The research library at the CSDS mainly houses a collection of social sciences and humanities with a small section on Hindi and other Indian languages. It keeps abreast of contemporary developments in these fields and reflects the interdisciplinary ethos of the Centre. It was founded along with the Centre and developed initially in step with the research conducted here. Though over the decades, it has acquired a reputation for its focused and rich collection and is consulted widely by social science researchers in Delhi and even beyond.

It contains more than 35,000 books and 5,800 bound volumes of journals, a modest set of reports and booklets, and subscribes to over 100 major periodicals. Readers also have access to two excellent electronic databases of journals: JSTOR and Project Muse.

The Collection

Apart from works on contemporary themes, the library has a varied selection on development, Asia and Africa, the arms race and peace movement, non-European perspectives, science studies, ecology and the environment, human rights, democracy, philosophy, political theory and more, collected over many years. Significant collections that have come together during the last decade are in the areas of new media, films, city and urban issues, cultural studies, art, history, Indian thought literature, and Mahabharata studies.

The library also has a fast-growing collection of Hindi books that include almost all subjects that are covered in the English collection, subject to the availability of such writings. This section also includes books in the areas of literature, philosophy, politics, media, history and religion. The collection is perhaps unique in the range of Hindi writings available in different fields. on the development of the Hindi language itself. There is a small collection of Urdu, Sanskrit and Bangla works as well.

Personal Contributions to the Collection

The CSDS library is fortunate to house personal collections from various social scientists. Around one-eighth of the books are gifts from such sources. The Centre is proud to host the complete personal collections of Rajni Kothari, Ramashray Roy, T.G. Vaidyanathan, Bashir Ahmed and H.R. Charurvedi. The journal Seminar is also a regular contributor of books to the library. Moreover, the library continues to receive gifts from many former and current faculty members, and other scholars who have been associated with the Centre.

Services and Access

The library is computerized and the catalogue is available on the intranet. More than 100 journals with their back issues and two major electronic databases are available. Reprographic facilities are also provided.

The catalogue is available to the wider community of researchers through the union catalogue of books at the Developing Library Network’s (DELNET) website. Scholars can avail of inter-library loan facilities through DELNET.

The CSDS library is open to all scholars, but the lending facility is only available to the Centre’s faculty and researchers.


Besides DELNET, the library is also a member of the Social Science Libraries Network (SSLN).


Very early in its life, the library acquired a custodian who left his mark not only on the library but on the entire Centre. Sujit Deb, or Dada, as he was affectionately known, was a meticulous and helpful librarian, and a free thinker who shared in the intellectual passions that were crucial in shaping the CSDS. He is remembered fondly by scores of scholars and students who ever browsed through the shelves, and by the faculty and staff of the Centre.

Email: library(at)

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  • Dada

    Sujit Deb, or Dada, as he was affectionately known, was a meticulous and helpful librarian, and a free thinker who shared in the intellectual passions that were crucial in shaping the CSDS.