Defining the Malar (booklet) in Tamil

by Natkeeran Ladchumykanthan in Tamil (Canada)

Malar – மலர் (Booklet)

மலர் (malar; booklet in English) is a publication that combines archival records, creative works, and academic works. Malar can be compared and differentiated from public publications such as books, magazines, journals, and ephemera (குறுங்கால ஆவணங்கள்; kuṟuṅkāla āvaṇaṅkaḷ) such as pamphlets, posters, and notices. Malars are usually released to represent a specific event, organization or person. People related to them are taken as the primary audience. They are usually not released at regular intervals.

Malar in Tamil is known as commemorative publications and souvenir publications in English. Although such works are also published in the West, in the Tamil context, this genre has unique characteristics and uses. Malar can be compared to the Festschrift published in Germany. However, the Festschrift is primarily considered an academic publication.

Malar is printed in small numbers as they are released by a diverse group of people, and towards small groups of audience. Their number of pages can vary from a few pages to multiple pages like a book. and generally, not published for commercial purposes. Not for sale or wide distribution. Due to this, most of them are not included in libraries and archives.


Librarian Sirikanthalakshmi Arulanandam points out that in Sri Lanka, due to the restrictions on publishing research journals and print publications, malars are an important platform for publishing scholarly works and works of art along with archival records. As these publications deal with a wide variety of different grassroot organizations, events, and people, they record local histories.


Each type of malar has a different structure. For example, நிறுவன மலர் (niṟuvaṉa malar) is an organisational/ institutional/ company booklet that contains information about organisation/ institution members, meeting details, budget, news, booklet greetings (மலர் வாழ்த்துச் செய்திகள்; malar vāḻttuc ceytikaḷ), and engaging articles for organisation members. நினைவு மலர்; niṉaivu malar) is a commemorative publication that include obituaries (இரங்கல் பா; iraṅkal pā), biographies, selected works from literature, memoir (நினைவுப் பதிவு; niṉaivup pativu) of friends and colleagues, general essays, family trees, etc. As known so far, both Hindus and Christians create death anniversary booklets. They are called கல்வெட்டு (kalveṭṭu) or கல்வெட்டு நூல் (kalveṭṭu nūl) in addition to நினைவு மலர் (niṉaivu malar).

Types of Malar in Tamil

Event booklet (நிகழ்வு மலர்)

  • Conference booklet (மாநாட்டு மலர்)
  • Festival booklet (விழா மலர்)
  • Opening ceremony booklet (திறப்பு நிகழ்வு மலர்)
  • Prize giving ceremony booklet (பரிசளிப்பு விழா மலர்)
  • Sports event booklet (விளையாட்டு விழா மலர்)

Jubilee booklet (நிறைவு மலர்)

  • diamond jubilee – 75 years
  • Emerald jubilee – 60 years
  • Golden Jubilee – 50 years

Organisational/ institutional/ company booklet (நிறுவன மலர்)

  • Village association’s malar (ஊர் அமைப்பின் மலர்)
  • Religions organization’s malar (சமய நிறுவன மலர்)
  • Arts and culture organization’s malar (கலை/பண்பாட்டு நிறுவன மலர்)
  • School/old boys or girls association’s malar (பாடசாலை மலர்)
  • University unit malar (பல்கலைக்கழக மலர்)
  • Professional organization’s malar (தொழில் வல்லுனர் அமைப்புக்களின் மலர்)
  • Political organization’s malar (அரசியல் அமைப்புக்களின் மலர்)
  • Media organization’s malar (ஊடகங்களின் மலர்)
  • Business organization’s malar (வணிக நிறுவன மலர்)
  • Civic organization’s malar (குடிசார் அமைப்பின் மலர்)

Special booklet (சிறப்பு மலர்)

  • Appreciation Booklet

Commemorative booklet (நினைவு மலர்)

Elements that organisational/ institutional/ company booklet have in common

Publisher archival records

  • Members details
  • Budget
  • Details of meetings
  • News
  • Greeting messages
  • Articles
  • Creations
  • Advertisements

Common elements that commemorative booklet have:

  • Obituaries
  • Biography
  • Selected songs/ verses from religious/literary works
  • Memoirs/ memory narratives of friends/colleagues/students/relatives
  • General essays/works
  • Information
  • Family tree
  • Thank you



புதுப்பிப்பு│Update: 22.02.2023

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