1.      Description

JR Jayewardene library is a research library which consists of more than 16000 books. Among which are reference books, rare books, rare books 1st editions, books on Ceylon and a fairly large collection covering history, literature, religion, political science, sociology etc.

 2.      Vision

Our vision is to be the leading provider of information on H.E. J.R. Jayewardene and related subjects as well as conserve, preserve the resources for future.

 3.      Mission

Develop databases, indexes to facilitate search the information and disseminate the information for seekers.

 4.      Resources

 4.1    Monographs

More than 16000 books among which are reference books, rare first editions, books on Ceylon and a fairly large collection covering history, poetry (English & Sinhala), politics, social science etc.

4.2    Periodicals & journals

Contain local & regional magazines & journals past copies of national Geographic journals from 1968 vol. 139 to 1990 vol. 179.

4.3    Document collection

The documents collection of the Museum and library of JR Jayewardene Centre has archived materials from his family legacies and relevant document on political since 19 the century to date. Entire collection is separated into two series as part I & part II for easy reference. Both series are arranged to a catalogue. It can be access and search by using   Indexes and data base. It include diverse materials from his personal paper cuttings, greetings cards, appointment letters, educational certificates, various international relations correspondences, manuscripts of his own writings and also some of his personal diaries since 1923 up to his death and election literature etc.  

4.4    Government Publications

Government Gazettes from 1931, new law reports, Hansards since 1948 up to now.

4.5    Rare book collection

The most important and valuable collection held here is the Rare Books Collection. Among rare books there are specific books. Such as:

  • Robert Knox – An Historical Relation of the island Ceylon in the East Indies (1671)
  • Philippus Baldens – Description of Ceylon ( 1671)
  • Ananda K. Coomaraswarmy – Mediaeval Sinhalese Art (1908)
  • Arnold Wright – Twentieth century impressions of Ceylon  (1907)

 4.6 Special Collection Received as Bequests

This is a donation of Mrs. Indrani Iriyagola behalf of late Mr. Gamini Abhaya Iriyagola. Among these books there are relate to the north and east national issue with a history of over 20 years and other material on Terrorism, socio political history, irrigation, agriculture. These books can be searched using our main data base (cat).

4.7 Photo collection

Photo collection is very important resource among the library collection. It is consists  a massive amount of loose photographs and albums photographs. Loose photographs can be searched using photo catalogue (photo database) and albums photographs can be searched using album index.

The loose photographs are classified under 28 main headings. Such as

       Mr. J.R. Jayewardene's

  • Personal life
  • Education
  • Family circle
  • Parliamentary matters
  • International affairs
  • Religious activities etc.


The albums photographs index under main topics for easy reference as follows:

  • Family events
  • Foreign visits
  • SAARC Summit
  • Japanese peace conference
  • Photographs showing the offering of Manel watta to sanga
  • Oaths giving as the 1st executive president
  • Opening of the Sri Jayewardenepura hospital
  • Hiroshima Museum etc.

4.8 Paper Articles

News paper articles are classified under selected subjects. Such as archaeology, constitution, culture, political science, environment, forestry, history biographies etc.

5.0 Audio Visual Resources

The Audio visual collection of the JR Jayewardene Centre is spanning from the beginning of his political carrier to his demise. It holds in formats of Audio CD, VCD, DVD , Beta cam, u Matics and VHS. JR Jayewardene centre library provide facility to listen and watch his great speeches, documentaries on his great personality and contribution to the country. In addition to his discussions with the people and media there is an interview series had with Mr. Arun Dias Bandaranaike named Men and Memories on refection of various aspects of Sri Lankan political arena as the veteran political figure. And also we have some of his personal VHS tape collection includes Music & classis movies.

Information seekers can browse the details through the data bases, indexes as well as online databases. Those who need copies of documents and CDs can buy from the center. 629 speeches recorded to audio CDs, 88 VCD, 60 DVD are available

6.0 Services

6.1  Reader services

6.2 Photocopy services

6.3  Scanning (photos/Documents) Services

6.4  Queries

6.5  Selling books

0.7 Library hours

Monday to Friday

 From: 08.30 am – To: 04.30 pm

The library is closed all public & mercantile holidays

8.0  Library policy

As a research library for borrowing facilities are not available. Those who need photocopies can be obtained.

8.1 Sales

Photo coping charges

A4 single side – Rs. 07.00

A4 both side -- Rs. 10.00

A3 single side – Rs. 15.00

A3 both side – Rs.  20.00

B4 single side – Rs. 10.00

B4 both side – Rs.15.00


0.8 Printing

A4 single page Rs. 07.00

8.1 Pictures/plates

  • Rs. 10.00 for each year as search fee ( current calendar year free)
  • Rs. 50.00 for a photograph using by own camera
  • Rs. 150.00 for a  photograph scanned and copy to CD

8.2 Audio / video materials

* Audio CD Rs. 200.00

* VCD          Rs.200.00

* DVD         Rs.400.00

  8.3   For reference

              * Issuing a archival file Rs.10.00 per day

              * Issuing book from rare collection Rs. 25.00 per day

              * Issuing Government publication before 1983 Rs. 10.00 per year

Main Facilities


    Auditorium is a fully equipped reception hall hired out for wedding receptions and similar functions. It is also hired out at very subsidized rates for book

Japanese museum

    Japanese museum is a separate entity housed in a separate hall which contains mainly mementos depicting exclusively Japanese art and culture.

The Museum

    One of the most illustrious collections of personal memorabilia, the museum contains about 600 items gifted to President Jayewardene.

Presidential Archives

    President Jayewardene was a man who believed in preserving everything he possessed for posterity. He had jealously preserved the diaries and most of the exercise books he used as a schoolboy

The Library

    The library contains over 16000 books and publications mainly in English and Sinhala and a few in other languages such as Tamil, Hindi, Chinese and Japanese.

The Ryugen Garden

    A replica of the gorgeous courtyards of the Japanese elite is a gift from Rev. Ryugen Tanaka as a token of gratitude to President Jayewardene


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    The J. R. Jayewardene Centre provides support services for classes conducted in various fields such as