The library of the IFP is a multi-disciplinary research library. Started with the founding of the Institute in 1955, its collection was constituted over the years with the active collaboration of the IFP’s researchers. Today the library has a rich and varied collection relating to the the domains of Indology, Social Sciences and Ecology. Its research interests cover India, and more generally South Asia. As of today, the collection consists of 69 000 books, 380 theses, over 1600 articles, 440 reports and 760 journals of which 85 are received currently. Over 500 books are added to the collection every year.
The Indology collection
A collection that is among the richest in South India in the domains of Indian literature and grammar (primarily Sanskrit and Tamil), sastra-s (i.e. traditional disciplines, including philosophy), religion, art, archaeology and epigraphy, astrology and traditional medicine etc.
Some of the noteworthy sections in the collection are: The art and architecture section that includes books on temple art, architecture and iconography, particularly of South India; the Sanskrit literature and Tantra sections that contain several rare editions ; the Tamil section that includes books on classical and modern Tamil literature, grammar, religious literature, history, sociology etc.
The Indological collection of the IFP is deemed to be one of the largest French collections in the field of Indology.
The Social Sciences collection
A collection devoted to history, geography, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, rural and urban studies, gender studies, demography, law etc. Includes documents relating to the history of the French establishments in India and the gazette of the colonial administration. The collection also includes an almost complete set of the Census of India dating back to 1851 (since 1971 only volumes relating to South India are being acquired) as well as Gazetteers of India pertaining to various regions, districts and taluks.
The Ecology collection
A collection devoted to ecology, forestry, agroforestry, botany, palynology, pedology, cartography, agronomy, environmental studies, climatology etc. Includes a comprehensive set of books on forest ecology in South India, especially in the Western Ghats.
The collection is also rich in books on Indian flora, Indian medicinal plants and mangroves.