IU Libraries: Destinations for Discovery

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Three library fires—in 1854, 1883, and 1969—did not daunt us. Through wars, recessions, and the birth of the internet, we have collected and protected a legacy of knowledge. Our materials are digital, visual, audio, and print. They are curated from our campuses, our country, and our world. As a result, they are in 450 different languages, world-renowned, and ready to connect students with limitless possibilities. Our partnership with University Information Technology Services (UITS) to complete the Media Digitization Preservation Initiative (MDPI) is the country’s most ambitious academic audio, video, and film digitization preservation project to date.  


We are experts on copyright, preservation, open access publishing, digital collection management, statistics, geographic information systems, textmining, and all the technologies we find worthy of your work. We have been collecting the greatest ideas for 200 years. We are ready to inspire yours.


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On the Bloomington campus, the Herman B Wells Library, with its double towers of Indiana limestone, is the visual center of the multi-library system and primarily supports the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.  Especially noteworthy are the collections that support IU’s international and area studies, including interdisciplinary research collections developed in the areas of African Studies, Russian and East European Studies, Uralic and Altaic Studies, East Asian Studies, and West European Studies.

The Wells Library, however, is only one entry point to an entire system. You'll also find branch libraries across campus that support specific academic interests. The William and Gayle Cook Music Library, for example, provides resources and services to support the internationally renowned Jacobs School of Music.  The Education Library and the Sciences Library (to name only a few) offer on-site spaces for students and faculty of those schools to study, interact, research, and learn.

A team of specialists select, manage, and build our research collections, which include more than 10,737,321 million cataloged items. The materials support every academic discipline on campus, with an emphasis in the humanities and social sciences. Collections also include journals, maps, films, and sound recordings. Users can access more than 1,871 databases, 60,000 electronic journal titles, and 1.9 million electronic books, as well as locally developed digital content.  IU Libraries is prolific in open access publishing and hosts 40 open access journals.

We are proud to be home to IU Press, an academic press serving the world of scholarship and culture as a professional, not-for-profit publisher. Founded in 1950, IU Press is recognized internationally as a leading academic publisher specializing in the humanities and social sciences. 

Other major destinations include: 

Lilly Library | 1200 E. Seventh Street
A preeminent rare book and manuscript library known around the world, the Lilly Library is centrally located on the university’s Fine Arts Plaza and offers over 8 million manuscripts, 150,000 pieces of sheet music, 30,000 mechanical puzzles, and 450,000 books.

Wylie House Museum | 307 E. Second Street
Home to Indiana University’s first president, this 1835 structure is one of Bloomington’s oldest homes and open to the public through free guided tours. 

All IU libraries are open to residents of the state as well as to Indiana University faculty and students.

Our Mission

IU Libraries' mission is to support and strengthen teaching, learning, and research by providing the collections, services, and environments that lead to intellectual discovery.

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