Central Library, BHU
Central Library, BHU

The Central Library, BHU, Varanasi

Fond of books? Ever been to the Central Library of BHU? The Central Library of BHU has its specific name, i.e. The Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Library named after and built from the donation of the Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III. He was Maharaja of Baroda State from 1875 to 1939, known for establishing libraries throughout his state. Established in 1917, it is listed in the Survey of Manuscripts in India. The library is also designated with the ‘Manuscript Conservation Center’ (MCC) under the National Mission for Manuscripts.


  • The central library was housed in Telang Hall of the Central Hindu College, Kamachha. It was formed by a collection of books donated by Prof. P.K. Telang in the memory of his father Justice Kashinath Trimbak Telang in 1917.
  • In 1921, the library moved to the Central Hall of Arts College (now Faculty of Arts).
  • In 1941, the library was shifted to its present building. This building was built on the pattern of British Museum, at the suggestion of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of BHU, after his return from the Round Table Conference, London in 1931 from the donation of Maharaja of Baroda (1875-1939).
  • Around 2009, the library was facilitated with optical fibre networking. And in May 2009, 39,913 books were uploaded in e-form along with 2,107 e-journals.
  • The digitalization of Manuscripts at the Central Library completed by May 2010 and they were made available on the internet as well.
  • In October 2010, a two-day national seminar was held at the library on ‘Right to Information (RTI) and Libraries and in the same month the library in association with the National Manuscripts Mission, New Delhi, also held a national workshop on ‘Manuscript Conservation’.


The Banaras Hindu University Library System comprises of a Central Library at apex along with 3 Institute Libraries, 8 Faculty Libraries, 25 Departmental Libraries with a total collection of 13 lakh volumes to serve the student, research scholars, professors, technical staff of 14 faculties consisting 126 subject departments of the university. The library was rich with the collection of around 60,000 volumes in 1931, through the donations from various sources. The donation lasted till the 1940s due to which the library has its unique pieces of rarities of books and journals dating back to the 18th century. The major donations were from Lala Sri Ram of Delhi, Nehru family collection, Tagore family collection, Batuk Nath Sharma, Roormal Goenka, and Jamnalal Bajaj of Wardha.


Both Inside and Outside the Library Study Facilities are available for students, technical staff, research scholars, etc. along with lending for home study and lending to Departmental Libraries. Informative Services like Reprographic Services (the process of reprinting graphic materials by electronic means) along with Internet Facilities are serviceable.

Resources at a Glance:

Printed Books  11,33,415
E-books 57,097
Print Journals 332
E-journals 16000+
Bound Volume of Journals 1,37,467
UN & Govt. Publications 35000
Manuscripts 7233
Theses 15,487

General Rules for Users:

  1. Entry to the Central Library is restricted only to the authorized members of the University with Identity Card only.
  2. In the absence of Identity Card, a letter of introduction from the Head of Department is required, which will be valid for a day only.
  3. An outsider can consult the library for Research purposes by paying Rs 20/- per day as consultation charge after producing a letter of introduction from Supervisor/Head of Department to the University Librarian of Central Library.
  4. Every user must make an entry in the register available at the entrance.
  5. Personal printed reading materials e.g. journals, books, magazines, xerox copies of printed materials etc. are not allowed inside the Central Library.
  6. Personal belongings like bags, umbrellas, personal books etc are to be kept at property counter against token. Library reserves the right to check the contents of the items deposited at the property counter.
  7. In case the property counter token is lost, the deposited article (s) may be claimed with proper identification after producing a written request with a fee of Rs. 5/-.
  8. Photography, smoking, sleeping, use of cell phone and talking loudly are strictly prohibited inside the Central Library.
  9. Readers should not mark, underline, dog-ear mark, write, tear pages or damage the library documents.
  10. Theses cannot be xeroxed.
  11. Readers should not spit in any part of the Central Library.
  12. Newspapers and magazines must be read-only in the library on specific tables and should not be taken to other reading areas.
  13. No library material can be taken out from the library without permission.
  14. Notices, publicity materials/wall writing etc. are not allowed in any part of the library building.
  15. Members leaving the library should show the material borrowed or taken out of the library by them to the library staff for checking purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

A library is an essential part of a student’s life to develop his academic knowledge and excellence. Constant effort is being made to enrich the library collection of a wide variety of books and journals for the perusal of students and research scholars. Here, I have enlisted some Frequently Asked Questions by the students/scholars.

  • What is the timing of Central Library?

Timing for Central Library Users: 

All Working Days 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Sundays/Holidays 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Timing for Cyber Library Users: 

All Working Days 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sundays/Holidays 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM

The Central Library remains open for 359 days in a year

(except 26 January, 15 August, Holi, Dussehra, Deepawali and Basant Panchami)

  • What is the location of Central Library?

Sayajirao Gaekwad Central Library is located in the centre of the BHU Campus near Birla Temple (Also known as Vishwanath Temple, BHU).

  • Who is authorized to use the Central Library, BHU?

All bonafide students, faculty members and staff of the University are authorized to use the Library.

  • Is there a fee for outside scholars for the consultation of the library?

Yes, the outside research scholars can use the library services for academic purpose after getting permission from the Librarian. There is a need of valid Identity Card with letter of introduction form research guide/ head of department.

The reference staff will issue the consultation card after paying the fee of Rupees Twenty per day or Rupees Five Hundred per month.

  • Who can access databases, e-journals and other e-resources?

All bonafide students, research scholars, faculty members and staff of BHU having proxy ID from the computer centre is authorized to access all the e-resources subscribed by BHU.

  • How do I renew my issued books?

After visiting personally to Central Library, one can request at the circulation counter to reissue the books.

  • How many books I am entitled to borrow from the Central Library?

Number of Books as per different user categories is given below:

  • UG students (02 books)
  • PG Students (04 books)
  • Research Scholars/PDFs (06 books)
  • Officers of University (10 books)
  • Assistant Professors (10 Books)
  • Associate Professors (15 Books)
  • Professors (20 Books)
  • What is the loan period for books?

60 days

  • How do I return an overdue book?

To return an overdue book, one needs to visit the overdue fine counter at Circulation section for calculation and payment of an overdue fine.

  • Does Library notify me when I have overdue books?

Yes, via SMS alert service.

  • Is there a fine for late return of books?

Yes, fine is charged as one rupee per day for each overdue book.

  • Can I bring my own book in the Library?

No, personal books are not allowed inside the library.

  • If, I have lost a book, what should I do?

One must immediately report the loss of book to the Circulation Section for further details.

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About Aditi Jaiswal

From Banaras Hindu University A writer, poet, and blogger.

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