David Sassoon Library

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David Sassoon Library
David Sassoon Library.jpg
LocationMumbai, Maharashtra, India

The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room is a famous library and heritage structure in Mumbai, India. The idea for a library to be situated in the center of the city came from Albert Sassoon, son of the famous Baghdadi Jewish philanthropist, David Sassoon.[1] The building was designed by architects J. Campbell and G. E. Gosling, for the Scott McClelland and Company, at a cost of Rs. 125,000. David Sassoon donated Rs. 60,000, while the rest of the cost was borne by the Government of Bombay Presidency.[2] The library is located on Rampart Row, looking across the Kala Ghoda. The building, completed in 1870, is built using yellow Malad stone, much like the abutting Elphinstone College, Army and Navy Buildings and Watson's Hotel. Above the entrance portico is a white stone bust of David Sassoon. This marble bust was Thomas Woolner's working model for the statue of Sassoon standing at the front of the stairs of the David Sassoon Library. This standing marble statue, completed in 1865, was commissioned by Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay and personal friend of the sculptor, Woolner. Subscriptions came from the Jewish community, a myriad of traders, and friends in England.[3]

The building also houses the Lund and Blockley opticians.


The European employees working in the Government Mint and the Dockyard in Mumbai started the Mechanics' Institution in 1847 to provide technical education to adults and to hold lectures. They worked out of rented premises until they moved to their own building thanks to the generosity of Sir David Sassoon. The building was called the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sneeha Nair (17 January 2011), "Let Colaba Charm you", Hindustan Times; Retrieved on 25 January 2011.
  2. ^ TIFR Mumbai pages sourced from article by Kaumudi Marathe of Times of India, 12 November 1995.
  3. ^ Steggles, Mary Ann; Barnes, Richard (2011). British Sculpture in India: New Views and Old Memories. Norfolk: Frontier. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-872914-41-1.
  4. ^ Narayan, Govind (2009). Govind Narayan's Mumbai: An Urban Biography From 1863. Anthem Press. p. 366. ISBN 9781843313052.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 18°55′41″N 72°49′52″E / 18.927976°N 72.831105°E / 18.927976; 72.831105