. Satija is a Professor at Guru Nanak Deve University, Amritsar, India.

© 1994 M.P. Satija.

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