Beyazit State Library
Beyazit State Library
Established in 1884, Beyazıt State Library is situated right behind the great mosque at the Beyazıt Square, one of the historical regions of Istanbul. The state library, used to be known as ‘Great Library’ among the students in Istanbul, hosts around 1 million books.
Beyazıt State Library has drawn great deal of interest after its establishment and the collection of books hosted expanded to a greater extent and accordingly, the structure has become insufficient to accommodate the requirement. When it failed to fulfill the demand by the mid 1900s, an adjacent building has been restored in an appropriate way to conform with the original building and incorporated to the main building. Today, 300 individuals may benefit from the library at the same time in four different sections of the library offering its services with its outbuilding since 1984.
A language laboratory as well as the sections for listening to music, watching movie and videos within the historical building are available. Three separate service sections have been established in the library for such activities. Those are in the form of reader, music and technical services.
In consideration of the presence of literary works within the library in 1886, there were 4 thousand and 164 books are on the shelves of the library. This figure has been increased two-fold after only two years. After the eruption of the Balkan Wars, many books from the provinces lost by the Ottoman Empire have been brought to this library, and thus, the number of books has reached a record high. In the subsequent years, the number of books has been increased incrementally and reached to hundreds of thousands.
Based on the data for the year 1989, 600 thousand books were available in the Beyazıt State Library. 4 hundred thousand of those were domestic books while 41 thousand were ottoman scripts, 11 thousand and 120 were manuscripts and 18 thousand 206 were newspapers and journals.
The library with the reading rooms with arches and columns, accompanied with modern lighting elements attract the intense interest of particularly the students at Istanbul University, located close by the library and serves as an indispensable structure for history and book aficionados. Moreover, ‘Rare Belles-Lettres’ section in the library offering a great opportunity to discover hosts unique and rare literary works.