Khalifa Muhammad Asadullah (1890-1949)

Khalifa Muhammad Asadullah one of the prominent Librarians, also known as “Khan Bahadur” this title was conferred on him in 1935 by British, he was born at Lahore on 6th August 1890. He got his early education at Lahore & was conferred with an academic degree from F.C. College in 1913. After completing his graduation he choose Library Science as his profession & was appointed Librarian in the Government College, he is having an honor of becoming first graduate Librarian. In 1915, when Asa Don Dickinson an American Librarian came to reorganize the Punjab University Library and started the University Library Training Class, he was among the students who attended the first class and obtained a certificate with distinction. He also received the diploma of library association form London and was the first Indian to do so.

M.A.O. College Aligarh in 1919 makes a formal request to K.M. Assadulllah to offer his services for organizing its growing collection. For eight years he was appointed by Govt. of India (British) as Librarian of the Imperial Secretariat Library. In 1930, he was appointed as Librarian of the Imperial Library, Calcutta and served the organization till partition. He was the first Muslim who had the honor of occupying that position. He also prepared a guide for the Imperial Library Calcutta and contributed several articles to Modern Librarian and foreign library journals.

It was due to the efforts of K.M. Asadullah that the Indian Library Association was formed on September 12, 1933 at Calcutta. He was its first secretary and the guiding force from 1933 to 1947. In 1935, He started library training class at the Imperial Library. He was also a member of the editorial board of The Library Bulletin of Indian Library Association from April 1942-July, 1946. After partition K.M. Asadullah migrated to Pakistan there he served as Officer on Special Duty in the Ministry of Interior, Education Govt. of Pakistan.

He had been a trustee and Honorary Treasurer of the Indian Museum at Calcutta, Fellow of Calcutta University, and Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Member of the Council of the All India Muslim Educational conference and member of the Court of the Muslim University, Aligarh, besides having association with numerous other bodies. As Vice-president and President of the Calcutta Muslim Orphanage and later as founder of the Muslim Club of Calcutta. He died of brain hemorrhage on Nov. 23, 1949 and was buried at his family graveyard in Lahore.

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