The Library at Queen’s was established in 1849 following the foundation of the original college in 1845. Based initially in the Great Hall, and, from 1869, in its own separate accommodation, the Library catered to the needs of all students enrolled in the college before future growth and expansion dictated otherwise. Today Queen's libraries provide access to what has become one of the largest collections of books, periodicals and pamphlets in the province with over one million items noted in the official library catalogue.
Although largely adminstered as a separate unit for most of its history, the Library was recently amalgamated with the University’s Computer Services and Audio-Visual departments to form a new Information Services department in the year 2000.
The McClay Library is the largest library in Queen's. Named after the late Sir Allen McClay, one of the University's greatest benefactors, the Library opened in 2009. It was the most significant building project at Queen's since the construction of the iconic red-brick Lanyon building in 1849. It brought together the collections from the Science Library in Chlorine Gardens, the Seamus Heaney Library and the Main Library tower block (built in the 1960s).
The collections support teaching and research in the arts and humanities, science and engineering, the social sciences and law. It also offers over 2000 reader seats in a mixture of formal and informal spaces, plus a significant number of PCs and WiFi access throughout.