Library and Archives

A destination for books and journals of over 14,000 on South Indian arts, crafts, performance, anthropology and folklore. The Library includes the National Folklore Support Centre's collections. The Library also houses more than 1,00,000 photographs and a vast collection of DVD's, CD's and tapes.

Some of our prized possessions are old journal collections such as Marg, India Magazine, Lalit Kala, Sangeet Natak as well as other journal collections such as South Asian Studies, Art India etc. We also have in our shelves census reports on crafts, houses , festival and out-of-print books on crafts and arts.

We request donation of books pertaining primarily to art, craft and culture of South India and we also thank our donors without whose support this collection would not have been possible.

Museum Collections

The collection consists of items of everyday life used in the Southern States. In the year 2014, the Museum Collection numbers 4220 artefacts, of which 3200 are objects, 950 are textiles and 70 contemporary works.

Our textile collection consists of mainly cotton and silk attires of male (dhoti, lungi, kurta, turban, cap, ceremonial attire), female (saree, blouse, half saree, full skirt, set mundu, veil, scarf), furnishings, yardage (Real Madras Handkerchief, Ikat, Kalamkari etc. ), Telia Rumal, decorative wall hangings and ritual textiles.

Documentations at DakshinaChitra


  • Construction of Chutilu house and Ancillary Structures from Haripuram, Andhra Pradesh at DakshinaChitra, 2003
  • Domestic Architecture & Architectural Craft of Andhra Pradesh, MCF 2001
  • Domestic Architecture of Karnataka. MCF 1997
  • Documentation of South Kanara Traditional Houses, 1996
  • Documentation of Kerala's Domestic Architecture, MCF 1995
  • Vernacular Architecture of Tamilnadu . MCF 1991
  • Vernacular architecture in Mahabubnagar, Pithapuram, Nalgonda - Andhra Pradesh for DakshinaChitra

Craft, Folk Performing Arts and Textiles

  • South Indian Jewelery making: Documentation at Ethnic Jewels, Mylapore, MCF 2003
  • Notes on Indian Tribal and Folk Art traditions participating in " Sites of Recurrence" at DakshinaChitra, 2003
  • Kerala folk dances: Kolkali and Poorakali. 2001
  • The art of Painting on Wood in Tamilnadu, 2001. Report under the Languishing Craft Scheme for Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts)
  • Lamps of South India. 2000
  • Workshop on Indian Design: Post Revival - Future Directions. 2000
  • Documentation of the marriage ritual of Raja Kambala Nayakar Community. 1999
  • Kummathikali: a folk form of Kerala.
  • Traditional Textiles of Andhra Pradesh. 1999
  • Mask & Performance : Seminar papers, 1996
  • Real Madras Handkercheif, Seminar papers, 1994
  • Area study of Performing Arts and Crafts Skills: Tiruporur taluk of TN. 1992 : Madras School of Social Work
  • Potters in Tamilnadu : A selected survey and workshop conducted by MCF, 1992
  • Documentation of Karnataka Folk Dance : Kamsale Battalu

List of Madras Craft Foundation Publications

  • A Celebration of Tamil Nadu, Madras Craft Foundation, Chennai, 1996, Rs.100 (Out of Print)
  • A Celebration of Kerala, Madras Craft Foundation, Chennai, 1996, Rs.75 (Out of print)
  • Maker and Meaning: Craft and Society: Proceedings of the Seminar January 1999, Tamil Nadu , India, Madras Craft Foundation, 1999, Rs.60
  • Thiagarajan, Deborah: DakshinaChitra: A Glimpse of South India, Madras Craft Foundation, Chennai, December 2001, Rs.175.
  • Ed. Krishnaswamy, Subashree: Traditional and Vernacular Architecture: Proceedings of the Seminar 6-12 January, 2001, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka, India, Madras Craft Foundation, Chennai, 2003, Rs. 200
  • Sites of Recurrence: a workshop in contemporary art, January 19th – 27th 2003, Chennai, Madras Craft Foundation, Chennai, 2003, Rs. 80.
  • Sites of Recurrence – II – out of India – International contemporary art exhibition September 6th to November 16th, 2003, boras konstmuseum, Boras , 2003, Rs.100.
  • DakshinaChitra: An interactive center for living traditions in a changing society highlighting the art, craft, architecture and folk performing arts of the four Southern States of India – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh (Souvenir released during the 20th anniversary function of Madras Craft Foundation on 06.03.2004) Chennai, India: Madras Craft Foundation, 2004
  • Thiruporur: Nam Ur , Chennai, Madras Craft Foundation, 2006 (Tamil and English)
  • Krishnadas, Priya: Folk Performing Arts: Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Madras Craft Foundation, 2008.