RABINDRA BHAVANA

Institute of Tagore Studies and Research

 

 

History

Founded in July 1942, just a year after the Poet"s death, Rabindra-Bhavana is an important component of Visva-Bharati. It is, in fact, the focal point of the University. This Bhavana includes among its treasures a very major part of Tagore"s manuscripts, correspondences, paintings and sketches. The poet"s personal library is here and various objects used by him, his voice-recordings and thousands of photograph taken of him at different times and places and the many gifts, honours and addresses which he received from different parts of the world have enriched the Bhavana"s archival holdings.

 

   Archives

The holding in the archives section include several hundred manuscript volumes and files of the works of Rabindranath in Bengali and English. Detailed description of all items in the archives is provided in the Catalogue-in-progress. 1018 volumes of manuscripts, correspondences(1471 files) and other materials may be consulted by bonafide scholars in the original or in microfilm in the archives section with the approval of the Director, Rabindra-Bhavana.

   Library

The library has over 40000 volumes of books and over 12000 bound journals. It also includes in its collection the personal library of Rabindranath. Different editions of the Poet"s works, books on and translated works of Rabindranath form the core of this library. A valuable section is the Pamphlet Collection which includes programme souvenirs of Rabindranath"s plays, various monographs, old and rare bulletins published by Visva-Bharati.

 

     Museum

The museum housed in the Bhavana, comprising of a permanent display section and the five homes lived in by Tagore, collectively referred to as the Uttarayan Complex, attracts thousands of visitors. The architecture of the houses, the interior decoration, the pieces of furniture strewn about the rooms bring to life the persona of Tagore. This unit of Rabindra-Bhavana has 1580 original paintings of Rabindranath and 554 by others. The photograph collection (11380), the curio collection (3855) and 52 statues. The collection of addresses and certificates also form important sections of this unit. A detailed and descriptive list of the paintings and their items in the museum unit has been serially published in the Catalogue-in-progress. An important aspect of Bhavana activities is to mount exhibitions in "Vichitra". Drawing upon its own rich collection of photographs and other memorabilia, exhibitions depicting different themes from the poet"s life, are held regularly throughout the year.

 

        Audio Visual Unit

The audio-visual archives hold voice recordings of Rabindranath in wire, tape and disc. Besides, it has negatives of photographs of Rabindranath and Santiniketan. Apart from films on Rabindranath or films based on his stories and poems, films on Santiniketan are also preserved here. Discs of Tagore songs sung by various artists also constitute a growing part of the audio-visual collection. This unit has a complete set of colour transparencies of Rabindranath"s paintings preserved in the Bhavana collection.

            Preservation Unit

This is an important unit which looks after the preservation requirements of the archives, library and the museum. Fumigation, deacidification, restoration, lamination, tissue repair and binding of archival and library materials are carried out in this unit. The services of this unit is restricted to Rabindra-Bhavana requirements.

            Maintenance: Uttaryan Complex

This unit maintains the entire Uttarayana complex and the five houses together with the gardens where Rabindranath lived.

 

            Rabindra Charcha Prakalpa

This research unit of Rabindra Bhavana has prepared various editions of selected works of Rabindranath and edited the annotated volumes of Chithipatra (letters of Rabindranath and Rabindra Rachanabali). A bi-annual journal Rabindra -Viksha is also published by this unit.

       Multimedia Cell

In collaboration with the Department of Electronics, Government of India, Rabindra-Bhavana has been working on a Multimedia encyclopaedias project on Rabindranath from June 1996.

The volumes being prepared are:

1.Life and Times of Tagore 2.Tagore and his works 3.Tagore and his ideas

The cell also maintains a website on Rabindranath, his life and works. The programme has already generated interest in other parts of the globe as well and promises to be a pioneering work in this field.

      Future Plan

A special gallery for additional display is ready on the first floor of the Vichitra building. It is planned to have the gallery temperature and humidity controlled. Some rooms in the Tagore houses of Udichi and Punascha have been fitted with display cabinets so as to increase the number of items for the benefit of visitors. The entire holdingsa is being planned to be digitised and recorded on CD-ROMs. Work on a part of the holdings has already started under the Multimedia Project. A large number of photographs have also been digitally restored under the Project.