Shanghai Library
The Library of University of Mumbai, India

The Library of University of Mumbai, India




The Library of University of Mumbai, India

The University of Mumbai (Bombay) was established in 1857. In August, 1864, Premchand Roychand, a merchant prince of Bombay, offered to the University a donation of Rs. 2,00,000 "towards the erection of a university library which may be an ornament to the city, and by becoming a storehouse of the learned works, not only of the past but of many generations to come, may be the means of promoting the high ends of the University."

Two months later this gift was followed by another gift of Rs. 2,00,000 from the same donor for a clock tower in connection with the library to perpetuate the memory of his mother Mrs. Rajabai. The foundation stone of the library and the Rajabai Clock tower was laid on March 1, 1869, and the work was completed in November 1878. It was formally opened to readers on February 27, 1880. The building then housed not only the library but also the administrative office and was also the venue of the post-graduate lectures.

In the early years, the library had an annual book budget of Rs. 400 but this was later discontinued until Sir Alfred Hopkinson's report of 1914 attracted attention to the planning and development of the library. Sir Alfred suggested the appointment of an experienced Librarian Committee under the control of the University Syndicate.

The annual grant to the library was renewed but the amount not fixed and it varied according to circumstances. Thanks to the various loans and donations including from the U.G.C., the India Wheat Loan Fund and other individuals and organizations, the library's stock of books and periodicals has been steadily growing and the library today is literally bursting through its seams, even though four tiers annexed to the main library building to provide space for 2,20,000 books was built in 1959.

The library is particularly rich in various reference materials, bibliographical tools, books on Mathematics, the Social Sciences and Indology. It has also a valuable and rare collection of back files of periodicals in Sciences, the Social Sciences and Indology.

Due to shortage of space another Campus of the University was set up at Vidyanagari in 1968 and a unit of the University Library was constructed in July 1971 therein. The new Library building named Jawaharlal Nehru Library, was constructed and was inaugurated on 18th October, 1976 and expanded in phases. Now it functions in a full fledged manner and caters to the library needs of students, scholars, faculty of all the departments situated on Campus. Today it has a stock of nearing 7 lakhs books, periodicals and other material.


The University Library and Rajabai Clock Tower above it is unique among the buildings, which enhance the beauty of the first city in India. Rising to a height of 280 feet it catches the eyes of visitors as one of the most attractive architectural features of Mumbai. The ground floor has 2 side rooms, each measuring 56 feet x 27.5 feet and a staircase vestibule 28 feet square. The Rajabai Tower forms a carriage porch 26 feet square in front of the building. The Tower, over the carriage porch, has a square form up to the gallery at the top of the first stage which is at a height of 68 feet from the ground. The form changes from a square to an octagon and the height from this gallery to the top of the tower is 118 feet and the third stage to the top of the finial is 94 feet, thus making a total height of 280 feet.


Jawaharlal Nehru Library (JNL) at Vidyanagari is built on modern architectural principles of modular construction. The collection here is divided into social sciences, pure and applied sciences and humanities. Separate stacking and reading rooms for these collections facilitate easy access.



Books                                                        : 699,321
Theses & Dissertation                             : 20,000
Periodicals                                                : 12,000
Manuscripts                                               : 15,000
Microforms                                                 : 2,000



Reading: The Library extends reading facilities to all postgraduate students of the University whether registered in the University itself or through colleges. Faculty members, researchers also get borrowing facilities. Membership is extended to PhD. students and teachers of other Universities, if they so desire. Writers, journalists and visitors are also given membership under the General Reader category. Besides this, the library extends visitors cards to visitors for 3 days extended up to 6 days, if they so desire.

Bibliographic services provided by the library include monthly list of new additions to the library, books on Inter-Library Loan, contents pages service (of periodicals), monthly update on Human Rights, photocopying service, reference service, referral service (directing users to sources outside the library), CD-ROM search and Internet Search services.


(Photos provided by the Library of University of Mumbai.)