The State Central Library is one of the oldest Libraries in
India. It was established in the year 1829 A.D during the
reign of His Highness Sree Swathi Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore.
The work of starting and organising the Library was entrusted
to Col. Edward Cadogan, the then British Resident who was
the grand son of Sir Hans Sloan, the founder of the British
Museum. He was the first president of the Trivandrum Public
Library committee. The successors of His Highness Sree Swathi
Thirunal and the British Resident Col. Cadogan took active
interest in the advancement and progress of the Library. At
that time only a privileged class who were called to attend
the Durbar of His Highness the Maharaja was allowed admission
to the Library. The Library was then known as “Trivandrum
In the year 1898 AD the assets of Trivandrum People’s
Library were transferred to the administrative control of
Government on condition that “a suitable building should
be erected for housing the Library for the benefit of the
Public and that Government should undertake its maintenance
in a suitable manner under such regulations as the Government
may deem fit from time to time”. In 1898 this institution
was opened to the public. His Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal
took a special interest in the development of this library.
He ordered the construction of a beautiful building for housing
the library in 1900. AD the present building of architectural
beauty in the Gothic style was put up in Trivandrum City in
commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen
Victoria. In the year 1938 A.D the administration of the Trivandrum
Public Library was handed over to University of Travancore.
In 1948 by a resolution of the State Legislature, the State
Government was directed to take over the administration of
the Library from the University.
In the year 1958, the Trivandrum Public Library was declared
as ‘State Central Library’. Subsequently in the
year 1988 the library was given the status of a minor department
under the administrative control of Higher Education Department
with the State Librarian as Head of the Department. In the
year 1992 Government declared Malayalam as the official language
of this department.