Image Credit: V&A, UK

About RBSI

The Rare Book Society of India is the first of its kind in India that is open to all. The idea is to encourage rare book collectors and history buffs to read, discuss, rediscover and download these lost books, and to understand that there is more than one truth in history!

Sourcing from digital libraries such as The Internet Archive, Google Books and the online collections of various museums around the world, RBSI has curated these rare books and images, and presented them in a context that gives them relevance and shows each piece as a part of a grander whole.

India, despite being an ancient literary civilization and having one of the largest literary treasures of hand-written and printed material, does not have a single Society for rare book collectors. This is an attempt to create a forum where those elusive connoisseurs come together to discuss and share their knowledge on Indian rare books. The idea behind RBSI is to showcase rare books, prints and art of India which would be of interest to collectors and history buffs. The purpose is to create awareness of these books and art, and also to bring life to these lost words again. All these digitized rare books can be downloaded by anyone who intends to start a digital collection of rare and valuable books without incurring any cost. Many of these books could be considered as history, opinion or plain propaganda, but the aim is to show that there is no wasteful source in the study of history, and there is only an added perspective. What started of as a group for rare book collectors has now got transformed into a forum for history buffs, scholars and of course the silent curious. Discussions and comments range from sanguine to educative and to irreverent, but all the same, they provide for an interesting cerebral buzz, every day of the week.

More importantly, by reading more than one version of a historical event at this site we begin to understand that there is more than one truth in history, and that in order to learn history, one must also first learn to unlearn.

Subbiah Yadalam
Founder - RBSI

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