Digital South Asia Library

About the National Bibliography ofIndian Literature (NBIL)
The National Bibliography of Indian Literature: 1901 - 1953 (NBIL); 4 v. (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1962 - 1974), is a selective bibliography. It was compiled by a group of distinguished language specialists under the editorship of B. S. Kesavan, the then Director of the National Library. In addition to the original four volumes of the bibliography, the project was extended to include a fifth volume (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1990), ed. by Kartik Chandra Dutt. Nearly 56,000 titles with imprints prior to 1954 in twenty-two Indian languages are listed in the bibliography.
The scope of the NBIL is defined in the introduction as encompassing books "of literary merit, and important and significant books on Philosophy, Religion, History and the other aspects of the Humanities, written with originality, imagination and literary taste . . . ." In other words, the title of the bibliography should be construed broadly to include all of the humanities.
Editors and Languages
The scholars selected to edit sections of the NBIL within the scope of this project include:
Subject Areas Covered
Selection principles used in creation of the NBIL were defined by the editorial staff and applied by the section editors. Each language was divided into the following units and the criteria of selection defined as:
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