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History

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).