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, the Governor of Hubei and Hunan provinces. The library was officially established 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 library was built in the center of the campus in 1985. In August 2000, Wuhan University amalgamated with Wuhan University of Technology of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electric Engineering, and Hubei Medical University. Accordingly, the libraries of the four universities merged into a brand new Wuhan University Library, and the libraries of the other three universities became branches. In Oct. 2011, the new main library opened, in Jun. 2016, the new information science library opened, and now the total building area amounts to 95101 m2.
Up to 31st Dec 2016, Wuhan University Library held 16,420,000 volumes, including around 6,360,000 printing volumes, 10,060,000 e-books & e-magazines, 491 databases .The library held 200,000 volumes of ancient book,more than 300 volumes are listed in “The Catalogue of Ancient Chinese Rare books”. 66 volumes are listed in “National Rare Ancient Books Directory “. The collection has covered all academic fields of Wuhan University, especially the key disciplines. The library has established document exchange relations with more than 140 libraries and academic institutions at home and abroad.
Wuhan University Library has one main library and three branches. And their collections are focus on different disciplines according to their locations. 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 at the top of the list. The library has around 100,000 different scales of basic topographic maps of China and earth pictures. There are 30 departmental libraries which, together with the library, serve as an integrated literature and information service system.
In recent years, the library has strengthened the networking and the digitization of its collection, optimized its collection structure and increased the proportion of e-resources. Now, the total volumes of electronic documents are top in row among university libraries in China. The databases could cover almost all the disciplines in Wuhan University. Most of the database type is the periodical databases, which provide the newest and most important academic achievement. Other database types are book, conference papers, technical reports, thesis, technical standard, product samples, and patents and so on. The information system of both print and electronic resources has been established.
The library is equipped with over 2,800 servers, computer terminals, self-service equipment and establishes a broad band LAN and electronic information service system, providing various services such as catalog searching, lending, reading, reference, selective dissemination of information (SDI), novelty search, instruction, interlibrary loan, document delivery, 3D printing and self-services of lending and returning books, printing and copying, etc. There are ten national document and service centers in Wuhan University Library: Central China Center and Hubei Province Center of China Academic Library & Information System（CALIS）, China Academic Social Sciences and Humanities Library (CASHL) Center for central China, China Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL) Service and Data Center, Humanities Central Stacks of China Education Ministry, Life Sciences Foreign Teaching Material Center of China Education Ministry, Novelty Search site of China Education Ministry, European Community and World Bank Documents Library and United Nations Depository Library. It provides 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. By virtue of its huge collection and excellent web information services, Wuhan University Library has become one of the most popular place in campus where students and faculty can choose from many books, gain all kinds of information, and spend their leisure time.