The history of Waseda University Library begins with the library established in part of the school buildings when the University was originally founded as Tokyo Senmon Gakko (College) in 1882. When the organizational reforms were introduced and a separate library facility constructed,sending the Library off to a fresh start.
One of the undertakings commemorating Waseda University’s centenary, the building, forming the hub of the University’s scholarly information complex, opened on April 1,1991.
This complex includes the Central Library and conference facilities, and has as its principal objective the organic integration (research and conference facilities) of scholarly information. Moreover, being linked by an online computer system to all library-related areas throughout the University, it will serve as an integrated ‘state-of-the-art’ scholarly information center.
The Central Library has a total area of 27,705 square metres and is able to house four million books. All books, with the exception of rare books, are kept on open shelves, enabling users to actually handle the books themselves. Other facilities include private reading cubicles, exhibition rooms, an audio-visual hall, and microform reading rooms, enabling the library to meet its users’ many and diverse needs.
The research and conference facilities center around an International Conference Hall, smaller conference rooms, study rooms and seminar rooms. These facilities are available for use by scholars and researchers from both Japan and abroad.
It is our most earnest desire that the Center for Scholarly Information, with the improvements in size, function and content described, may become a strategic base for the teaching and research activities of the whole University, and be fully utilized as a medium for academic creativity which will open up new possibilities.