My personal library is the result of my own studentship (BSc Hons. 1970-1972, MSc 1972-1974) and research career in wildlife/environment/ecology (1975 to present). So, over 36 years…
Its uniqueness and strength lie in its variety, range and archaic to modern nature of wildlife / biodiversity-related titles and publications.
From my Graduation days I have nurtured an ambition to have my own library, so that I do not feel deficient for any reference anywhere anytime, even while staying for six years on the banks of Mahanadi or three in Chambal or sixteen in Similipal, or at such hours as the middle of the night, searching a reference with a kerosene lantern light.
And, my collections have proven that worth during my studentship and research career that is in its 4th decade from Graduation.
I have collected books from all over the country and during my studies overseas (six of the seven continents, spending ‘dollar’ in those very-difficult years).
To this collection, books of other faculties and modern scientific fields have been added when my daughter, instead of exactly taking to my field, chose to study/research in the fields in Biotechnology / Nanotechnology / Biochemistry / Immunology / Bioinformatics.
Similarly, my son added variety because of his background in Commerce, GNIIT, MCA (ICFAI) and MBA.
The resulting collection contains a very wide range of
(i) Books in Basic, Applied and Modern Sciences / Commerce / Computers, (About 800 titles)
(ii) Scientific Papers on Wildlife, Biodiversity, Environment, Ecology, Herpetology, etc. (About 3000 publications).
(iii) About 1500 reference cards with Author, Title, Journal, Abstract of contents.
(iv) National and International Scientific Journals, Magazines relating to Wildlife, Environment, Ecology, Herpetology, etc. More than 25 types in series, some series starting from 1976 till present, and
(v) Text books / teaching material / competition courses containing education material of eternal value (about 200 titles).
These are not catalogued. But I / we know what is where.
We have started facing the crunch for space and therefore, difficulty in accessibility at times of need. Situation got worse because of changing places from Puri (1972) to Utkal Univ to Tikarpada to
And, I am ageing (or, already aged; nearing 58). Some say, life starts at 60! Well, let’s see.
I had thought that I can build a working team and thus in 2004 instituted an annual ‘Puspaswini Wildlife Prize’ (in the memory of my deceased wife for the best presentation / project work in wildlife at
I still look forward to some means, some support and some compensation.
I estimate that two Research Fellows (One a Biologist and the other a student of Library Science, both having good computer knowledge) and working for three to four months can catalogue the collection. (Our collection of computers is equally interesting:-- from Cyrix-1 to Pentium Dual Core – 3 PCs in working order, on which students can work.)
We will shift to our house later this month. But I cannot accommodate or can put to better use all the collection, particularly the journals and papers.
As regards certain research data files from 1970s, I will give some of these to Nimain, a promising field worker in elephant and other wildlife.