Home >

About the Mugar Memorial Library

Mugar Memorial Library is the main humanities and social sciences library at Boston University.  Featuring collections of more than 2.5 million physical items and a strong and growing collection of electronic resources, Mugar Memorial Library is a great resource for researchers and a great destination for students and the Boston University community.  For assistance with research, access to print and digital collections, group or quiet study Mugar Library is a great asset located at the heart of Boston University’s Charles River Campus.

Mugar Memorial Library opened in 1966 and since then, librarians at Mugar and its branches have continued to develop collections that support the research and instructional needs of the University community. Today, in addition to the print collections the library also subscribes to more than 300 electronic databases and approximately 70,000 full-text electronic journals, individual ebooks and ebook sets and collections.

Mugar Library has strong collections in many areas of the humanities, and social sciences. Our history collection is broad-based, covering to some degree most historical eras and countries.  We have particularly strong collections in the following areas: European medieval history, the U.S. Civil War, twentieth-century international and diplomatic history, Massachusetts and New England history, and Chinese, Jewish and also American ethnic history, among several other subjects.  In the humanities, areas of strength in the history of art and architecture include English-language materials in classical, Renaissance, Northern and Italian Baroque, American including African-American, photography, modern and contemporary, and African.

Located within Mugar, the African Studies Library is one of the foremost collections of Africana in North America. The Music Library, located on the second floor of Mugar Library, includes collections of books, scores, current periodicals and recordings. The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, located on the fifth floor of Mugar Library, is a repository for contemporary public figures and is home to the University’s rare book and manuscript collections. Mugar Memorial Library also has four branch libraries: Astronomy, the Science & Engineering Library, the Pickering Educational Resources Library and the Pardee Management Library.

Since 1962, Boston University has been a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a prestigious organization comprised of approximately 125 leading research libraries in the United States. ARL’s mission is to advance the future of libraries within the framework of scholarly communication. Boston University is also a founding member of the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), a group of seventeen research libraries in New England dedicated to sharing collections, building staff expertise and jointly acquiring expensive electronic resources.

Visitors are welcome. Maps, directions and information about transportation and parking are available here.