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.
Maulana Azad Library is the Central Library of the University with over 100 sister libraries (college/seminar libraries). It is a World famous repository of rare manuscripts and books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic languages. One of the most priced part of the Library is its Manuscripts Division which possess about 16000 rare and invaluable manuscripts including several royal decrees of Mughal emperors namely Babur, Akbar, Shahjahan, Aurangzeb, Shah Alam etc. and also the translation of Sanskrit works in Persian, such as BhagwadGeeta, Mahabharat and Leelawati. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb?s sword and the coins of Mughal period are also preserved in this Division.
Maulana Azad Library has introduced state of the art information technology and it is fully automated with LibSys 7.0 software which connects almost all 9,500 computers within the University as well as the centers in distant states. The 3M security system and three dozen CCTV cameras ensure safety of the Library material. Over 5000 students, teachers and other members visit the Library almost every day.
In the central hall of the Library at the entrance are displayed 'new arrivals'; 'university staff publications'; 'must read' books and 'founders library collection' in respective showcases. Several systems providing search facility for library materials through OPAC and traditional catalogues are available in the Central Hall. The Library has been famous for the pin-drop silence observed by its readers.
The Library provides a wide range of services to its users including retrieval of information, orientation, assistance in locating/searching of documents, advisory services, current awareness service (CAS), bibliographic service, bibliographic instructions, inter library loan, organization of exhibitions, press clipping, reprographic service, print facility etc.
The Library collections comprise of about 18,00,000 documents including books, periodicals, newspapers, theses, dissertations, reports, pamphlets, manuscripts, paintings, photographs, CDs, microfilms, databases, e-books, talking books etc. There are about 15,000 theses and dissertations forming perhaps the largest collection of such documents in the Country. Besides hard copy collections of about 13,00,000 books, about 1,20,000 e-books and 3,00,000 full text theses are available online. In fact, the Library performs the functions of a reference library so far as the books and manuscripts in oriental languages are concerned.
& Manuscript Division
Maulana Azad Library possess about 1.5 lakh books in Persian,
Urdu, Arabic, Hindi and Sanskrit languages on almost all the subjects taught in
the University. Research scholars of Persian, Arabic, Urdu, History, Islamic
Studies, West Asian studies, Unani Medicine, Theology, Mass Communication are
its regular users. This Division has a very large collection of rare books
published during the 18th and 19th centuries.
One of them is the Latin translation of the celebrated Arabic works on
optics, OpticamPrafatis by
Ibn-al-Haitham (965-1039) which was published in 1572 & other on Avicenna's
(Ibn-e-Sina's) Al-Qanun. Digitization
of the rare printed books is in progress and almost half the collections of
Manuscripts and more than 15,000 rare books have already been digitized. Among
its rarities, the oldest manuscript owned by the Library is over fourteen
hundred years old. It is a fragment of Holy Quran transcribed by Hazrat Ali,
the fourth caliph of Islam which is written on parchment in Kufi script.
Another rare manuscript is the Halnama
of Bayazid Ansari and a rare copy of NahjulBalagha
of Hazrat Ali. There are several farmans (decrees) of the Mughal kings like
Babur, Akbar, Shahjahan, Shah Alam, Aurangzeb etc. Another prized possession of
the Library is a 'Shirt' on which the whole Quran is inscribed in Koofi Script.
This 'Kurta' is believed to have been worn by warriors of Mughal army. Among
the Mughal period paintings is a Red Blossom, a master piece of Mansoor
Naqqash, the celebrated court artist of Emperor Jahangir. Valuable Sanskrit
works on Hinduism translated in Persian are also available in the Library.
Other possessions worth mentioning are the Telugu and Malyalam manuscripts
written on palm leaves.
Conservation & Binding
The Library is very much concerned with conservation and
preservation of the World's documentary heritage. It maintains a Conservation
Laboratory for manuscripts and Bindery for books, journals, newspapers etc. The
Library's conservation team includes skilled technicians, qualified
conservators and bookbinders. At the core of our work is the care and
understanding of the collections. The Library uses a combination of
"preventive" and "interventive" activities. Reduction and
wherever possible, elimination of the causes of deterioration is the most
effective and least expensive strategy for collection.
Collection Development Division
Division is responsible for selecting, ordering and acquiring books and other
documents. In selecting books and reference sources, identification of the
needs of academic community, current fields of study and educational levels are
taken into account. The resources are acquired after combing through lists,
reviews, suggestions of subject experts and by visiting book fairs etc.
Students can submit their requirements to the librarian or the Circulation and
Acquisition divisions through letters, e-mails or in person.
Computer Applications Division
Library provides campus wide access to online resources through a well-equipped
Computer Lab. The Section has started housekeeping operations in Acquisition,
Periodical, Technical and Circulation Divisions. OPAC (Online Public Access
Catalogue) is now being accessed by large number of readers and the digital
resources are accessible in Digital Resource Centre also. CDs of lectures of
IITians, Medical tutorials, reference documents, over three lac Ph.D. theses,
one lac e-books and over one lakh of e-books in English and thousands of rare
printed books of Maulana Azad Library in oriental languages also are accessible
in the Digital Resources Centre.
Research and Reference Section
Gift & Exchange Section
Sir Syed Section
There are six large size
reading halls apart from eight small reading rooms with a seating capacity of
about 1350 students at present which will be extended to 1500 seats in near
Almost all current newspapers and magazines of English, Urdu and
Hindi are available in the Library. Back files of some reputed newspapers are
also being preserved and maintained.
Besides students, teachers
and other staff of the University, all members of the University Court, the
Executive Council and Finance Committee are eligible for membership. The
University Librarian is authorized for providing membership to any other person
as well. Each member must keep the Identity Card and should produce it to the
Library staff on demand. Indiscipline, gossiping and making noise is strictly
The Library remains open
for 18 hours a day on all days except a few national & religious holidays.
During the examination period, the opening hours are further extended. The
Library is used extensively by students, research scholars, faculty members and
visiting scholars from within the country and abroad.
Location: See location in google map.
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