Muhammad Siddiq Khan

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M. S. Khan in his youth

Muhammad Siddiq Khan (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ সিদ্দীক খান; 21 March 1910 – 13 August 1978) or M.S. Khan was the librarian of the Central Library of Dhaka University and the founder of the university's department of Library Science (the present Information Science and Library Management).[1][2] In March 2004, the Bangladesh government posthumously awarded him the Independence Day Award, the country's highest civil honour.

Early life and education[edit]

Muhammad Siddiq Khan was born to a Pathan family from Tangail, Bangladesh. He was born in Rangoon, where his father worked, on 21 March 1910. His father died when he was still very young, leaving his widow Bolonnessa Begum in a long-drawn-out litigation with his uncle on proprietary rights to his vast wealth and establishments.

Khan spent his childhood in Rangoon and went to school there. He took the Matriculation examination in 1925 and stood fifth in Burma with distinctions in four subjects.[1] He passed his Intermediate in arts in 1927 and stood first in Rangoon University with distinction in English. In 1929 he received the B.A. honours degree in history from the university and stood first in the second class. In 1932 he got his B.L. degree. He was placed in the first class in the first-part examinations and in the second class in the second-part examinations. In 1936 he got his M.A. degree in History from the university and received the Yakub Abdul Ghani Gold Medal. For this brilliant performance he also received the Jardin Prize.[3]

Dr Jenkins sent him abroad to get higher training in Library Science in 1954.[clarification needed]

Khan arrived in London on 30 September 1954. He was 44 years of age and had not done regular course work for about 20 years. Yet, on reaching London he started regular course work as decided by Professor Irwin.[clarification needed] After due completion of course work, Khan spent one academic year working intensively in selected university and other academic libraries in Great Britain. Professor Irwin arranged a training programme with several libraries at the University of London, as well as the libraries of the University of Edinburgh and University of Birmingham. Khan successfully completed his training.[4]

After completing a two-year course on the theory and practice of university librarianship in the London School of Librarianship and Archives, under the supervision of Professor Irwin, during 1954–55 and 1955–56, Khan returned home.

Working life[edit]

Completing his Graduation program Khan joined Rangoon University as a lecturer in History and Political Science in 1931 and worked there until the outbreak of World War II. His students included Aung San, one of the architects of the Independence of Myanmar.[1] When Rangoon came under fire from the advancing Japanese army, he escaped by trekking through the mountains to reach his village home.[5] In 1943, he became an officer in the Civil Defense department of the government of Bengal. The next year he joined as a Liaison Officer under the Industries Directorate of the Bengal government. In 1946, he became the General Secretary of the Bengal Red Cross Society, a job he retained when moving to Dhaka after the partition of India in 1947. In 1950 he joined Manikganj Debendra College as the principal.[1]

In 1953, Khan joined Dhaka University as a secretary to Moazzem Hossain, the Vice-Chancellor, who was succeeded by W.A. Jenkins eight months later. At this point he went abroad for further studies. Upon return, he joined as the librarian of the Central Library of the University in June 1956,[6][7] a position he held until his retirement in 1972.[6] Khan introduced a diploma course for library science and, along with Ahmad Hossain, founded the Library Association of East Pakistan. When the Department of Library Science was established in 1959, he was made the head of the department. In his 19 years of service to the Library, he introduced the Dewey Decimal System of library classification and oversaw its implementation.[1] He faced job-related financial troubles when he retired.[8]

Khan also wrote a number of books, as well as columns for The Holiday and Bangladesh Observer. He published a news bulletin for Dhaka University and edited the Eastern Librarian as the founder editor until 1976.


Khan died after prolonged illness on 13 August 1978.

Honours and awards[edit]

M. S. Khan did not receive any honours during his lifetime, though he was held in high esteem in the world of scholarship. Two of his extended articles were published abroad. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society for his scholarly contributions.

He was a Vice-President of the Pakistan Library Association (1957, 1958, and 1968) and President of the East Pakistan Library Association for several tenures. He was the General Secretary of Pakistan Library Association from 1962 to 1965. He was a Vice-President of Asian Federation of Library Association from 1957 to 1960. Nearly a quarter of century later the Tangail Association introduced a gold medal in his name, an honour given to other distinguished figures such as Maulana Bhasani and Abu Sayeed Chowdhury.

The government of Bangladesh posthumously awarded him the Independence Day Award, the highest civil honour of the country, in 2004. His daughter Shireen Rashid received the award.[1][9]

21 March has been declared Library Day of Bangladesh in 2010 (M S Khan's centenary birthday) by the Library Association of Bangladesh.

List of publications[edit]

Khan wrote the following articles:[10][11]



  1. "Captain George Sorrel's Mission to the Court of Amarapura 1793: An Episode in Anglo-Burmese Relations". Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan, vol. II 1957, pp. 131–153
  2. "Badr Maqams ot the Shrines of Badr Al-Din-Auliya". Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan, vol. II 1962, pp. 17–46
  3. "A Chapter in the Muslim Struggle for Freedom: Establishment of Dacca University". The Dacca University Studies.

Library science (Present Information Science and Library Management)[edit]

  1. "The Oriental Manuscript Collection in Dacca University Library". The Eastern Librarian, vol. I No. 1, 1966, pp. 32–37
  2. "A Co-operative Acquisition Plan for Pakistan's Third Five-year Development Plan", 1965–70. Pakistan Librarianship, 1963–64, pp. 93–101
  3. "College Library Authority and Organization". The Eastern Librarian, vol. III No. 4, 1969, pp. 7–21
  4. "The Challenge of McLuhan". The Eastern Librarian, vol. 5 No. 3–4, 1971, pp. 187–197
  5. "Marketing of Books in East Pakistan: Problems, Prospects and Projects". The Eastern Librarian, vol. II No. 1, 1967, pp. 49–62; vol. II No. 2, 1967, pp. 17–23; vol. II No. 3, 1968, pp. 51–61;
  6. "Book Promotion in School Libraries". Pakistan Librarianship, 1962–63, pp. 92–93
  7. "A Blueprint for University Library Development". Pakistan Librarianship, 1963–64, pp. 160–170
  8. "Libraries in Pakistan". The Eastern Librarian, vol. II No. 1, 1967, pp. 1–14
  9. "Libraries in Education". East Pakistan Education Week, 1968, pp. 34–50
  10. "University Librarianship To-day and Tomorrow". The Eastern Librarian, vol. III No. 1, 1969, pp.21–28
  11. "The India Office Library: Who Owns It?" The Eastern Librarian, vol. I No. 1, 1966, pp. 1–10
  12. "Our Libraries and Our National Antiquities". The Eastern Librarian, vol. III No. 2, 1968,pp. 1–7
  13. "Comments on the Government of Pakistan's Third Five-year Development Plan—1965–1970". Pakistan Librarianship, 1963–1964, pp. 55–56

Printing and Publication[edit]

  1. "William Carry and the Serampore Books (1800–1834)". LIBRI, vol. II No. 3, 1961, pp. 197–280


  1. "Ahmed Hussain". The Eastern Librarian, June 1970
  2. "The Bleak Horizon". The Eastern Librarian, September 1967
  3. "Wanted – A national Advisory Commission on Libraries". The Eastern Librarian, December 1967
  4. "Progress of Librarianship in East Pakistan: Decade of Progress". The Eastern Librarian, June 1968
  5. "Who is an Expert?" The Eastern Librarian, vol. II No. 3, 1968
  6. "Import of non-book Reading Materials". The Eastern Librarian, March 1969
  7. "Libraries and Postal Vagaries". The Eastern Librarian, June 1970
  8. "Any one can run a library". The Eastern Librarian, December 1967
  9. "A New Library System for Bangladesh". The Eastern Librarian, vol. VI No. 1-2 1971
  10. "The Death of A Library". The Eastern Librarian, June 1967
  11. "Those who stand and serve". The Eastern Librarian, March 1967
  12. "Books on Bonus". The Eastern Librarian, June 1971
  13. "Brickbats – and no Banquets!" The Eastern Librarian, March–June 1971
  14. "Pakistani Library Journals". The Eastern Librarian, September 1966
  15. "Should Institutional Libraries Hold Import Licenses?" The Eastern Librarian, September 1966


  1. Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference Volume of the Pakistan Library Association, November 1964
  2. Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Conference Volume of the Pakistan Library Association, November 1965

Book reviews[edit]

  1. Technical College Libraries: A Guide to Problems and Practice. by K. W. Neal, published by the author at 41, Wychbury Road, Finchfield, Wolverhampton, UK 1965, pp. 159. and The Eastern Librarian, vol. I No. 1966, pp. 49–50
  2. The Pakistan National Bibliography: Annual volume 1962
  3. Oriental Dictionaries: A Selected Bibliography
  4. Southern Asia
  5. Libraries in the East: An International and Comparative Study


  1. Felix Carey: A Prisoner of Hope
  2. Import of Reading Materials from Abroad
  3. A Comparative Study of Copyright Laws
  4. Annual Report: Pakistan Library Association


মুদ্রণ ও প্রকাশনা (Printing and Publication)[edit]

  1. বাংলা মুদ্রণ ও প্রকাশনার গোড়ার কথা (Early History of Bangla Printing and Publication). Bangla Academy, Dhaka. 1371 (Bangla Year), pp. 206, illustrated Price. 5.00 taka (Bengali version)
  2. বাংলা মুদ্রণ প্রকাশকে কেরী যুগ (Carry Period in Bangla Publication).Sahitya Protika. 5:1, 1368 (bangla Year) pp. 153–268 (Bengali version)
  3. বাংলা মুদ্রণের গোড়ার যুগের ইতিহাস (Early History of Bangla Printing) Gronthagar. 1369. pp. 243–268(Bengali version)

গ্রন্থাগার বিজ্ঞান(Library Science)[edit]

  1. গ্রন্থাগার সম্প্রসারণ ও জনপ্রিয়তা বৃদ্ধির উপায়(Techniques of Library Extension and Popularization). Pak Samachar, 1956(Bengali version)
  2. শিশু গ্রন্থাগার (Children Library). Boi. 2:10, 1959
  3. গ্রন্থ: গ্রন্থাগারিক ও গ্রন্থবিক্রেতা(The Book: Librarian and Book Seller). Porikrom. 2:2 October 1962

ইতিহাস (History)[edit]

  1. ব্রহ্মদেশের ইতিহাসে মুসলমান (Muslim in Burmese History). Bangla Academy Potrika. 5:1, 1961. pp. 33–37.


  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^ Library Association of Bangladesh
  3. ^ Moniruzzaman, Mohammad (1996). "Complete Work of Muhammad Siddique Khan Vol. 2". pp. 548–549.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  4. ^ Moniruzzaman, Mohammad (1996). "Complete Work of Muhammad Siddique Khan Vol. 2". pp. 553–554.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ M S Khan after 26 years, Access my library
  6. ^ a b Moniruzzaman, Mohammad (1996). "Complete Work of Muhammad Siddique Khan Vol. 2". p. 555.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  7. ^
  8. ^ Moniruzzaman, Mohammad (1996). "Complete Work of Muhammad Siddique Khan Vol. 2". pp. 548–567.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  9. ^ Independence Award 2004 handed over
  10. ^ Moniruzzaman, Mohammad (1996). "Complete Work of Muhammad Siddique Khan Vol. 2". pp. 568–571.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  11. ^ Moniruzzaman, Mohammad (1994). "Muhammad Siddiq Khan Rachana vol. 1". pp. 639–643.  |chapter= ignored (help)