New Delhi: Attorney General K.K. Venugopal has granted public access to a wide collection of rare books in his library, through a website.
It lists over 570 books, some of which date back to the 17th century. The ‘antiquarian’ or rare book collection has been digitally scanned and made available for the public.
The publications cover a wide range of subjects, from religion, mythology and the Vedas, to Indian art and sculpture, historical battles, the British Empire in India and tales of travels across the world.
The website says it is the result of Venugopal’s “desire to disseminate this wealth of information, for the benefit of those who share his interest in the mysteries and minutiae of the bygone eras”.
“It is also an invitation to those who are, as yet, uninitiated, to explore the beauty, splendour and the stark realities of times past,” it adds.
For personal use or research
The website says that while Venugopal’s legal acumen is widely recognised, what is less known is his “passion for antiquities, particularly antiquarian books”.
“Blessed with wanderlust, as well as an eye for the historic and the exotic, he has acquired a large number of old and rare books, periodicals and other publications, including books from as far back in time as the early 17th century,” it says.
The website, however, clarifies that these books are not copyrighted in India, either because the copyright has expired or because the books are not covered under the Indian copyright laws.
It adds that while readers located anywhere in India can download them, those located outside India should check their country’s laws before downloading content from the website.
The website also makes it clear that the books uploaded are for “personal or research use only, and not for commercial use or exploitation”.