IIT Roorkee ranks among the oldest engineering education in
the world. It was established in the year 1847 as RoorkeeCollege of Civil Engineering mainly to train native engineer for the ongoing Ganges Canal. This was renamed as
Thomason College of Civil Engineering in the memory of its
founder James Thomason in 1854. Thomason College was
again onverted to Thomason College of Engineering in
1945 when department of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering were added. During its hundred
years of existence Thomson College produced many great engineers and technocrats and created new heights of
A wider role for the Thomason College was envisaged after
the Independence in 1947. Pt Nehru the first Prime Minister,
therefore, converted this Mecca of Engineers into University
th of Roorkee (UOR) on 25 November 1949.
During 2001 after creation of Uttarakhand state, Parliament of the country gave it status of Institute of National Importance and converted it to Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. The Institute has completed 150th year of its existence in October 1996. On September 21, 2001, an Ordinance (later on Act) issued by the Government of India declared it as the nation's seventh Indian Institute of Technology making it "Institution of National Importance". The Institute offers Bachelor's Degree courses in 10 disciplines of Engineering and Architecture and Postgraduate's Degree in 55 disciplines of Engineering, Applied Science, Architecture and planning. The Institute has facility for doctoral work in all Departments and Research Centers.
About Mahatma Gandhi Central Library The MGCL of the Institute finds a unique place in the academic library scenario in this part of the world. It is an amalgamation of the classic and the modern. While it is one of the oldest academic libraries in country, it is housed in a 80,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art ultra-modern centrally airconditioned building equipped with all latest ICT facilities spread over in four floors. Library building, equipped with surveillance system, has been aesthetically designed for around 500 users keeping in view comfort for cozy access and intelligent use by all kinds of users. Main attraction of building is availability of ample natural lights for reading. It uses RFID technology for providing human intervention free service to users. It provides seamless wi-fi access connectivity throughout the buildingbesides wired connectivity for more than 200 computers. Its well-equipped imaging center uses two Minolta Planetary Scanners for digitization of documents for Institute Repositories “Bhagirathi” and “Shodh-Bhagirathi” containing Institute's archival materials, theses, dissertations and other valuable publications.
From the very start of the institution (i.e.1847) a small College Library was established with a collection of a few hundred books to meet the need of about 34 students and 6 teachers. Later in 1856 its stocks were considerably augmented by the amalgamation of the Ganges Canal Library and the College Library was renamed as the Central Library. In 1862 the entire collection of the Addiscombe College Library of East India Company was added. With the result the collection of this library assumed considerable size and value.
In order to meet the growing needs of the institution, the strength of which had increased from 34 students in 1847 to 231 in 1873, a separate library block was constructed in the same year consisting of two big halls, one serving as stack room and the other as a reading room and two small side rooms for behind the screen jobs.
A necessity of a new library building was felt immediately after the college became the University and therefore the foundation stone for a new library building was laid on 25 th November 1949 which could be occupied only in 1960. This library underwent several renovations and design changes as per the requirement of the time.
After University became, Indian Institute of Technology on 21 Sept.,2001, it was felt that in the existing building necessary expansion and information technology related provisions cannot be made and, therefore, a new state of art building was planned. The foundation stone of the present building was laid on 19th June 2004 and it was completed in June 2007. Central Library started functioning from the new building from 12th July 2007. On first International Day of Non-Violence i.e. 2nd October 2009 the Central Library was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Central Library (MGCL).
Central Library is located just opposite by the side of famous main building. By its shear grandeur it attracts the attention of the passerby. The present building is a state of art structure that provides the best possible environment and facilities to the students and faculty of the institution. With its imposing dome, front elevation and water fountain, it gives the look of a monumental structure. It occupies a total area of 90000 sq.ft. which is completely air conditioned.The most important feature of the building is the availability of ample sunlight through its dome and skylight provision.