Who is Dr. S. R. Ranganathan? – A Short Biography of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan

A Short Biography Dr. S. R. Ranganathan

Who is Dr. S. R. Ranganathan?

Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan was known for his most notable contributions to the field library science in India. He was a librarian and mathematician from India who work for Library Science profession development in India. Hence he is considered to be the Father of Library Science in India. His five laws of library science (1931) and the development of the first major faceted classification system, the colon classification is most well known fundamental work. In India every year his birthday (August 9) is observed & Celebrated  as the National Librarian Day.

                This post, basically focused on the major biographical events on the life of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, his work & Achievement in the field of Library Science etc.


  • Name: Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan
  • Birth: Born on August 9, 1892
  • Birth Place: Ubhayavedanthapuram  in Tanjavoor District, Madras (Tamilnadu)
  • Died: 27 September, 1972 in Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Father: N. Ramamrita Ayyar
  • Mother: Seethalakshmi

Educational Background

  • Matriculation:  S.M. Hindu High School at Shiyali (1908-1909)
  • Junior Intermediate: Madras Christian College
  • Graduation: B.A. with a first class in March/April 1913
  • Master’s: Master’s  degree in 1916  (M.A. in Mathematics)

Working & Starting Career

  • 1917: Appointed to the Subordinate Education Service and worked as Assistant Lecturer in the Government College in Mangalore and Coimbatore and taught Physics and Mathematics (1917 – 1921)
  • 1921: He joined the Presidency College, Madras as Assistant Professor of Mathematics in July 1921 and he taught Algebra, Trigonometry and Statistics
  • 1924: Appointed as the First Librarian of the Madras University,

   In the period of 1924-1925, he visited England to study and observation of library work at University College, London. At that time he came into the contact of W.C. Berwick Sayers, Chief  Librarian of Croydon Public Library.

  • 1945-1954: Worked as University librarian and as professor of library science at Hindu University in Varanasi (Banaras)
  • 1947-1954: Worked as Professor in Library Science at University of Delhi, Delhi
  • 1957-1959: Worked as visiting professor at Vikram University, Ujjain, until 1959.
  • 1962: Honorary Professor at DRTC, Bangalore
  • 1950-62: Chairman of the Classification Research Group of the International Federation for Documentation (FID)
  • 1956- Honorary member, Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres (IASLIC)

Major Professional  Work & Activities

  • 1924: Colon Classification
  • 1928: Formulated the Five Laws of Library Science
  • 1929: School of Librarianship started
  • 1930: Prepared ‘Model Library Act’
  • 1931: First publication  of Five Laws of Library Science in  book form by Madras Library Association
Five Laws of Library Science (1931) was widely accepted work of  Dr. S. R. Ranganthan

  • Books are for use
  • Every reader his book
  • Every book its reader
  • Save the time of the reader
  • Library is a growing organism
  • 1933: Colon Classification (CC) published (1st Edition)
  • 1934: Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) first published
  • 1935: Library Administration (first publication)
  • 1937: Published Prolegomena to Library Classification (1st Edition)
  • 1938: Theory of the Library Catalogue
  • 1940: Reference Service and Bibliography, (1st Edition. Published)
  • 1944-1953: Served as president of the Indian Library Association
  • 1945: Elements of Library  Classification, (1st Edition. Published)

Published Dictionary Catalogue Code, 1st Edition.

  • 1948: Classification and International Documentation
  • 1948: By the Dr. S R Ranganathan’s efforts the Madras Public Libraries Act was passed by the legislature of the Madras Presidency.
  • 1951: Classification and Communication, 1st Edition. Published

Published Philosophy of Library Classification, 1st Edition. Published

  • 1955: Headings and Canons: Comparative study of Five Catalogue Codes (Published 1st Edition)
  • 1963: Documentation and its Facets, 1st Edition

Organizational Development

  • 1928: founded the Madras Library Association (MALA) in January 1928
  • 1931: Started the School of Library Science at University of Madras
  • 1951: Started the Doctoral Degree programme in India at Delhi University
  • 1957: Founded the Sarada Ranganathan Chair of Library Science, University of Madras
  • 1961: Founded the Sarada Ranganathan Endowment for Library Science (SRELS)
  • 1962: Founder-Patron, Mysore Library Association, Bangalore
  • 1962: Established DRTC (Documentation Research and Training Centre) at Bangalore with the help of UNESCO

Award/Achievements and Honor

Rao Sahib, Government of India 1935
D. Litt. (Honorius causa), University of Delhi, Delhi 1948
Honorary fellow, Virginia Bibliographic Society 1951
Awarded Padma shree by the Government of India 1957
Honorary vice-president, Library Association (London) 1957
Honorary fellow, International Federation for Documentation (FID) 1957
D. Litt. (Honoris causa), University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A 1964
Declared national research professor by the Government of India 1965
Honorary fellow, Indian Standards Institution (ISI) 1967
Grand knight of peace award, Mark Twain Society, USA. 1971

 Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) -Editions & Year (first published by Madras Library Association)

  • Classified Catalogue Code (CCC)- 1st Edition 1934
  • Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) 2nd ed. 1945
  • Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) -3rd 1951
  • Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) -4th 1958
  • Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) -5th ed. 1964

Prolegomena to Library Classification- -Editions & Year

  • Prolegomena to Library Classification : 1st Edition (1937)
  • Prolegomena to Library Classification : 2nd Edition (1957)
  • Prolegomena to Library Classification : 3rd Edition (1967)

Colon Classification (CC) -Editions & Year

  1. Colon Classification (CC) – 1st  Edition (1933)
  2. Colon Classification (CC) – 2nd Edition (1939)
  3. Colon Classification (CC) – 3rd Edition (1950)
  4. Colon Classification (CC) – 4th Edition (1952)
  5. Colon Classification (CC) – 5th Edition (1957)
  6. Colon Classification (CC) – 6th Edition (1960)
  7. Colon Classification (CC) – 6th Edition (revised) 1963
  8. Colon Classification (CC) – 7th Edition. 1987
Dr. S. R. Ranganathans well-known works
  • Five Laws of Library Science (First published in 1931)
  • Colon Classification(CC) (first published in 1933),
  • Classified Catalogue Code(CCC) (first published in 1934),
  • Library Administration(first published in 1935),
  • Prolegomena to Library Classification(first published in 1937)
  • Theory of the Library Catalogue (1938),
  • Elements of Library Classification (1945),
  • Classification and International Documentation (1948),
  • Classification and Communication (1951),
  • Headings and Canons (1955).

Hope you like this post please post or comment on this article in comment box & share your views on comment box. Share this post to other LIS member. Also Suggest topics which required detail information.

Thank you

Join us with our Telegram Channel

Views: 5259

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *