Khalifa Mohammad Asadullah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Khalifa Mohammad Asadullah (6 August 1890 – 23 November 1949)[1] was a pioneer of the library movement in the Indian subcontinent before 1947. He was also the first prominent librarian to opt for Pakistan at the time of independence in 1947.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

He was born on 6 August 1890 in Lahore, British India (now Pakistan) to Maulvi Mohammd Ziaullah and Alam Jan.[3] He received his basic education in Lahore and graduated from Forman Christian College, Lahore in 1913.[2]

Marriage and family[edit]

In 1908, he married Hameeda Begum in Lahore and fathered 14 children. His sons included Khalifa Mohd Iftikharullah TQA, Khalifa Mohd Naseemullah, Khalifa Mohd Hameedullah, Khalifa Mohd Ihsanullah, Khalifa Mohd Zafarullah (Commander Pak Navy), Khalifa Mohd Aminullah. His sons-in-law included AVM Saeedullah Khan and Pakistani diplomat, Enver Murad; his daughters-in-law included Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah and his great granddaughters include the Pakistani novelist, Uzma Aslam Khan.


He studied under the American librarian Asa Don Dickinson in 1915 at the University of the Punjab.[4][2]


In 1916, he became the first qualified librarian of the Government College in Lahore.[5] He then became the librarian of MAO College (now Aligarh Muslim University) in 1919.[1] In 1921, he joined the Imperial Secretariat Library in New Delhi and Simla, a post he held for 8 years.[1][2]

In 1930, he was appointed the Librarian of the Imperial Library (now National Library of India) in Calcutta, a post which he held for about 17 years from 1930 – 1947.[4] While there, he started the library training programme.[6]


In 1947, after the independence of Pakistan, he was made officer on special duty in the Ministry of Education.[1]

Indian Library Association[edit]

In 1933, he was one of the founding members of Indian Library Association and was its first Secretary from 1933 to 1947.[1] He had served as the Librarian and a Director from 1930 – 1947 of the Imperial Library of India in British India.[7]


He was honoured with the title of Khan Bahadur in 1935.[5][4][2]


He died on 23 November 1949 due to a stroke at Lahore, Pakistan.[1] He was buried in his family section of the Ferozpur Road graveyard, Lahore.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Syed Jalaluddin Haider, Pg 3, Online at: Pioneers of Library Movement in Pakistan Retrieved 10 April 2018
  2. ^ a b c d e f Afzal Haq Qarshi (5 November 1999). "Khalifa Mohammad Asadullah: A Pioneer of Library Movement in South Asia" (PDF). Pakistani Librarian (magazine). Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ Biographical Encyclopedia of the World, Institute for Research in Biography, Inc, New York, NY, USA 1st edition, 1940
  4. ^ a b c Libraries and Librarianship in India on GoogleBooks website Retrieved 10 April 2018
  5. ^ a b First Librarian at Government College University, Lahore in 1916 (Read about Mohammad Asadullah on website under Libraries) Retrieved 10 April 2018
  6. ^ Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science, Edited by: Allen Kent, Harold Lancour and Jay Daly vol 21 1977 Pg 257
  7. ^ K. M. Asadullah listed as Director and Librarian of the Imperial Library of India (1930 – 1947) National Library of India website (Historical Background), Retrieved 10 April 2018