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The Main Library comprises a collection on the arts, education, humanities, architecture, social sciences, and science & technology. It also houses the Special Collections which focuses on Hong Kong materials and other specialised collections including Western rare books on China. The AV Collection holds a collection of audio-visual items on open shelf. Course Reserves materials are held at Self-service Collection room on the 2/F of the Main Library (New Wing).


Books & Serials

Books and serials in the Main Library are classified according to the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme (DDC) and shelved on different floors by broad subject disciplines. Main Library serials, with call numbers prefixed S or LS, are mainly composed of journals, magazines, and annual reports. Please refer to the Collection Guide for more details.

Besides the print collection, the Libraries also subscribe to a rapidly growing collection of e-Books and e-Journals available for online access anytime anywhere. These titles can be retrieved by performing a search in Find@HKUL, or browsing at the Electronic Resources web page.


Books & Serials in Storage

To maximize utilization of space, older serials and less used books will relegate to storage. Users can simply submit a physical item or digitization request through Find@HKUL. Please visit the quick guide for more details.

Requested items from the storage will be delivered for pickup at the Main Library or a selected branch library. Articles are scanned and delivered electronically via email.


Education Collection

The Education Collection located on 4/F Old Wing consists of diverse materials supporting teaching for pre-school to secondary school.

  • Education Books
    The Education Books comprise school textbooks, teacher’s manuals, teaching methods, curriculum studies, as well as overseas public examination resources. Call numbers of Education Books are prefixed with “E” for English books and with “[E]” for Chinese books.
  • Education Reference
    The Education Reference, with call numbers prefixed “ER” and “[ER]”, contains local public examination papers, syllabuses, curriculum and assessment guides, and educational reference books. The local examination papers comprise Hong Kong Public Examination papers, including Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE), and Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE). The HKDSE examination papers published in the latest three years are for library use only, while papers issued more than three years can be checked out for 1 day.
  • Education Audio-Visual Materials
    The Education Audio-visual materials include Blu-ray discs, CD-ROMs, CDs, DVDs, teaching kits, and other non-print materials.


Reference Materials

The print collection of reference sources is shelved on different floors by broad subject disciplines which gather collections into one location. This collection mainly composes of dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes and abstracts, bibliographies, directories, and atlases. The collection, which provides quick facts, is for consultation in the libraries only and is not available for loan. CD-ROMs of reference nature are kept at the Lending Services Counter, 2/F of Main Library.

For ease of access, HKUL also provides a reference collection in electronic format. A growing collection of reference materials on the web can be accessed from the Electronic Resources web page under “Reference” where you will find resources classified by information source.


New Books

Online browsing of this new collection is available under New Acquisitions List, which provides subject-specific lists of new books and serials processed over the past 4 weeks. Users are welcome to borrow any new books they find interesting on the bookshelves.


Leisure Reading Collection

Located at G/F New Wing, the leisure reading collection is composed of best sellers, fiction, travel guides and hobby books. Call numbers of this collection are prefixed with the letter “B” for English books and “BC” for Chinese books. The general leisure reading collection is on regular loan period while best sellers have a shorter loan period of 14 days only.


Po Chung's Personal Development Collection & Po Chung's CEO Collection

These two collections donated by Mr Chung Po Yang (Po Chung) are shelved on G/F New Wing. The intention of Mr Chung in offering this collection is to help open people’s minds to “the science of life management and the art of living”.


Course Reserve Collection

Located in the Self-Service Collection Room on 2/F of the Main Library, the course reserve collection is composed of recommended materials by teaching staff for course reading purposes.

  • Items are available for short loan periods from 3 hours up to 7 days
  • Items are arranged by loan period
  • Use the self-check station in the Self-Service Collection Room to loan course reserve materials
  • Late returns are subject to overdue fines
  • Scan or make copies in the Self-Service Collection Room, paying attention to copyright

Contact or fill out Reading Lists Service Form to place materials on reserve (for teaching staff only). Click for details on print course packs.


Audio-Visual Collection

The audio-visual materials, located on 1/F of the Main Library New Wing, comprises a wide variety of formats which include video cassettes (VHS), videodiscs (LD, VCD, DVD), audio-cassette tapes, audio CDs, slides, kits and selected off air programmes from ATV, RTHK and TVB. The collection covers a broad range of subject areas, ranging from educational, documentary, popular to programmes of special interest. The AV collection also contains a wide range of computer-aided learning programmes, simulation programmes and computer packages on CD-ROM, computer optical and floppy disks, allowing users to study various subjects in a multimedia environment. The e-Video provides online access to recorded events such as booktalks and presentations. 


Psychological Tests

Restricted Use

These test materials are restricted to individuals with special training, or research students who have endorsement from their supervisors. The following is a set of qualification level guide for your reference. Please note that you have to meet the qualification levels and present the relevant proofs in order to borrow this material:

Material Type Qualification Level
Level B
  • Degree, certificate, or license to practice in a health care profession or occupation; or
  • Degree in psychology, education or a related field with relevant qualification; or
  • Master in psychology, education, or a related field, or licensure.
Level C
  • Doctorate in psychology, education, or a related field, or licensure.


These materials are kept in storage, users can simply request the item through Find@HKUL. It can be picked up at the Lending Services Counter, 2/F of Main Library (Wait period: 2 days) and can be checked out for 14 days to any eligible users. For enquiries, please contact the Lending Services and Learning Environments at 3917-2202 or



Special Collections

Special Collections, located on 1/F Main Library New Wing, provides a unique collection of Hong Kong materials, microfilm, rare books and international depository materials such as World Trade Organization. Find out more from the Special Collections webpage.



Depository Collections

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) Depository Collections
    The University Libraries has been designated as an official depository for ADB publications since August 1994. The Collection consists of books, technical papers, annual reports, statistical publications, and public information materials providing a valuable resource for the study and research of economic growth and cooperation in the Asian Pacific region. The ADB publications are shelved with the Main Library collection.
  • United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) Publications
    UNRISD publications are invaluable to scholars engaged in economic, social and environmental research. As a depository library since 1999, the HKU Libraries has a substantial collection of monographs, reports, statistical information from UNRISD. However, UNRISD no longer dispatches hard copies of its publications in recent years. Publications are available on the UNRISD website.
  • World Trade Organization
    The WTO (World Trade Organization) Resource Centre Collection provides a virtual collection of WTO information and publications. Materials published or authored by GATT/WTO are located in the Special Collections. Materials about or relevant to GATT/WTO are shelved according to the subject area in the Main Library or a branch library.