Library of the University of Khartoum

Featured Image Source: Petr Adam Dohnálek, Under Creative Commons,

The library sits on the southern side of the Blue Nile. The University, whose history starts in 1898, is one of the most important libraries in Sudan.

A college was founded by the British Colonial government and in particular Lord Kitchener. The Gordon Memorial College was opened in 1902. The college grew, adding a secondary school, a teacher training program and a bacteriological analysis laboratory. In 1945 the college gained an arrangement with the Unversity of London and all the vocational studies were brought under one administration. In 1956 the college gained its rights as a fully fledged university and became the Universty of Khartoum, (source).

The university currently has 29 faculties housed in four campuses across the city. The main campus, Al-Wasat Campus, is the largest and is located in the centre of the city, (source). The main library is located on this campus. The university library also acts as the national library of Sudan as no such library exists. Thus many documents of national importance are also housed in this library, (source).

The building was the first building built for the Gordon Memorial College and is thus one of the oldest buildings in the university. The library is split over two floors with almost 2000 square meters of space, (source).

Source: Book Aid International, Creative Commons,

The building is a mix of colonial architecture and more traditional Arabic elements, like for example the pointed arch windows and doors, and the flat roofs. The building is ‘u’ shaped and surrounds a central courtyard. The buildings main entrance is denoted by a tower three floors high. The building’s facades are symmetrical with the tower as the central focal point. The building’s main construction material is a light red brick. Wood is used to create floors and ceilings between the constructive walls.

Source: Petr Adam Dohnálek, Under Creative Commons,
  1. On both floors, there is a long arcade. This arcade is not only a way of getting from room to room but also helps cool the building a create shade in the building. The arcade is made up of successive columns that create pointed arches. The span between the arcade and the facade is covered with pointed vaults. The windows of the building have wooden shutters that keep out the sun but allow cool air to flow through the building.
Source: Matson Photo Service, photographer. (G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection), Under No copyright restrictions,

The library is the most important library in Sudan and allows students to gain knowledge in a comfortable building drenched in history.


University of Khartoum. (n.d.). About UOFK. Retrieved October 11, 2018
University of Khartoum. (2018, August 30a). About library. Retrieved October 11, 2018
University of Khartoum. (2018, June 10b). The Sudan Library at the University of Khartoum. Retrieved October 11, 2018
Wikipedia contributors. (2018, October 10a). University of Khartoum – Wikipedia. Retrieved October 11, 2018
Wikipedia contributors. (2018, August 21b). Arcade (architecture) – Wikipedia. Retrieved October 11, 2018







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