DAV College Managing Committee has established a Research Library in the Year 1917 in the memory of its first President, Late Rai Bahadur Lalchand. The objective was to rekindle the interest in the ancient Indian Literature and encourage Indological Research. Eminent personalities and Scholars like Lala Lajpat Rai, Mahatma Hans Raj, Justice Mehar Chand Mahajan Ex-Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India, Acharya Vishva Bandhu Ji, Pandit Bhagwat Datta were connected with the working of this Library.
At the time of Partition of the Country, this rich collection of manuscripts and rare books were saved from the hands of harmful elements with the combined efforts of a few patriots.
More than 10,000 ancient books and 8,360 rare manuscripts were brought to Chandigarh’s DAV College. A full fledged library was established to preserve these symbols of glorious ancient knowledge. Out of these 8360 manuscripts, 6450 are the paper manuscripts which contains pictures to illustrate the writings. These are written in Devanagri scripts. And the rest 1910 are in various North Indian and South Indian Scripts. Most of these manuscripts are inscribed on Taarpatras (palm leaves) with the oldest dating back to 1375 AD. Unfortunately, a number of manuscripts inscribed on Bhojpatras (birch bark) were damaged and lost in Hoshiarpur.
Technical treatment of Manuscripts at Lal Chand Research Library
Paper manuscripts have been chemically treated and laminated as well. The palm leaf manuscripts have been incised with a metal pen. These manuscripts at Lal Chand Research Library are preserved well with the periodical application of Lemon Grass Oil and coal dust.
Digitisation of Manuscripts at Lal Chand Research Library
These manuscripts are being given a new lease of life in our college and have been preserved for posterity. The paper manuscripts have been laminated and the palm leaf manuscripts have been incised with a metal pen. The blackening of the text on palm leaf manuscripts is being done with the periodic application of lemon grass oil with coal dust. The rich collection of paper manuscripts is being uploaded on the website: The staff at the library of D.A.V. College, Chandigarh has worked wonders with this archival treasure. With the aid of latest technology, we have succeeded in protecting and preserving this magnificent heritage. Many scholars from India and abroad have shown keen interest in these manuscripts and books. The sustenance of more than 100 years of this rare treasure of ancient knowledge owes its existence to the efforts of authorities and the team work and dedication of library staff. We work on the principle of preserving the heritage for posterity.
These manuscripts were a part of the collection of Lal Chand Library at Lahore before Independence. It was established at Lahore (now in Pakistan) in 1917, by the DAV College Management Trust and Society in the memory of its first president Rai Bahadur Lal Chand.
Padma Bhushan Acharya Vishva Bandhu, the then director of Dayanand Brahm Vidyala, Lahore took the initiative of sending these books and manuscripts in sealed gunny bags and stacked in trucks carrying refugees to India. The Army, along with some volunteers, helped transport these manuscripts to Amritsar from where these were taken to Sadhu Ashram, Hoshiarpur. In October 1996, this library was re housed at DAV College, Sector 10D, Chandigarh