The Library of the University of Gdańsk, apart from being an academic unit, serves as an educational and service centre of the University information system. The Main Library of the University of Gdańsk in Gdańsk-Oliwa, together with six specialised libraries constitutes the basis for the academic library and information system. It is available for all readers, with the scientific library and a public centre of science and culture accessible for inhabitants of the whole region.
The University of Gdańsk was founded in March 1970.
On July 1st 1970 the Main Library was established with its four major libraries: the Library of the School of Pedagogy, the Library of the Teacher Training Institute in Gdańsk and the Library of School of Economy in Sopot. The collection was dispersed, so the Library was organized in the following units: the Main Library in Sopot and 4 branches all over the Tri-city. At that time, its collection consisted of about 300,000 volumes. Zbigniew Binerowski, became the first Head of the Library.
On November 6th 2006 in Gdańsk-Oliwa, a new building of the Main Library of the University of Gdańsk was opened for readers. To ensure comfortable reading conditions the new Library provides 500 seats for readers, including 35 ones equipped with computers. In the Main Library most of the collections are ordered thematically and are available in open access. The Library in the new building is also an important centre of scientific information.
Today, the Main Library in Gdańsk-Oliwa and six specialised libraries constitute The Library of the University of Gdańsk. Specialised libraries:
- the Economic Library
- the History of Culture Library
- the Human Sciences Library
- the Neophilology Library
- the Law Library
- the Oceanography Reading Room
The present collection contains over 1.672.411 volumes ∗ including:
- 1.126.005 books
- 354.208 volumes of periodicals
- 192.198 units in special collections
∗ As of December 31, 2020
Currently, the Library also offers an access to about 110.443 electronial perdiocals and about 524.000 e-books. The present collection has a universal character. However, special consideration is given to the disciplines represented at the University and maritime issues. The Library is particularly interested in acquisition of special collections concerning the history and culture of the Pomeranian Region, in traditional, as well as electronic forms. Since 1997, the University Library has become one of 17 institutions in Poland entitled to receive a legal deposit copy of distinguished publications. Special collections constitute a valuable part of the library's archives. Among the most precious are: manuscripts, rare books, ephemera, maps, art prints, along with audio-visual materials (records, cassettes, video-cassettes and other media). In 1969 all the19th century books were incorporated into special collections. Among the rare books, there is a group deserving special attention - works of eminent representatives of Gdańsk historiography of the 16th-17th centuries, e.g. Casper Schütz, Reinhold Curicke, Gottfried Lengnich and others. Among the manuscripts, special focus should be on the literary collection containing: autographs, letters and other personal documents of outstanding Polish writers of the 20th century.
The Library supports educational, scientific and research processes at the University of Gdańsk, together with serving the whole of the Tri-city academic community through 6 lending libraries, 25 reading-rooms, information points and the Reference and Information Department.
The most important tasks of the Library include:
- gathering, developing and sharing collections from the disciplines represented at the University of Gdańsk
- providing an access to the global information resources
- developing and modernizing its services
- user training for the educational process and self-education
- improving professional qualifications of librarians in order to provide the best quality library service
- promotion of the Library in the community
The most important dates
1970 - founding of the Library of the University of Gdańsk
1979 - receiving by the Library the status of the Central Maritime Library
1992 - beginning of the Library's computerization and introduction of the VTLS (Virginia Tech Library System)
1994 - extending the Library's old building in Sopot
1995 - creating the online catalogue
1996 - creating the Central Catalogue of Periodicals (CKTCZ)
1997 - The Library became entitled to receive a legal deposit copy of distinguished publications
1997 - creating The Library website
2002 - the Library joined National Union Catalogue (NUKAT)
2002 - commencing construction of the new Library building in Gdansk-Oliwa
2006 - opening of the new Library building for readers