History of Punjab University Library


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       Besides fifty six independent libraries of the teaching departments, constituent colleges and institutes, the Punjab University has a central library, which is called 'Punjab University Library'. It was established in 1873 as 'Punjab University College Library'. The Punjab University College was raised to the status of a University in 1882 under the Punjab University Act No. XIX of 1882 which was published in the Gazette of India dated 7th October 1882 and the Punjab University came into existence on 14th October 1882 by a notification issued by the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab and with it, it became the Punjab University Library from the same date.

          One of the most essential needs of the University, if it was to become a real center of learning, was the development of its library. The origin of the University library lay in the collection of Sir Donald MacLeod, some 2,000 volumes, which the University College purchased from him for Rs. 2500/- in 1873. This was a good beginning, but nothing seems to have been done for a generation to augment it. Indeed when Mr. Woolner became Registrar and Principal of Oriental College thirty years later, the library had actually diminished to the neglected contents of two almirahs. Its development during the next thirty years has been due largely to the continuous and active interest of Mr. A.C. Wollner.

          The injunction contained in clause 3 of the Indian Universities Act of 1904, 'to erect, equip and maintain University Libraries, Laboratories and Museums,' marked the beginning of a new period for the Library. During the next two years the Syndicate sought and obtained from the Government of India a special initial grant of Rs. 30,000 and a smaller recurring grant for three years for the expansion of the Library. By September, 1909, Rs. 36,000 had been spent upon the acquisition of books and fittings. A specially adapted building was clearly necessary, and in 1910 the Syndicate acquired a site in proximity to the Senate Hall and plans for its erection were prepared by Bhai Ram Singh, Principal of the Mayo School of Arts, who also designed the University Hall and Khalsa College, Amritsar, all handsome edifices in the traditional style of North-Western India. The foundation-stone was laid by the Chancellor, Sir Louis Dane, on 27th February, 1911; the building proceeded rapidly and the first portion was formally opened by the same Chancellor in April, 1912. The expansion of the Library was so rapid during the next three years that at the end of 1915 the building had to be extended to the dimensions contemplated in the original plan. The entire building, which was completed in February, 1917 cost Rs. 1,60,000. It is a two storied building of attractive design (at Allama Iqbal Campus).

          A month after the laying of the foundation-stone the University Library received a valuable accession from an unexpected source. The late Mr. H.M. Percival, M.A.I.E.S., Professor of English Literature, Presidency College, Calcutta, at his retirement in March, 1911, presented to it his collection of 6,500 volumes, which had been accumulated at a cost of about Rs. 36,000. This collection has since been maintained separately in the Library. Two other valuable contributions were made about the same time. The late Agha Mohammad Ibrahim in 1913 presented the collection of his father, the late Shams-ul-Ulema Maulvi Mohammad Hussain Azad, consisting of 1556 books and 389 manuscripts, mostly relating to classical Arabic Literature. Between 1910 and 1931, Sir Edward Maclagan, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., who was Chancellor of the University from 1919 until 1924, had also presented a series of 389 numbers of certain valuable journals. The steadily increasing collection of books was classified in 1916 by an American expert, Mr. A.D. Dickinson, who also initiated a class for the training of the librarians.

          The Library has continuously been improved during this latest period, not only as a collection of books, but also as an instrument for the assistance of study and research. At the time of the birth of Pakistan, there were 1,44,204 books in the Library. At present its collection regarding books, journals, manuscripts and other reading material is 5,25,000 approximately including some very precious personal / special collections.

          The Punjab University Library remained in its old building at Allama Iqbal Campus up to 1988 and in the same year it was shifted to its present newly constructed building at Quaid-i-Azam Campus. The construction of the present building started in 1982 with a special grant of Federal Government of Rs. 15 million and it was completed by December 1986. The building was handed over to the Chief Librarian in September 1987. The shifting work of the Library was started in March 1988 and completed in June 1988. The total area of this building is 1,02,000 sq. feet. It is a beautiful two storied building with a basement of 10,000 sq. feet. It has big reading halls on the ground and the first floor, these have a seating capacity of approximately 250 readers. Besides these, there are many separate air-conditioned rooms and sections for readers. These air-conditioned rooms provide atmosphere conducive to serious studies and act as silence zones of the Library. The seating capacity of these rooms is about 250 readers. To meet the challenges of modern research techniques in the 21st century the facility of Internet was started on 16th December 1999, along with an Internet Lab in January 2000. The work of library automation was started on October 2000. The processing of almost all the English material  has been completed. Recently Punjab University Library has started data entry of serial publications that will give search approach to its volume and issue level. Moreover library has started a database of its newspaper index a monthly publication of newspaper articles being published in various local and foreign newspapers. Formerly the index was only available in printed format. The database software used both for books and serials is WIN/ISIS. Software was searchable under a number of categories like author, title, subject, heading, publishers, classification etc.

From 2005 our WINISIS catalogue has been transferred to Multilingual Library and Information Management System (MLIMS). This has enabled us to enter data in the oriental languages including Urdu, Persian, Arabic and Punjabi etc. Readers are supposed to consult the computerized catalogue for up-to-date information instead of manual catalogue, where OPAC terminals have been provided at ground and 1st floor with multilingual searching capabilities. Network access is available on several terminals at the library.

Punjab University Library has its collection in 9 major national and international languages and different types like, print material, CDs, DVDs, Floppies, Microfilms, Microfiches, Video and Audio Cassettes and Manuscripts. Punjab University Library also have audio visual facilities for its readers like, TV, VCR, CD/DVD Drives, Multimedia projector, Microfilm and Microfiche reader/printers. Besides all these we are searching new horizons to facilitate our readers through manual and electronic technologies.

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Tel: +92-42-99231126 | Fax +92-42-99230892| chieflibrarian@pu.edu.pk
Developed By: Mansoor Nawaz