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Jaffna Library

Jaffna, Jaffna and North, Sri Lanka.
Location : Jaffna
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Overview
The foundation stone for the famous Jaffna Library was laid on 29 March 1953. It was a red-letter day for everyone in Jaffna. With the completion of the first stage, the Jaffna Public Library was declared open on 11 October 1959 by the then Mayor, Alfred Thuraiappah.
There were about 97,000 books and over 10,000 manuscripts. Some of the books were priceless. In addition, the library had in its collections several old manuscripts, some of which were written on dried palm leaves and stored meticulously in special sandalwood boxes. There were also hard to replace books on herbal medicine, miniature editions of the Ramayana epic, copies of the now extinct Tamil language newspapers and microfilms of the Christian Missionary journal ‘The Morning Star’ published in the early 20th century.
On the night of 31 May 1981, the library was consigned to flames when the Jaffna Public library was set on fire by a few misguided individuals who could not realise that what they were destroying was a part of their own heritage as well. Now it is being renovated and people can visit some parts of the library.

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