Nankai University Library was established in 1919, just the same year as the founding of Nankai University. It is one of the earliest private university libraries in China。Its first building was donated by Mr.Lu Muzhai(卢木斋) and completed in 1928, known as the "Muzhai Library"(木斋图书馆), which was unfortunately destroyed by Japanese troops during the outbreak of the war in 1937. During the Anti-Japanese War, Nankai University, Peking University and Tsinghua University pooled their resources to form the National Southwestern Associated University in Kunming, Yunan Province. Enjoying a long history and with the devotions of several generations, Nankai University Library has developed into a first-class comprehensive university library.
Nankai University library now consists of four parts: The Liberal Arts library--- named as “Runrun Shaw(邵逸夫) library” and was completed in 1990、The Natural Science Library 、The Economical branch library and The Branch Library on Yingshuidao Campus with a total area of over 30.000 square meters and more than 2700 reading seats.
The current library has set up nine departments, one section and two branches, which includes Administration office; Acquisition and Cataloging department of Chinese books; Acquisition and Cataloging department of Western books; Circulation and Reference department; Periodical department; Rare Book and Special Collections Department; Information Reference department; Technical support department; Digital Resource department; Photocopying and binding department; Economical branch library and the branch library in Yingshuidao Campus.
Nankai University library, having a strong professional strength, has a staff of 139, among which 91 had Bachelor or above degree in related fields,including 2 doctors and 19 masters.
The Liberal Arts Library attaches great importance to the collection of Social Sciences books. It not only provides such important services as collecting, loaning, reference and retrieving, but also has the crucial management function on the whole. Locating before the beautiful “ Xinkai Lake” , the natural science library is responsible for the services related to the periodicals and natural sciences resources. The newly-enlarged economical branch library specially holds economical and management materials. And branch library of Yingshuidao Campus mainly offers services for the freshmen.
With years of efforts, the total collection of Nankai University library has added up to 3,100,000 Volumes. Of these holdings, more than 2,000,000 are Chinese materials, while about 200,000 are foreign language materials covering 20 different language. We hold diverse range of local and international journals and periodicals, of which 3000 are currently published. The Library has a collection of more than 300,000 items of rare books, and some valuable items have attracted worldwide attention. The collections of Nankai University library are rich in such key disciplines as chemistry, mathematics, economics as well as history and literature.
In order to meet the needs of readers and give support to University’s academic activities, the library has devoted itself to the construction of digital library with aim of forming an advanced collections model both in printed and electronic resources. By the end of 2006, Nankai University Library has introduced about 51 database system that includes 149 databases covering most of the academic fields of our University, providing integrated information and academic services for the University's instructional and research activities.