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The Indian National Bibliography has been conceived as an authoritative bibliographical record of current Indian publications in Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu languages, received in the National Library, Kolkata under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers, (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 (Act No. 27 of 1954 as amended by Act No. 99 of 1956).
The following types of publications are excluded: 

a) Maps
b) Musical scores
c) Periodicals and Newspapers (except the first issue of a new periodical and the first issue of a periodical under a new title)
d) Keys and Guides to Textbooks
e) Ephemeral and other such materials.

The main entries are in Roman Script and the collations and annotations, if any, are in English. The classified portion follows the Dewey Decimal Scheme of Classification but the numbers from the Colon Classification scheme are assigned to each entry at the bottom right hand to facilitate the use of the Bibliography and libraries, arranged according to the Colon Schemes of classification.

At the beginning of itís compilation, the problem of multilingual characteristics of the nation was overcome with the scholarly opinion of Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji by adopting Roman script with diacritical marks. The standardization of the transliteration table made at that time was helpful while developing software standards for Indian language scripts. Today this has been made possible by CDAC††† GIST and is used to enter language data at present..

Before commencing regular publication, two experimental fascicules one with entries arranged according to Dewey Decimal Classification and the other employing Colon Classification were issued and circulated among experts at home and abroad for opinions and comments. After continuous 15 months of hard work finally on 15th August 1958 the INB covering the last quarter of 1957 made it's appearance as a quarterly with annual cumulation. It's first issue was released by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India.

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