MexicoCity.cdmx.gob.mx

< Go Back

UNAM Central Library

Unam Central Library
Photo: Alejandro on Wimimedia Commons

The UNAM Central Library is the main library of the University City campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).  This building opened in 1956 and holds one of the largest collections in the country. The 10-floor building was designed by architect Juan O’Gorman in collaboration with Carlos Lazo, who managed the larger CU project then well underway.

The building facade is famously covered in a four-sided mosaic titled “Historical Representation of Culture.” This too was designed and executed by O’Gorman. Each side of the building represents a different period of Mexican history: the north depicts the pre-Hispanic period; the south, the colonial period; the east wall, the modern era; and the west wall, the history of the university.

The library opened with a collection of some 80,000 volumes. Special collections include Mexican and foreign publications from the 19th and 20th centuries. Among them are first editions, short-run works, and limited circulation publications, author’s editions, editions in special formats, and commemorative editions. The “Tobías Chávez Lavista” collection includes 522 printed works and 23 manuscripts.  An old and rare books collection includes printed works from the 15th through the 18th centuries.

Today the library’s documentary collection includes some 1.5 million volumes, about one third of which are books. The thesis collection includes some half-million research papers written primarily by UNAM scholars. About 300,000 of them are available digitally to library users.

In July 2007, UNESCO proclaimed the Central Library, along with the CU Campus as World Heritage sites. The library is one of the most iconic buildings on the entire CU campus and a must see on any visit. The Central Library is just a few meters away from Rectory Tower, as well as numerous other important landmarks on the campus.

How to get here

Nearby

Soumaya Museum Plaza Loreto

Nearest at 0.97 kms.

Plaza Loreto Shopping Center

Nearest at 0.98 kms.

El Pasillo de la Salmonella

Nearest at 0.7 kms.

Recomendado por CANIRAC

Mojama Oyster Bar

Nearest at 0.8 kms.

Recomendado por CANIRAC

Related

Chapultepec Castle, The National History Museum,

Chapultepec Castle is one of the premier sites in the city, and one of the highest you can visit, too!

Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo

One of the most inspiring 20th century houses in the city, it's an in-depth look at Frida and Diego's universe.

La Casa O'Gorman

A model home, meant to sell Diego Rivera a house of his own, it's the first truly "funcionalist" house of its kind.

Anahuacalli Museum

Initially intended as but one part of a City of the Arts, today's Anahuacalli Museum is a far more contemporary space than you might imagine.

Leon Trotsky House Museum

One of the 20th century's most enigmatic figures, a Museum to Leon Trotsky is one of the most visited in the city.

Practical guide and services