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Mussoorie Library

The site where Mussoorie Library building is situated once belonged to Mr. Scott and Mr. Pitt who sold it to Major Swetenham. In 1843 a Mussoorie Library Committee was formed with Mr. Vansittart, the then Superintendent of Doon, as its president. The fund for the project was collected by subscription and a sum of Rs. 2,500/ was collected in the first year. Major Swetenham sold the land for the sum of Rs. 300/ and it was transferred in the name of Mr. Vansittart, ‘to be held forever in trust for, and on behalf of Mussoorie Library Committee.

The library stands at the prime hub of Mussoorie and next to it is the Band Stand. The ground floor is lined with general merchants, hosiery showrooms, chemists and bakerswhile the library is on the first floor. In the days of yore, a band belonging to one of the British Regiments, posted either in Mussoorie or in Dehradun, used to play for an hour every Wednesday and Saturday evenings. On these evenings the upper veranda of the library was hired by the Savoy Hotel for use as a restaurant. The library still opens between 9am to 5pm for its members.

Tilak Memorial Library

In the year 1920, some reputed citizens of Mussoorie gathered over a meeting at the residence of Mr. Mahavir Prasad of the Mansaram Bank. The agenda of the meeting was to establish a library for Indians as the Library below Savoy hotel allowed only Europeans and was barred for Indians. The idea was coined by Mr. H.B.S. Dhaliwal whose wife was European and had a membership of the Mussoorie Library but Mr. Dhaliwal was denied of the same. After discussion,Rs. Two Thousand was raised for the Indian library.

On 23rd October 1920, the Maston Lodge (the present Midtown hotel) was bought with the help of PanditGhananandKhanduri and the library was inaugurated on the name of great freedom fighter Bal GangadharTilak. Owing to circumstances, the library was shifted to Plavena House near the present Rink where it functioned till 1941. Meanwhile, some land was bought at the Silverton Estate where the library was finally shifted on 4th April 1941. Mr. PushkarNathTankha was appointed as the first secretary on 9th April 1927 whose successful tenure of 40 years elevated the levels of the library. Earlier, the Tilak Memorial Institute and the Tilak Memorial Library were two separate committees which were later merged as one body.

To date the library has 3 convenors, 55 lifetime members and 88 permanent members. The library is open for local residents and tourists as well with in-house subscription of 14 dailies, 24 weeklies and 44 other magazines. The multi-lingual book count is over 40,000 with addition of 1000 books per year. The capital is raised through donations and membership fee along with time to time aid from theadministration.