The Library of the Delhi School of Economics (DSE), better known as the Ratan Tata Library (RTL) was established in 1949. It is today a premier library in the country for social sciences.
In its formative years, the Delhi School of Economics Society received a benefaction of Rs. One Lakh from the Ratan Tata Trust for its Library. That is how the name Ratan Tata Library of Delhi School of Economics came to stay. Subsequently in 1989, the Ratan Tata Trust gave a grant of Rs. 2 Lakhs to meet partly the cost of adding an annexe to the Library building which was completed in 1986 at a cost of Rs. 6 Lakhs. The addition of the new block enabled the library to consolidate the holdings of periodicals.
After the library was established under the leadership of Prof, V.K.R.V. Rao, Prof. B.N. Ganguli was given the charge of expanding and maintaining the library. The Ratan Tata Library became a part of the University Library System in 1957, when the Delhi School of Economics ceased to be an autonomous institution and its management was taken over by the University of Delhi.
Considered one of the best equipped libraries in Economics and allied fields in Asia, the Ratan Tata Library has a wide-ranging collection of literature on social sciences and business material, serving a rich resource pool for the students and faculty. The library also serves its purpose of helping in a cross-disciplinary approach to the subjects.
The library has a total collection of over 1.95 lakh books, 1.32 lakh bound periodicals excluding 40,000 e-journals and about 60 e-resources, annual reports of 1,000 joint stock companies. In the past more than sixty years, it has not only become a partial depository of publications of the United Nations and several other International Organisations (30,000 such publications are available) but has also developed a phenomenal collection of 40,000 documents of the Central and State Governments, including Reports of various Committees and Commissions. The collection of Theses and Dissertations has grown to more than 1600 records. More than 300 current titles of journals are being subscribed in the library.
The library is fully air-conditioned with access to OPAC (e-catalogue), WebOPAC (online catalogue accessible through internet across the globe), internet and e-resources on 64 terminals placed in the e-library. Additionally, the RTL has 4 terminals for OPAC and 2 terminals have been exclusively setup for the differently abled. The seating capacity of the library is around 270.