The State Central Library Hyderabad,(Urdu: مكتبہ آصفیہ) better known as the State Central Library (SCL), is a public library in Hyderabad, Telangana. The building was constructed in 1891 by Nawab Imad-ul-Mulk. Formerly known as the Asafia Library, it is one of the most imposing structures in the city and was granted heritage status in 1998 by INTACH, Hyderabad. The library is located at Afzal Gunj on the bank of the River Musi. It houses 500,000 books and magazines including some rare palmleaf manuscripts. This library is the apex of the state's library system.
The State Central Library began in 1891 due to the efforts of Moulvi Syed Hussain Bilgrami (Nawab Imadul Mulk Bahadur), whose personal library formed the institution's initial core. The library building has an area of 72,247 square yards and was built under the supervision of architect, Aziz Ali. The foundation stone was laid in January 1932 by Prince Mir Osman Ali Khan.
At the construction's completion, the Asafia Library shifted to the new building in 1936 to mark Nizam VII's silver jubilee. The architecture is reminiscent of a palace with its huge halls and high ceilings. In 1941, the Asafia State Library celebrated its Golden Jubilee. When the Hyderabad Public Libraries Act became law in 1955, Asafia State Library was declared as the State Central library for the Hyderabad State.
1. The main objective is to collect literature on Science, Technology and similar subjects.
2. It should be Telangana's main source of reference materials for researchers and scholars.
3. It should serve as a focal point and organizing agency for the interlibrary loan of books.
4. The library, in accordance with its objectives, maintains a strong reference collection including State and Central Government Publications.
5. The library organizes book exhibitions, professional seminars, conferences, and nationwide week celebrations.
6. A main objective is to create awareness and to establish the habit of reading in its students. This is emphasized and highlighted during National Library Week.
7. The library provides literature for research scholars, children of various ages, students, and readers of all standards (including blind readers).
The Library has an excellent collection of around five hundred thousand books published since the early 19th century, including books in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic and Persian. Nearly 17,000 manuscripts dating to the fifth and sixth centuries were transferred to the Telangana Oriental Manuscripts Library in 1967. Hyderabad Samachara monthly newspaper published by HEH in 1941.