The Law Library was established in 1954 with the reconstruction of the Department of Law at Peking University. At that time, the Library was known as the reference room, and it had only two staffs and held about six thousand volumes of books. In October 1997, it was renamed as the “Law Library” upon the approval at the Department Head Meeting.
The Law Library is not only a professional library with a rich collection of books and a good academic atmosphere, but also serves as the Legal Documentation and Information Center of Peking University. The library occupies a total area of 1,100 square meters with four floors, where open stacks are managed in enclosed environment. Currently, the library has a staff of 12, including four professional librarians at mid to senior levels. There is a current periodical reading room, an electronic reading room, the Chinese stacks, the foreign language stacks and a reading room with books from Taiwan、Hong Kong and Macau. The collection amounts to over 85,000 volumes of books and nearly a thousand sheets of microfiche. Recent acquisitions of the library also include CDs, video tapes and materials in various new formats. The library's collection primarily consists of law books but also includes books on interdisciplinary subjects so that the library can provide academic, theoretical, systematic and integrated resources for the students. The Law Library is equipped with 62 computers, 3 photocopiers and 2 microfiche readers.
In response to current technological developments as well as the teaching and research demands of the school, library automation began in 1996. Local Area Network was established, and in 1998, a fully automated library management system was put in place.
The development of networks and communications brought fundamental changes in the mode of knowledge management and information services. In March 1999, we established the electronic reading room. In 2003, the electronic legal database system was established. Currently, we subscribe to more than 50 online databases and hold about 50 databases on CD-ROM from China and abroad. Some of the noteworthy databases include indices of works by law professors and graduate students as well as an index of PhD theses, and we also have audio and video collections of recent forums, seminars, lectures, and competitions held by Peking University School of Law, which have been collected and transferred onto the CD-ROMs by the library.