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In 1879, the library consisted mainly of the following collections :-

1)  a number of miscellaneous books (mostly historical and biographical) presented by the Government in 1864, when the old library of the East India Company, was removed to the India Office some of the books being divided among the Indian Universities.

2)  Dr. John Wilson's Collection : This was purchased in 1876 by the University from the heirs of Dr.Wilson (after whom the Wilson College is named) and consisted mainly of Orientalia, and books on travel and theology.

3)  books presented to the University.

In the early years, the library had an annual book budget of Rs. 400 but this was later discontinued so that in about 1900 we find that " the only additions now made to the library are the official publications sent in by the local Government and the Government of India and some school and college books presented by publishers." The library then had 4,504 books and 214 manuscripts.

It was only after Sir Alfred Hopkinson's report of 1914 that attention began to be paid to the planning and development of the library. Sir Alfred suggested the appointment of an experienced Library. Committee under the control of the University Syndicate control of the University Syndicate.

The annual grant to the library was renewed but the amount was not fixed and it varied according to circumstances. In 1930, the library got a non-recurring grant of Rs. 50,000 from the Government to strengthen its collection for post-graduate work. In July 1932, a book grant of Rs. 8,500 was made. It was increased to Rs. 18,500 in the following year and the year later to Rs. 20,000. 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 tier annexe 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 also has a valuable and rare collection of back files of periodicals in Sciences, the Social Sciences and Indology.

Roychand donated another Rs. 2,00,000/- to build a clocktower to perpetuate the memory of his mother Rajabai. The Rajabai Tower Library saw the light of day on 27th February 1880 when it was formally opened to readers. The Library made a humble beginning with government books of the East India Company; Dr. John Wilson's collection (purchased in 1876 by the University from Dr. Wilson's heirs) of books on Orientalia Travel & Theology.

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 nearly 8 lakhs seventy thousand books, periodicals and other material. 

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.

The access to the Rajabai Tower Library collection is via catalogues except for researchers and teachers who are extended browsing facility, whereas JNL offers open access i.e. browsing in the stacks for all the readers alike. Fort Library extends membership to undergraduate students as well.

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