Chennai to Unveil Museum of Tamil Print Culture in October - Travel News
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Tamil Print
7 Sep

Chennai to Unveil Museum of Tamil Print Culture in October

In October, the Roja Muthiah Research Library in Taramani will inaugurate the Museum of Tamil Print Culture in Chennai. The library is preparing to inaugurate this unique museum with a dedicated focus on showcasing the rich 400-year-old history of Tamil print culture.

The primary objective behind the creation of this museum is to raise awareness about the pivotal milestones achieved by Tamil print culture and its profound impact on contemporary society. Sundar Ganesan, the Director of the Rojah Muthiah Research Library, expressed that the museum will feature a comprehensive collection of essential Tamil literary works dating back to its inception.

For those unfamiliar with the history, Tamil holds the distinction of being the first Indian language to enter the realm of print. In 1578, “Thambiram Vanakkam” emerged as the inaugural printed book in Tamil, offering an abridged version of the Holy Bible.

Among the notable Tamil publications preserved in the library’s possession is the first edition of “Tirukkural,” printed in 1812, as well as the inaugural edition of “Tolkappiyam,” an ancient grammar text.

Chennai to Unveil Museum of Tamil Print Culture in October

Tamil Print Culture – The Library’s Origins

Roja Muthiah, a signboard artist from Kottaiyur, established the Roja Muthiah Research Library in 1994 primarily to safeguard his extensive collection of Tamil literary works. Following his demise in 1992, his family sold his prized collection to the University of Chicago, comprising approximately 50,000 books, along with vintage film songbooks, invitations, drama notices, and more.

In collaboration with the Mozhi Trust, the university made the decision to preserve Muthiah’s invaluable collections by establishing the library in Mogappair. Today, this remarkable library is home to nearly 5 lakh (500,000) books.

The forthcoming Museum of Tamil Print Culture exemplifies the state’s unwavering commitment to conserving and celebrating its rich literary and cultural heritage. As the museum readies itself to welcome the public, it extends an invitation to history enthusiasts to embark on a captivating journey through time, delving into the vibrant legacy of the Tamil language through the printed word.