The Library was established at the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) upon the initiative of the Director General Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu in 1980 with the aim of fulfilling the aims and functions of IRCICA. IRCICA Library is a reference library specialized in Islamic culture and civilization. Primarily, the library began to collect the reference books within the Centre’s fields of interest through various means. The library also assembled the primary sources on the Islamic world, its civilization, art, language and literature and related subjects. Thus, it aimed to specialize in its field. In time, IRCICA library developed owing to the personal efforts of İhsanoğlu and became an indispensable unit for carrying out the activities of the Centre. With this understanding, İhsanoğlu aimed to establish a rich library collection on the one hand, and supported the librarians in providing services through the practice of modern methods on the other. Thus, as an administrator he put forth effective ideas and exerted sincere efforts to support the studies carried out both at IRCICA and in other circles on Islamic culture and civilization and to develop the library as a unit that functions with modern methods for the practical use of the researchers. With the purpose of developing and enriching the collection, İhsanoğlu increased the share allocated to the library from IRCICA budget and assured its effective use. Besides, owing to his personal connections and the friendships that he formed, he made possible the donation of the private collections of some well-known personalities to the library.
Dr. Halit Eren, who served in the capacity of Head of the Library and the Documentation Unit between 1981-2004, was appointed Director General of IRCICA and Mr. Abdullah Topaloğlu replaced him in this position.
Çit Qasr within the Yıldız Palace Complex, which houses IRCICA Library, was allocated to the Centre by the Government of the Republic of Turkey. This historical building functioned as a reception hall during the periods of Sultan Abdulaziz and Sultan Abdülhamid II. As a result of the donation campaign initiated by IRCICA, the library was restored and began to serve the readers in 1983. The aims and activities of the library are as follows:
- Administration of a special library consisting of the sources within the Centre’s field of activity,
- To search, locate and acquire books, periodicals, non-book materials, grey literature and other documents in line with the objectives of the Centre and within the field of its activities, to catalogue, classify and preserve these documents and submit them to the benefit of the users,
- To publish various kinds of library catalogues and accession lists introducing the collection of IRCICA Library,
- To exchange information and publications with the related libraries, institutions and organizations in the member states and various parts of the world,
- To establish an information network among the libraries and to look for means of cooperation with the purpose of improving the training of personnel,
- To assemble, preserve and classify the archival documents which resulted from the projects and activities of IRCICA and present them to the user