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Kolkata’s Presidency College set to launch its own museum

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(G.N.S) Dt. 18

Kolkata

The 200-year-old Presidency University (till recently, Presidency College) is set to launch its own museum, which will showcase the history of the institution since its inception in 1817 as Hindu College in Kolkata. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will inaugurate the museum, to be housed in the main building of the College Street campus in north Kolkata, on January 19.

“Presidency has a history of 200 years that, until now, has not been properly displayed for the public. We thought people across age groups should be aware of this rich history,” said Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia.

The museum will showcase rare documents such as the edition of the magazine of the (then) Presidency College, in which Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen published an article. The piece, ‘Bigyaponer Arthonity’ (Economics of Advertisement), was written when Dr. Sen was an economics student at the college. “The attendance records in 1869 of alumni, such as scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, physicist Satyendra Nath Bose and astrophysicist Meghnad Saha, will also be on display,” said Swapan Kumar Chakraborty, curator of the museum and a professor of humanities at Presidency University.

A copy of the magazine issue in which a speech of Rabindranath Tagore was published will also be on display. Visitors will get to see a photograph of the foundation stone laid in 1873, when the construction of the main building started. A rare copy of the third edition of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, from March 1726, is another prized exhibit. The life history of Jyotindranath Roy, also known as Kanu Roy, a former student of Presidency College and a member of the famous Mohan Bagan team that scored a historic win in the IFA Shield in 1911 against the East Yorkshire Regiment, is also showcased. The victory in the IFA Shield — the second oldest football tournament in the world after the English FA Cup — was then seen as a symbolic triumph against British rule.

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