The Himalayan Club was established in 1928, and its highly regarded library in Simla was an integral part of its activities from the outset. After a few comments about Simla, where the library was located until 1946, as background information two stimulating observations about the Himalayas by servants of the East India Company in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are noted. Then a short history of the rise of curiosity in mountains within Western civilization is presented. This history highlights the ideas that generated this development and the formation of mountaineering clubs in Europe, North America, and the British Empire. Subsequently, after summarizing the story of the establishment of the Himalayan Club and its membership, the collection of the library and the journal published by the club are examined in some detail. Books by author-members on exploration, mountaineering, and natural history in the Himalayan region constitute an outstanding feature of the collection and are specially noted. The functioning of the library also is explained, and an overview of the post-Independence era is presented.


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pp. 289-321
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