The Central Library of the Aligarh Muslim University
popularly known as Maulana Azad Library is one of the largest university
libraries of the World which possesses about 18,00,000 volumes of books and
55,097 current journals in hard and soft copies.
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 renamed as Maulana Azad Library, after a great scholar, educationist,
statesman, freedom fighter and the first Education Minister of the independent
M.A. Library is the Central Library of the
University with more than 110 sister libraries (college/departmental
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 16,000 rare and invaluable
manuscripts on Islam, Hinduism, etc.
M.A. Library has introduced state of the art
information technology and it is fully automated with LibSys 7.0 software which
connects almost all 3,000 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 8,000 students, teachers and other members
visit the Library almost every day.
M.A. 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 AD) which was published in 1572 & other on Avicennas
(Ibn-e-Sinas 980-1037 AD) Al-Qanun (1593 AD). 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.
It consists of many rare manuscripts. Among its
rarities, the oldest manuscript a copy of Quran preserved in the Library is
over 1400 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 copy of Nahjul Balagha
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 (Kurta) which was worn by warriors of Mughal Emperors.
Among the Mughal period paintings is a Red Tulip, a master piece of Mansoor
Naqqash, the court artist of Emperor Jahangir. Valuable Sanskrit works on
Hinduism translated in Persian are also available in the Library. One of them
is a Persian translation of Bhagwat Geeta by Abul Faiz Faizi. Other
possessions are the Telugu and Malyalam manuscripts written on palm leaves.
Conservation & Binding Section
The Library is very much concerned with the
conservation and preservation of the Worlds documentary heritage. It maintains
a Conservation Laboratory for manuscripts and Bindery for books, journals,
newspapers etc. 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
This 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. Gift
& Exchange is also one of the important activity of the Library where documents
of many languages are received as gift especially in Urdu, Arabic and Persian.
Individual authors also prefer to donate copies of their works. Private
collections from eminent personalities are also received as gift from time to
The Circulation Division of the University
Library provides open access for issuable books to its students, faculty and
staff. Users can go to stacks directly for selection of the desired books and
after selection can borrow them.
This Division is responsible for collecting and
managing the periodicals which contain the latest information on current
developments. The Library makes every effort to procure the maximum number of
journals on all subjects of studies. This Division also procures and manages
the current newspapers and general magazines. At present, about 700 journals in
hard copy and 16000 e- journals are subscribed in addition to some World famous
databases for research and reference.
Computer Applications Division (CAD)
The Division has started housekeeping operations
in Acquisition, Periodical, Technical and Circulation Divisions. The Library is
a part of the fiber optic based campus LAN. Of 175 computer, 100 computers are
exclusively available for the use of research scholars and faculty members in
the Library. Computer Applications Division designs & develops many utility
software for the smooth running of library apart from maintenance of main
Library software i.e. LibSys. Training and help is also given to users and
staff of the university regarding information retrieval and data entry.
Digital Resources Centre (DRC)
The Library provides campus wide access to
online resources through a well-equipped Computer Lab having 100 nodes. This
Centre provides access to the subscribed as well as open access resources
available to the University. CDs of
lectures of IITians, Medical tutorials, reference documents, etc. are also accessible in the Digital Resources
Research and Reference Section
The reference tools available in print form in this
Section are mainly the dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies,
directories, indices, geographical sources, subject dictionaries, statistical
sources, calendars, yearbooks, biographies, gazetteers, census reports
statistical information sources, factual information sources etc. The staff working
in the section guide students and other searchers in locating and providing the
required material out of the reference sources.
Sir Syed Section
The Library has a separate room in which books
written by Sir Syed as well as on Sir Syed are kept. The Aligarh Institute
Gazette started by Sir Syed in 1866, Tahzeeb-ul-Akhlaq started in 1870 and
Aasar-us-Sanadeed (about monuments of Delhi) are also available in Sir Syed Section
which is consulted widely by scholars from India and abroad.
One of the special features of Maulana Azad
Library is its service to the visually impaired students through Braille
Section. Apart from the books in Braille script, a large number of documents in
electronic format and devices are also available in this section which is
provided to the students. Angel Pro, a mobile like apparatus for recording the classroom
lectures and listening to the already recorded books are issued to all the
students for the entire duration of the course.
There are six large size reading halls apart from eight small reading rooms with a seating capacity of about 2000 students at a time.
Newspapers Reading Area
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.
River Ganga Repository
purpose of River Ganga Repository is to collect, organize and make accessible
to the world, the literature and other information pertaining to the river
Ganga which may be utilized in cleaning and rejuvenating the river Ganga. AMU
has already gathered a number of books, reports, dissertations and theses which
are now part of the repository.
started AMULIBNET in 2012 to facilitate the sister libraries to upload the
bibliographic information of their collection to the centrally located server
to become visible on OPAC.
The Library collection
comprises 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.
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.
Print & Photocopying Facilities
Print & photocopy
facilities are available in the Library with minimal charge.
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
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.