Wuhan University Library is famous for its long history, abundant collection, magnificent architecture and pleasant environment. The library originated from Hubei Ziqiang Institute Library which was established at the end of 19th century by Zhang Zhidong, governor of Hubei and Hunan provinces. The library underwent a major expansion in 1917, and in 1928 it was named National Wuhan University Library. The Old Library, which opened in 1935, is located on the top of Lion Mountain with the beautiful East Lake by its side. Another new library was built in the center of the campus in 1985. In August 2000, Wuhan University amalgamated with Wuhan Technical University of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electric Engineering and Hubei Medical University. Accordingly, the libraries of the four universities were amalgamated to form a brand new Wuhan University Library. The building area amounts to 68,754 sq meters and the reference rooms amount to 16,601 sq meters, totally 85,355 sq meters.
Wuhan University Library acquires approximately 228,000 books & periodicals from home and abroad and 5,778 newspapers in 2011. Until 31st Dec 2011, the collection held 13,360,000 volumes, including around 6,767,000 printing volumes, 6,590,000 e-books & e-magazines, 442 databases and 200,000 volumes of thread-bound ancient books. More than 300 volumes are listed in “The Catalogue of Ancient Chinese Rare books”. 61 volumes are listed in “National Rare Ancient Books Directory “. The collection has covered all academic fields, especially the key disciplines. The library has established document exchange relations with more than 100 national libraries and academic institutions at home and abroad.
Wuhan University Library has four branches: Arts and Sciences Library, Engineering Library, Information Technology Library and Medical Library. All the branches are “Research-level Library for Collection of Literature” in Hubei Province. Collection in 21 subjects are honored “Research-level”. The protection level for books & periodicals in Hydraulic Engineering, Power Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mapping & Charting is top in China. The bio-medical periodical collection in the library is since 1907. The library has around 100,000 different scales of basic topographic maps of China and earth pictures. The Arts and Sciences Library mainly collects in areas such as philosophy, history, economics, politics, law, management, language, literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. The Engineering Library mainly focuses on water conservancy, electrical engineering, kinetics, civil engineering, electronics, mechanics, urban construction and planning, industrial and civil construction. The Information Technology Library mainly acquires materials in engineering surveying, photogrammetry and remote sensing, computer science, geodesic survey, geographic information engineering, cartography, printing, optical electronic equipment design and production, and electronic information technology. The Medical Library mainly collects in the disciplines of preclinical medicine, clinical medicine, nursing, medical management, and stomatology. There are 28 departmental libraries which, together with the library, serve as an integrated information service system.
In recent years, the library strengthens the construction of the networking and the digitization of its collection. The library adjusts its collection type in time, and increases the growth rate of e-resource. The effect of this adjustment is good. With years of development, all sorts of electronic documents in the library have become the main academic information resources. The total volumes of the electronic documents are top in row among university libraries in China. The databases cover almost all the disciplines in Wuhan University. Among the databases, full text database occupies first place; abstract database comes second. Most of the database type is the periodical databases which cover the newest and most important academic achievement. Other database types are book, conference papers, technical reports, thesis, technical standard, product samples, patents and so on. The information system in the library covering both the print resources and e-resources has been established.
The library uses a variety of modern technologies and provides various services such as lending, reading, audio-visual reading, reference, selective dissemination of information (SDI), novelty search, instruction, interlibrary loan, document delivery, etc. The library is equipped with over 2,800 servers, various computer terminals and peripheral equipment. The library has established a broad band LAN and electronic information service system . Library users can search the library’s catalog, databases and Wuhan University Library has eight national document and service centers: China Academic Library & Information System (CALIS) Center for central China, China Academic Social Sciences and Humanities Library (CASHL) Center for central China, Humanities Central Stacks of the China Education Ministry, Life Sciences Foreign Teaching Material Center of the China Education Ministry, novelty search site of the China Education Ministry, the European Community and World Bank documents library and the United Nations Depository Library. It provides high quality service for university users as well as the general public.
Wuhan University is a famous university with more than one-hundred-year history, and it has attracted many talented scholars and students. An academic atmosphere pervades the campus. Due to its huge collection and excellent web information service platform, the library of Wuhan University is a place where students can choose from many books, dabble at the knowledge of all subjects, and gain all kinds of information. It is a holy place spreading knowledge, with a devoted staff dedicated to providing excellent service.