The throbbing heart of the university, a library is an indispensible organ for any educational system. The Library of the Aligarh Muslim University, called Maulana Azad Library is one of the largest university libraries of the world which provides access to about 18,00,000 volumes of books, 60,000 plus current journals and about 20,00,000 research papers in hard and soft copies. In addition, over 60 subject gateways drawn from the public domain of Internet may also be accessed by the users. The Library has developed its Institutional Repository containing 9,000 plus Ph.D. Theses & Dissertations and plans to upload more of its rare and invaluable holdings in digital format. Recently, the Library has been declared as the best amongst all Indian university libraries by a visiting team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. It has also contributed to the University in achieving the status of the second best university of India as ranked by the Times Higher Education.
The foundation of the Library was laid in 1877 at the time of establishment of the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College by Lord Lytton, the then Viceroy of India and it was named after him as Lytton Library. The present grand seven-storied building was inaugurated by Late Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India in 1960 and the Library was named as Maulana Azad Library, after a great scholar, educationist, statesman, freedom fighter and the first Education Minister of the independent India.