The State Central Library is the oldest Public Library in India. It was established on 15th September 1832 by Vice Roy Dom Manuel de Portugal e Castro as ‘Publica Livraria.’ It had a beginning as ‘Academia Militar de Goa’ (Military Training Institute). In 1836 the name was changed to ‘Bibliotheca Publica’ and enriched with a bibliographical repository transferred from the Convents run by religious orders that were suppressed in the1834. In the same year, the Library was shifted to premises where the Municipal Proceedings were held, however, the collection on Mathematics and Military sciences was left in Academia, and books on Administrative and Legislative matters were transferred to Secretariat Library.
On 15th February 1897, the status of the Library was raised to that of a National Library and renamed as ‘Bibliotheca Nacional de Nova Goa’. In March 1925, it was annexed to the academic and cultural institution, (Instituto Vasco da Gama) and redesigned as “Biblioteca Nacional Vasco da Gama’. By Decree-Law no. 38684 dated 18th March 1952, the privilege of ‘Deposito Legal’ (Delivery Act) was made applicable to this library and by it, the library received all publications from Portugal and her overseas Provinces.
From September 1959, the Bibliotheca was detached from the Institute and put under the administrative control of ‘Services de Instruccao e Saude’ (Education and Health Services); it was then renamed as Biblioteca Nacional de Goa. The collection of the pre-liberation period consists mainly of Books and Journals in Portuguese, French, Latin, English, and very few books in local languages like Konkani and Marathi. The total pre-liberation collection was about 40,000 volumes.
The Library is named Krishnadas Shama Goa State Central Library the founder of Konkani prose and father of Konkani literature in the written word of the 16th century. The library has more than 1.8 lakhs of books in different languages like English, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Portuguese since its inception.
The Goa State Central Library is under the administrative control of the Government of Goa, Directorate of Art & Culture, and Curator is the Head of State Central Library-Goa.