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Serampore Mission Press

First published book from Serampore Mission Press

The Serampore Mission Press was established in Serampore in 1800 by William Carey, William Ward and other British Baptist missionaries as an auxiliary of the Serampore Mission. The Serampore Mission Press was established in Serampore in 1800 by William Carey, William Ward and other British Baptist missionaries as an auxiliary of the Serampore Mission. Carey made an outstanding contribution by founding the the Press where the wooden Bangla types made by Panchanan Karmakar were installed. The first newspaper published in an Indian language was the Samachar Darpan in Bengali. The first issue of this daily was published from this Serampore Mission Press on May 23, 1818. The press produced 212,000 books between 1800 and 1832. The British government, highly suspicious of missionaries, discouraged any missionary work in their territory.[citation needed] Serampore, in the Hooghly district of Bengal, being a Danish colony, provided refuge to Carey and company.

The press published religious Christian tracts, Indian literary works, translations of the Bible in twenty five Indian vernaculars and other South Asian languages, but the major contribution of the press was printing vernacular textbooks. The press printed books on grammar, dictionaries, history, legends and moral tales for the Fort William College and the Calcutta School Book Society.

The press also started to publish the first Bengali newspaper and magazine from 1818. It published books in almost forty five languages. It was formally closed down in 1837 when the Mission ran into heavy debts, according to Nikhil Sarkar in "Printing and the Spirit of Calcutta", the press merged with the Baptist Mission Press.

The first published work of the Serampore Mission Press was the Bengali New Testament. On March 18, 1800, the first proof sheets of the translation were printed. In August, the gospel of Matthew was completed as Mangal Samachar. The last sheets of the work were published on the 7th of February 1801. The printing of the volume was completed within nine months.

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