Swati Chattopadhyay Co-authors Essay on PLATFORM

"'An Oddly Bookish City': Neighborhood Libraries in Calcutta/Kolkata,"Link opens an external site co-authored by History of Art & Architecture Professor Swati Chattopadhyay, Aaheli Sen, Sounita Mukherjee, and Thomas Crimmel on PLATFORM, is a richly illustrated essay that explores the impact of the city's literary culture on its public sphere and public space between the years 1775 and 1945. The essay focuses principally on 20th-century development, from the "library movement" begun in 1925 to the 1940s, when there were more libraries per capita in Calcutta in comparison to New York and London. The city's neighborhood libraries not only performed a much-needed social service to the immediate community; in providing an opportunity to browse and borrow books, to meet, gather, converse, and locate oneself in a network of support, learning, and sociality, it gave definition to the neighborhood itself.

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