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In the mid 1950s, the Department of Indian Studies was established at the University of Malaya (Singapore) and a collection of Tamil books covering subjects offered in the department have started to be collected. In 1959, with the establishment of the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, a policy decision was made to transfer the books from the Singapore University library to the Library in Kuala Lumpur. Tamil books collection is among the one involved in the transfer process. Since then, a collection of Tamil books were placed in the University of Malaya Main Library building. As the collection shows great usage, in 1999, the library collection moved to Institute of Postgraduate Studies building which is now known as Za’ba Memorial Library building. Since then, the library began operations as a special library implementing the acquisition, processing, loan and return independently. The collection of approximately 40,000 volumes in this library is mainly in Tamil script. It is considered to be the largest single Tamil collection in the country and Southeast Asia. 


More details about borrowing policy of the library


Monday - Sunday
Phase one of National Recovery Plan (PPN)



Monographs : Books on related to education, particularly in the field of Tamil language, classical & modern literature, culture, science, modern & traditional medicine, agriculture, engineering, economics, politics, education, music, history, biography, art, anthropology, sociology, psychology and translation literatures.

Conference papers : Comprise of published or unpublished papers presented at seminars or conferences held in Malaysia and abroad. The papers are indexed and retrievable through Pendeta WebPAC (iMalaysiana) catalogue.


Journals & Magazines : The library subscribes to most of the major journals in various fields of Tamil studies. Current journals (21 titles) and old issues (bound journals) (41 titles) are kept separately.

Tamil Newspapers : Indian Studies Library subscribes 2 types of local Tamil newspaper namely Makkal Osai and Malaysia Nanban. A collection of newspapers starting from 2008 up to the latest are kept in the library office for the purpose of preservation. Photocopy and references to these materials can be made only after obtaining permission from the library.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias : This collection consists of Vaalviyal Kalanjciyam (16 volumes), Tamil Lexicon (28 volumes), Ariviyal Kalanjciyam (10 volumes), Kalaik Kalanjciyam (20 volumes) and Peragarati (8 volumes). There are also dozens of dictionaries covering various subject kept for reference.

Academic Exercises : This collection contains Academic Exercises received from the Department of Indian Studies since 1999 till current.


Monographs : Books on Malaysiana published locally or overseas, particularly in the areas of Tamil language, literature, Tamil and Indian culture, dictionaries ranging from those published in the early 1930s.

Conference papers : Unpublished or published papers presented at the seminars or conferences held in Malaysia. The papers are indexed and retrievable through the Malaysiana index. The collection approximately 2,800 titles consist of; (1) Works written in Tamil and published in Malaysia; (2) Works on Malaysia written in Tamil published abroad; (3) Works written in Tamil by the author who originated from Malaysia.


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Gangga Devi Veeraselvam

librarian assistant

Sauriayer Selvaraj

librarian assistant


Indian Studies Library,
Level 5, Za’ba Memorial Library
University of Malaya,
Lembah Pantai,
50603 Kuala Lumpur,

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