The quarterly journal 'Kavita' was established in order to discuss, disseminate and create a culture of poetry. Founded by Buddhadeb Basu, its early editors included, along with Basu, literary stalwarts Samar Sen and Premenda Mitra. The journal's latter period, however was characterized by Buddhadeb Basu in a singular editorial role. The journal includes not simply poems, but essays and ruminations on world literature. Letters from literary icons also appeared, allowing readers a deep understanding of the profundities of the literature of the time. The journal's publication spanned twenty five years, from 1935 to 1960. It contains poetry of a variant range, extending from the recognizable significance of Rabindranath Tagore to the works of many lesser known poets. Many of these poems have not been anthologised and remain quite difficult to procure.
Most volumes consist of four issues, namely, Ashwin, Poush, Chaitra and Ashar, though
volumes III, IV, IX, XX and XXIV include photographs of photocopies. This is on account of the fact that the original volumes, as received by the SCTR from Damayanti Basu Singh did not include one issue. Hence, through the intervention of Dr. Basu Singh herself, the digitizers have acquired photocopies of the missing issues, which have been photographed and incorporated into the folder of each corresponding volume. This has been done with the intention of providing digitized copies of the entire run of ‘Kavita’.
The issues printed in each year have been bound to form volumes. Certain volumes contain five issues, including a special issue that was published in particular years. The total of twenty five volumes contains more than 8000 pages of material that is of value to both the student of literature and the habitual reader. The 9th and 10th issues are, notably, slimmer on account of the difficulty in obtaining sufficient paper during the War. Certain issues are incomplete due to the extent of damage they have been subject to. The pages are often yellowing, moth-eaten and brittle to the point of breaking. The binding is often tightly made, which has led to the images being askew.