Central Library and Documentation Center of the University
As the largest academic library in Iran, the Central Library and Documentation Center of the University of Tehran includes a rich and broad selection of resources in different fields of science, technology and literature. This library along with its satellite specialized libraries located at various colleges and faculties is predominantly focused on research. In addition, it hosts numerous collections in Islamic studies, Iranian studies and Oriental studies. The holdings of the library include over one million books, periodicals, manuscripts, microfilms, pictorial copies, historical documents and photos, lithography books, academic dissertations, scientific documents and maps, over 120,000 books in English, French, German, Russian, Italian and other languages. The Library’s main building is a nine story, 22 thousands square meters facility, providing its services to more than 65 thousands members. On a regular day, it serves more than 5,000 students and users from other research and educational institutions. The library also offers its services to the visually impaired using books and journals in Braille writing as well as computers equipped with speakers and NAVID software.
The foundation of the Central Library was laid in 1950 with the donation of a collection by Seyed Mohammad Meshkat, a professor of the University of Tehran. It included 1329 volumes of manuscripts. The present building of the library was inaugurated on 23rd of September 1972. Before the inauguration of the main library building, the University library was located within the Faculty of Sciences and the University Mosque. In 1974, the “Documentation Center” was founded and its name added to the “Central Library”, in order to collect, maintain and organize documents and publications donated by organizations, ministries, universities, cultural associations, as well as local and foreign centers and institutions. Since 1967, the Central Library and Documentation Center has become a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and institutions (IFLA).
All books published in Iran since 1989 with a publication of over 2,000 copies are currently available at the library. Also since 2000, the Central Library and Documentation Center acquires a copy of all the major journals of the country. The collection of Persian periodical is one of the most important and largest collections of Persian periodicals nationwide. At present, it holds around 2,500 Journal titles and around 934 titles of Persian newspapers. The library’s holdings also include over 1,500 Journals in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and other languages. The binding series of Persian and Arabic periodicals which includes over 31,330 volumes are kept in Stack No. 7 of the Library. The binding series of English periodicals which includes more than 45,000 volumes are kept in Stack No. 5 of the library.
The cataloguing of books and periodicals is done according to the United States Library of Congress’s classifications as well as the National Library of Iran classifications. Microform copies of old Persian periodicals are also available at the Library. Microfilms and photos from manuscripts, documents and old journals are available as well as the opportunity to convert them into electronic files, and burn them on compact discs (CD). Some of the resources being used for organizing the collection of books in the Central Library are as follow:
· Persian subject headings
·List of Persian printed books (Khanbaba Moshar)
·Documented list of the names of celebrities and authors
·National Bibliography of Iran (CD)
·Extension Classification of National Library of I.R. of Iran
·Library of Congress Classification Outline (CD)
·Library of Congress Subject Heading
·National Union Catalogue
·Website of the National Library of I.R. of Iran
·Website of the American Library of Congress
·Website of the Library of the British Museum
·Website of the National Library of King [Malek] Fahad, Saudi Arabia
The collection of Scientific Documents and Credentials includes
reports, papers of seminars, organizational publications, orders, constitutions, statistics, almanacs, calendars and so on. It encompasses about 40,000 scientific documents in Persian, Arabic and about 20,000 documents in other languages. Three yearbooks of Iran dating back to 1911, 1912 and 1913 which are in lithography form and a calendar related to the year 1268 A.H. are among the oldest existing documents in this collection.
The library holds a valuable set of manuscripts including historical documents, microfilms, pictorial manuscripts, rare books, lithography books, historical photos and handwriting of scholars and politicians. This collection includes about 17,000 volumes of manuscripts in Persian as well as other languages. The Conservation and Restoration Department of the Library houses the Specialized Lab, the Renovation Workshop and the Special Bindery office. Since 1997, Using state of the art preservation and renovation equipments, necessary materials and facilities, this department has evaluated the rate of damage to the library’s manuscripts and printed books and has restored them.
The collection of historical documents, running over 60 thousand pages, includes commands, decrees, letters, endowment papers, marriage deeds, and financial documents. A document dated 866 A.H., related to the management of the endowed property of Sultan Sheikh Mahmoud, two series of documents related to Safavi period and a collection of documents and letters written by contemporary figures including Seyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh are among the valuable documents of this collection. Furthermore, 22,000 historic photographs of nature, distinguished personalities and monuments from the Qajar and Pahlavi periods are available at the Library. The Library also holds over 9,000 volumes of lithography books in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Urdu.
Important collections donated to the Central Library and Documentation Center are as follows:
·Seyed Mohammad Meshkat, 1950
·Hasan Ali Qafari, (Moaven al Duleh), 1967
·Mohmmad Abdo, 1968
·Kazem Zadeh Iranshahr, 1969
·Yahya Mahdavi, 1970
·Hekmat Ale Aqa, 1971
·The household of Saeed Nafisi, 1971
·Dr. Abdulhossein Rajee, 1972
·The household of Seyed Jalal Jazayeri, 1973
·The household of Dr. Mohammad Hakimi, 1973
·The household of Haj Sheikh Ali Ardakani, 1973
·Seyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, 1975
·The household of Mohammad Ali Sadid al Saltaneh, 1975
·Khan Baba Tabatabaee Naeeni, 1975
·The household of Mohammad Ali Farhang Ardakani, 1976
·Manuchehr Bozorgmehr, 1976