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last updated: 8/10/2012

IUB Libraries: Fact Sheet

View the IU Libraries' 2012 annual report.

cover image from 2012 Annual Report

Did you know....

The IU Bloomington Libraries contain 7,809,797 bound volumes. This collection of bound volumes is the largest in the state of Indiana.

The IU Libraries are ranked 27th among North American research libraries according to the Association of Research Libraries. In 2010, the IU libraries received the "Excellence in Academic Libraries Award" by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

We collect materials in many formats, ranging from books and journals to digital images and online databases. The collections include, among other items, 7.4 million manuscripts, 534,495 maps, 276,73 sound recordings, and 3,000 historical films. 
  • Books and bound journals:  7,809,797
  • Microforms: 3,594,419
  • Archives and manuscripts (in linear feet):  36,550
  • Serials subscriptions: (print)  11,778; (electronic) 60,315

The IUB Libraries are a national leader in digital library development. The Indiana University Libraries, in partnership with IU’s University Information Technology Services and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, are leading the way in the development of software created specifically for the management of print and electronic collections for academic research libraries around the world. Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment) is an adaptable, next generation “community source” system that will transform how libraries manage collections.


Established in 2011, the Indiana University Libraries Film Archive is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of IU’s rich film collection. This impressive collection of over 100,000 films includes the David Bradley Film Collection, the Peter Bogdanovich Film Collection, one of the largest educational film collections still in existence today and the paper and manuscript collections of filmmakers Orson Welles and John Ford. The Indiana University Libraries Film Archive is involved in numerous film preservation activities including preserving the home movies of director John Ford, thanks to a grant by the National Film Preservation Foundation.


The Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) is an offsite, secure, and climate controlled high density storage facility that stores low use, rare, and fragile materials for the IU Libraries. It is designed to help alleviate shelving constraints across the IU Library system, giving library staff the opportunity to reimagine their use of space in order to meet the current needs and expectations of university students and faculty. An expansion in 2011 gave the ALF the capacity to hold over 6 million bound volumes, which are made available to students and faculty upon request and usually delivered to any library on campus within 24 hours. This cutting edge facility has served as a model for many other similar facilities nationwide. 

The Folklore Collection of the IU Bloomington Libraries is the largest, most comprehensive working collection of its kind in the world. The collection has been digitized in its entirety as part of a joint agreement with Google Books and the 13-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Coopration (CIC). In 2008 the collection was selected as the first "collection of distinction" to respect its intellectual integrity. In 2010, the IU Libraries and the American Folklore Society launched the Open Folklore Project, which makes a variety of published and unpublished resources available to scholars in the fields of folklore studies and communications. In January, 2011 the Open Folklore Project was the recipient of the Outstanding Collaboration Citation by the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services.


The IU Libraries are a founding partner along with the IU Data to Insight Center and the University of Illinois in forming the Hathi Trust Research Center. The HTRC is a collaborative research center that was launched with the Hathi Trust Digital Library to help meet the technical challenges of dealing with massive amounts of digital text by developing cutting-edge tools that gives researchers advanced access to the growing digital record of human knowledge. 

The Lilly Library for rare books and manuscripts is world-renowned for its unique collections, particularly those in American and British history and literature. Highlights include a copy of the New Testament of the Gutenberg Bible, Audubon’s Birds of America, and George Washington’s letter accepting the presidency of the United States. The library celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.


With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in partnership with the Northwestern University Libraries and IU’s University Information Technology Services, the IUB Libraries are creating a groundbreaking digital library system to support research and education with video, Variations on Video. The project builds on IU’s past success in developing the open source Variations digital music library system, now in use at over 20 colleges and universities beyond IU. IU has received over $ 5 million in external support for Variations and Variations on Video from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, IMLS, and IBM since 1994.


The Area Studies Collections rank in the top tier of research library collections worldwide. They comprise interdisciplinary research collections that support IU’s area and international studies and include collections in the areas of African Studies, East Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American, Spanish, and Portuguese, and Latino Studies, Slavic and East European Studies, West European Studies, as well as India and Tibetan Studies. 


The IUB Libraries have been a U.S. Federal Depository since 1881, with almost 90% of the documents since 1995 being received electronically. The IUB Libraries also serves as a depository for the state of Indiana, the United Nations, and the European Union.

The IUB Libraries are one of the largest student employers at Indiana University, providing work-study opportunities, hourly wages, and library experience to more than 600 students. 

The William and Gayle Cook Music Library is one of the largest academic music libraries in the nation and was the first music library in the country to deliver high-quality digitized music over a computer network. As a national model, the library now provides access to over 20,000 near-CD quality digital audio titles, as well as more than 700 digitized musical scores. The Cook Music Library contains one of the world’s largest collections of opera and vocal recordings and, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is home to an extensive collection of materials pertaining to all major aspects of Black musical expression

Wylie House Museum, the home of IU’s first president, was built in 1835 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of only three historic house museums in Monroe County, home of IU’s Bloomington campus. In 2010, the Wylie House Museum completed its Education Center. This new addition to the museum’s facilities occupies a barn, which, originally constructed in 1860, was dismantled in 2009, moved into Bloomington, and reassembled on the Wylie House property.


The Fine Arts Library is the largest of its kind in the state, with over 130,000 volumes, and more than 300 periodical titles. Its collection of over 1,600 artists’ books (books crafted and constructed by artists) makes the library home to one of the largest such collections in the country.  The Fine Art Library is housed within the IU Art Museum, which was designed by architect, I. M. Pei in 1981. The Library also serves as a space for the exhibition of student works or for highlighting library materials.

In June 2005, the Main Library was named in honor of Herman B Wells, IU’s beloved university chancellor, who died in March 2000. 

                                                     Read a short history of the IU Libraries.

See also





Statistics updated: February 2012

last updated: 8/10/2012