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Bibidhartha samgraha (Calcutta, 1851-1861)

This monthly periodical, published by the Baptist Mission Jantra, used continuous numbering for separate issues and periodically discontinued publication for months. Following a sanction on the publication of the periodical in 1861 it was renamed to Rahasya Sandarbha.

The Vernacular Literature Committee in Calcutta was established in 1851 with a mission to publish translations of works not included in the design of the tract of Christian Knowledge Societies on the one hand and of the School Book and Asiatic Societies on the other as well as to provide a sound and useful ‘Vernacular Domestic Literature for Bengal’. A grant of Rs. 80 per month was extended to Rajendralal Mitra for publication of such a monthly that could fulfill the ambition of the committee of educating ‘native’ people in the modern systems of knowledge. To fulfill the demand, Bibidhartha came in circulation from October 1851.

The 16 page (later 24) journal was the first illustrated Bangla monthly and the first magazine covering various scientific and educative subjects. Writings on zoology, botany, anthropology filled the pages of this periodical along with plays, poetry and caricatures on social issues. After the publication of six volumes, Rajendralal Mitra retired from its editorship for health reasons. Then, Kaliprasanna Singha took the responsibility of its publication, which continued irregularly for ten months.

In the July issue of 1861, Kaliprasanna published a criticism of Nildarpan in this periodical as a gesture of protest against James Long's punishment in the court of law for publishing a translation of this play in his name. Consequently, he was forced to stop the publicatiion of this periodical as the Government-funded Vernacular Literature Committee was reluctant to release the grant for continuing its publication. In the following year Rajendralal Mitra restarted its publication under a new name, Rahasya Sandarbha, maintaining the same form and content.


  • Rajendralal Mitra, 1851-1856
  • Kaliprasanna Singha, 1857

Custodian of microfilm copies:

Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, Kolkata, W.B., India

Vol. 1, no. 1 [Kartik, 1773 sak (October, 1851)] - Vol. 7, no. 80 [Agrahayan, 1783 sak (November, 1861)]

Custodian of paper copies:

Bangiya Sahitya Parishat, Kolkata, W.B., India

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