The Central Reference Library, Kolkata is the National Bibliographic Agency of the country. It works as a sub ordinate office of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This library is administered by a Librarian who is also General Editor of its publications. The primary objective of this institution is to compile and publish the Indian National Bibliography, an authentic record of books published in 14 different languages of India including English. It also publishes the Index Indiana; an index to articles in contemporary Indian language periodicals also comes under its ambit.

The Central Reference Library was conceived as an Apex library of the country at New Delhi. Till CRL will be one of the recipients of books and periodicals under Delivery of Books Act 1954, the INB unit which publishes the National Bibliography was directed to function at the National Library premises at Kolkata. It remaind so till date due to various reasons. The Librarian, National Library, late B. S. Kesavan was in-charge of INB unit as its General Editor. Late Y. M. Muley (1963-67) and late B. R. Kalia (1967-1970) also held the post till late C. R. Banerjee took over as the full time librarian (1970-73) in 1970. At present Dr. K. K. Kochukoshy is the Librarian and the General Editor of INB.

In 1955, the then Ministry of Education appointed a seven member committee headed by late B.S. Kesavan, the first Librarian, National Library of Independent India, Calcutta to make initial plans for a National Bibliography. After a number of meetings the committee laid down general structure under principles, which should govern the compilation of Indian National Bibliography. They are concerned with the coverage, script, classification, cataloguing, periodicity etc. The INB unit started functioning from August 1955 in the premises of National Library Kolkata. Up to 1970 the Librarian of National Library was the Chief Editor of the Indian National Bibliography. In 1970, CRL started to function as a separate subordinate office of the Department of Culture, Govt. of India, headed by a full-fledged Librarian.

1.The main objectives of the library is :

1.Compilation, Publication and sale of the Indian National Bibliography (INB) in Roman Script both as monthly and Annual cumulations.

2.The INB is a record of Current Indian Publications in 14 languages of India including English, which is based on the receipts in the National Library, Kolkata under the provision of the Delivery of Books Act, 1954.

3.Compilation and publication of language fascicules of the INB

4.Compilation, Publication and sale of Index Indiana which is an index to select articles appearing in current Indian Periodicals in six major languages.