Welcome to MEA Library

MEA Library is one of the oldest and biggest in Ministries of Government of India. This library was renamed from Foreign Department Library to MEA Library after independence. This is a very special library in the field of International Relations covering topics of Foreign Policy, Foreign Relations, Area Studies, History, Political Science, International Trade and Economy, Indian Diasporas, Terrorism and related subjects.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Library performs the duties of a library and also acts as a Resource and Information Centre for the use of officers and staff members of MEA at Head Quarters (HQ) as well as Indian Missions and Posts abroad. The library currently functions at Patiala House and Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan (JNB). The Library at Patiala House has a Virtual Reading Room with 8 cubicles equipped with computers and internet facility for users /research scholars.

The library has over one hundred thousand books, rich resource materials and a large collection of maps, microfilms and official documents. It is also equipped with modern facilities to support policy planning and research. The library subscribes and maintains more than 300 periodicals / journals and newspaper titles (including on-line journals and databases).

A Library Committee manages activities including purchase of books and subscription of journals / periodicals and databases. The Foreign Secretary constitutes / re-constitutes the Library Committee time to time.  Approval of Foreign Secretary is sought on case to case basis on proposals involving expenditure more than Rs. 2,50,000/- which is above the delegated administrative and financial powers to Chairperson, MEA Library Committee. The current Committee comprises of Joint Secretary (Policy Planning & Research) as Chairman, Director / Deputy Secretary / Under Secretary from 3-4 territorial divisions as Members and Director (Lib & Info) as Member Secretary. Books submitted on approval by vendors are first screened by library officers before being put up to the Committee. 3-4 committee meetings are held every year for selection of books for the library on regular intervals. Requested / recommended books are purchased on day-to-day basis. Books are also procured and supplied to officers through Inter-library loan. The library has also purchased a collection of e-books on international relations and Sage e-vidya Hindi books. These e-books are available to all MEA officers at Headquarters and Missions abroad.

Library services are provided regularly to MEA officers and staff members posted at HQ and all Indian Missions abroad.  We also provide library services to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), President’s and Vice President’s Offices, Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), National Defence College (NDC) as well as several other Ministries and Departments time to time. The library also entertains research scholars from various universities and institutions for study and research through its rich and specialized collections on International Relations and allied subject areas.  

All Documentation / Bibliographic Services as well as other library operations and user services have been computerized, using integrated library management software “Web Centric LibSys 7”. Information about all books and documents as well as selected articles from periodicals / journals received in the library are available through Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).  Library has proposed web based Libsys 10 on Cloud from 2021 for 24x7 access to all users based at Headquarters and Indian Missions abroad. Library’s information can also be accessed on MEA Library’s website: https://mealib.nic.in.

All new documents received in the library and selected articles from periodicals and journals are fed on a regular basis in the database on foreign affairs. Online databases and journals / periodicals can be accessed on web via username and passwords. A list of available online resources and databases is regularly circulated at HQs as well as Indian Missions and Posts abroad and is also available on Ministry’s intranet.

To provide documentation, bibliographical and reference services to its users, the library regularly issues various bulletins such as “Recent Additions” (RA) and “Foreign Affairs Documentation Bulletin” (FADB). In addition to this, the library provides access to several online databases / services. Library also maintains group subscriptions to Financial Times (ft.com), Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) and the International New York Times (nytimes.com)/ Nikkei Asia/ South China Morning Post/ Magzter for the use of MEA officers.

MEA library has a good collection of rare books. A catalogue of selected rare books is prepared and printed as per instructions of former FS. These rare books are kept in a separate rare books library at JNB. Library also proposed for digitization of rare books during the year.

The library completed a project to re-print “India’s Bilateral Treaties and Agreements including joint declarations and communiqués” from 1947 to 2017 and it is published in 18 volumes.

MEA Library has sucessfully conducted a study for re-categorisation from Category IV to Category V Library as per orders of M/o Finance and necessary sanctions are under process.

MEA Library also provides practical training / internship to the students/ professionals of Library Science studying in various institutions of Delhi from time to time.

MEA Library was instrumental and helping Indian Missions abroad to establish Mission Libraries during the year and facilitated Missions to set up e-libraries on NIC Cloud under Embassy of India Libraries Network on a regular basis (Link: https://eg4.nic.in/embassies/home).

The Library is an institutional member of Indian Library Association (ILA), Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centre (IASLIC), Central Government Library Association (CGLA), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Special Libraries Association (SLA). Director (Lib & Info) and other officers regularly attended / participated in International and National Conferences / Seminars / Meetings of ILA, IASLIC, CGLA, IFLA, and SLA, from time to time. Shri Sanjay Kumar Bihani, LIO is serving as IFLA Governing Board Member and Chair of IFLA Division V and Member of IFLA Professional Committee for the term 2019-2021.


MEA Library Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India