Musafir Memorial Central State Library (MMCSL) at Patiala is the state library of Punjab. Its foundation stone was laid as the Central Public Library on Feb. 1, 1955 by then Hon'ble Chief Minister of PEPSU Sh. Brish Bhan Ji and was opened on July 23, 1956 by Hon'ble Governor of Punjab Sh.C.P.N. Singh.
In 1978, the library was renamed as Musafir Memorial Central State Library in honour of late Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, Chief Minister of Punjab.
The total area of this magnificent library is 23 bighas and 2 biswas.It is centrally located in the heart of Patiala city in a very calm and serene environment. It is just about half a kilometre away from the Railway Station and the Bus Stand. This library also serves as community centre for educational and cultural activities.
It has two halls within its campus, one serves as a seminar hall and the other is centrally air-conditioned auditorium which can accommodate eight hundred persons, creating library a happening knowledge hub. The building of State Library has been planned in an impeccable manner to meet its future needs.
The library has a rich collection of about 1.5 lac. documents on various subjects in different sections. The registered members of this library are more than 21000 in the Adult Section and 4000 in the Children Section. The library provides services to its members/readers mainly through its five sections i.e. Technical Section, Lending Section, Reference Section, Children Section and Periodical Section. This majestic building is in itself an example of appealing architect.
M.M.Central State library works as an apex public library in Punjab and 14 district libraries of the state are under its administrative control.
M.M.Central State Library has about 3000 rare manuscripts .The oldest manuscript available in the Library is “Skanda Puran” which is engraving on leaves. Scholars from far off places come to consult these manuscripts. These belong to a variety of subjects like history, religion, ayurveda, palmistry, literature etc.
Language wise break-up of manuscripts is: Persian : 961 Sanskrit : 784 Gurmukhi / Punjabi : 595 Urdu : 152 Hindi : 126 Arabic : 102
Selected manuscripts are displayed in the Reference Section of M.M.Central State Library:
1. Bhagvad Gita Translation by Faizi & Raja Jai Singh Sawai Dated : 1872 A.D.There are three columns on each page. First column contains the translation in Hindi the second is the original Sanskrit in Devnagri and the third Persian translation by Faizi. There is a running commentary in margin of each page in Hindi in Persian script.
2. Masadas da madah mubark Hazrat Baba Guru Nanak Sahib. Rehmat Aliaalia Qudas. Allah Sira ulaziz. By Mohd. Ali Khushnavis.
3. Asap Namah A Persian manuscript on the various kinds of horses, their diseases and remedies.
4. Bhagvat (Bhagvad Puran) Dated : 1787 BK. Persian translation of the twelve chapters of the Bhagvad Puran.
5. Noor Audin Abdul Rehamajami Yusaf – Wa Zulikha Jami Persian ( 169 pages, 56 illustrations)
6. The Holy Quran By Kashid Ul Umar Dated : 1252 A.H. (1733 AD) An extremely rare manuscript on account of its calligraphy and ornamentation.