On World Book Day—also known as Copyright Day, Srinagar Municipal Library at Karan Nagar organised book exhibition of some rare books and manuscripts in the library.
The day (observed annually on April 23 is aimed to promote reading, publishing and copyright) was kick-started in Srinagar with Municipal Library exhibiting its treasure trove of rare books on history, medicine, education and other fields.
“We have come up with the concept to showcase the manuscripts for drawing public focus back to library,” said Assistant Director Municipal Library, Zahida. “Rare Persian, Arabic and English books dated back to 1800 century AD are part of book exhibition.”
Zahida said some books are 150-, 200- and 300-year-old. “In fact, we have some 700-year-old manuscripts as well, but due to paucity of space and facility, we haven’t made them part of book exhibition.”
Kashmir and Kashmiris (1879) by Wakefield, Buddhism (1892) by Stephan, A Summer in High Asia (1899) by Captain Adair and other books are part of the book exhibition.
Besides these rare books, some 10 to 12 manuscripts of 1800 century AD are also part of the exhibition.
Significantly, World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on April 23, 1995. In Kashmir, Zahida said, the day was first celebrated in early 2000.
The connection between April 23 and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Catalonia as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes, who died on this date.
In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on April 23, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.