Nehru Memorial Museum & Library

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Nehru Memorial Museum & Library
Country India
Established 1964 (1964)
Location Teen Murti House, New Delhi
Coordinates 28°36′09″N 77°11′55″E / 28.6026029°N 77.1987395°E / 28.6026029; 77.1987395
Other information
Director Shakti Sinha [1]

The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) is a museum and library in New Delhi, India, which aims to preserve and reconstruct the history of the Indian independence movement. Housed within the Teen Murti House complex, it is an autonomous institution under the Indian Ministry of Culture, and was founded in 1964 after the death of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. It aims to foster academic research on modern and contemporary history.[2] Today, the Nehru Memorial Library is the world’s leading resource centre on India’s first prime minister [3] and its archives contain the bulk of Mahatma Gandhi's writings [4] apart from private papers of C. Rajagopalachari, B. C. Roy, Jayaprakash Narayan, Charan Singh, Sarojini Naidu and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. In March 2010 it launched a digitization project of its archives, under which by June 2011, 867,000 pages of manuscripts and 29,807 photographs were scanned and 500,000 pages uploaded on the digital library website.[3] Amongst noted publications of the NMML are Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Man of Destiny by Ruskin Bond, Nehru Anthology (1980) and Nehru Anthology.

Nehru Memorial Museum & Library has over the years supported scholars and historians across India and through its fellowship programme, 'The Nehru Memorial Fellowship' has funded some of India’s best academics such as historian Ramachandra Guha and Chief Information Commissioner OP Kejriwal.[5] It is also one of the best library in Delhi for Social Sciences as it has a huge collection on labour related issues in the form of PhD dissertations, reports, books,journals and news papers.[6]On 26th April 2016 A dagger gifted to former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru by Saudi Arabia has been stolen from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The Incident came into light when one visitor noticed a broken glass frame in the museum.[7]


Teen Murti Bhavan, where the library functioned from 1966 till 1974.

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library famously known as Teen Murti Bhawan (Sculptor:Leonard Jennings of Britain), after the 3 statues which were established in 1922 in honor of the three Indian princely states, namely; Jodhpur, Hyderabad & Mysore after there contribution in World War I by serving in present day Gaza Strip, Israel, Palestine, etc., was designed by the famous Robert Tor Russell who also designed Connaught Place and few parts of Janpath. Spread in 30 acres its construction started in 1929 and took around one year to completion. It is a masterpiece of British and French architecture and woodwork. Initially knows as Flagstaff House, it was used by British Forces as the residence of the Commander-in-Chief. After Independence, the house was taken over as the residence of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), 1st Prime Minister of India. After his death in 1964, it was decided that Teen Murti Bhawan should be converted into a museum and a library which would promote original research in modern Indian History with special reference to the Nehruvian era.

Study of Jawaharlal Nehru, preserved within the museum.

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society was formed on 1 April 1966. Initially, the Museum was set up in the eastern wing and the Library in the western wing of the sprawling building, with Bal Ram Nanda as its founder-director, who also curated the museum and library for next 17 years. He received the Padma Vibhushan in 2003.[8] With the passage of time and the rapid growth of research material in the Library, more space was required and an exclusive Library building was constructed. It was formally inaugurated by the then President, V. V. Giri, in January 1974. However, the steady increase in the volume of material required for research further necessitated the construction of an annex building which was completed in 1989. The Centre for Contemporary Studies was set up in this building as a new unit in 1990.

View of Rashtrapati Bhawan from the entrance porch of Teen Murti Bhawan.

To commemorate the Foundation Day of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. It has been organising an Annual Lecture on 1 April every year, and named it Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Foundation Day Lecture. Nehru Planetarium is also part of N.M.M.L. (famously known among locals). Additionally, much work is also happening in the field of connecting people with this place with special reference to children, who are considered to be closest to Jawaharlal Nehru's heart, earning the popular name 'Chacha Nehru'. The library also has an archive of the private correspondence between Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, wife of Lord Mountbatten, but with limited access.[3][9][10]

The 'Centre for Contemporary Studies' was set up as an advanced studies unit of NMML in 1990 and is housed in the Annexe building. NMML took over the charge of the Nehru Planetarium from the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund’ in 2005.

Nehru Memorial Digital Library[edit]

The collection of manuscripts, historical documents and other archival materials of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) were made available online, after the digitisation project, with help of HCL Infosystems started in 2010.[11] By May 2011, employing the Rs union Ministry of Culture funding of Rs. 10 crore, project had digitized 50 collections of manuscripts, 834 interview transcripts, 29,802 photographs, over one lakh images of the newspaper Amrita Bazar Patrika (1905–1938).[12] In all, the digitization will cover nine million documents and would be completed by 2015.[3]

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund[edit]

The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund (JNMF) was founded in New Delhi on 17 August 1964 under the Chairmanship of Dr S. Radhakrishnan, then President of India and Indira Gandhi as its Secretary. The foundation awarded the 'Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships', since 1968 and 'Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships for Post-graduate Studies in India and abroad’, initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development since 1993 and organizes the 'Annual Nehru Memorial Lecture' on the eve of Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday (14 November). It also runs or funds a number of institutions, including Anand Bhavan, Jawahar Planetarium, and Jawahar Bal Bhavan, all in Anand Bhavan complex, in Allahabad.[13]


In 2009, several well-known academics such as Ramachandra Guha, Sumit Sarkar, Nivedita Menon, Nayanjot Lahiri, Mushirul Hasan, Mukul Kesavan, Mahesh Rangarajan and Krishna Kumar, alleged that the institution was being run in an inefficient and corrupt fashion. They pointed out that NMML has discontinued its publication programme, and that the acquisition of manuscripts and oral histories had all but come to a halt.[14] In turn, writer and activist Madhu Kishwar, environmentalist Pradeep Kishen and historians Irfan Habib and D. N. Jha came out in support of NMML and its director Mridula Mukherjee.[15]


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