University Library in Bratislava (ULIB) is the oldest and largest scientific library in Slovakia, which was founded in 1919 and until 1954 served as a national library. It was amongst the first cultural and educational institutions that were founded in the new Czechoslovak Republic on the territory of Slovakia in support of the emerging higher education and science. Despite its original intention to become a university library of the oldest Slovak university, it has never become an integral part of it, even though it has so far enjoyed great interest among students and the academic community. The University Library in Bratislava retained its original name, which also describes the universal nature of its library collections. At present it is a modern scientific library serving the whole country. In the jubilee year 2019, the University Library in Bratislava commemorates its 100th anniversary.

The University Library in Bratislava is housed in 3 historic buildings:

The palace of the Hungarian Royal Chamber

Michalská 1


Built by the empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century and was seat of the Hungarian Council in the 19th century. Currently it is the seat of the directorate and profe- ssional offices of the library.

Leopold de Pauli’s Palace

Ventúrska 11


Today housing study rooms and workplaces that provide the main library and information services for library users. A summer reading room is operates in the palace’s historic garden and the Liszt Pavilion hosts cultural events organised at ULIB.

The Clarissine convent

Klariská 5


The Clarissine convent has been the seat of the library since its founding in 1919. Today it serves the department of document restoration, scientific research and the provision of attendance services of the library at the specialized offices of the music cabinet, the cabinet of manuscripts, old and precious prints, the NATO Deposit Library and the UNESCO Information and Documentation Center.

© Ctibor Bachratý

University Library in Bratislava has, since its inception, fundamentally influenced several generations of prominent writers, scientists, educators, journalists, artists and other personalities of social and cultural life in Slovakia. The ULIB was visited by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Pan-Ki Mun in 2015, and every year it welcomes many researchers and state and diplomatic visits from all over the world.

ULIB collection consists of nearly 3 million library items. The library and information services are annually used by more than 19 000 active users with 650 000 loans. The University Library in Bratislava also fills a role of a multifunctional cultural centre, with nearly 400 scientific, cultural, educational, presentation and social events taking place annually, with an annual attendance of more than 180,000 visitors. Most ULIB events are open to the public and are held in the lecture, seminar and exhibition halls, in the Liszt garden, and in the library’s interior and exterior courtyards.

ULIB is the seat of the National Agency ISSN and of the Office of the Slovak Committee for the UNESCO World Memory Program. It also implements several unique projects, e.g. the Central data archive for long-term and secure preservation of digitized objects from the funds of the Slovak memory institutions and Digital Resources – Webharvesting and Webarchiving of e-Born content, resulting in a functional and complex system that collects and stores online digital sources as an integral part of the cultural heritage of Slovak Republic. ULIB promotes the culture and cultural heritage of Slovakia both at home and abroad through the bilingual portal Profile of Slovak Culture.

ULIB‘s core mission is to build and preserve the Conservation Fund of the Slovak Republic – part of Slovakia‘s written cultural heritage based on books and periodicals received under the legal deposit system and to process, protect and make available its library fund, comprising primarily works in the social sciences, natural sciences and the humanities, on a professional basis. ULIB‘s library collections include manuscripts of European origin dating from the 12th to 16th centuries, incunables from the years 1450 – 1500, palaeotypes (16th century prints), Elsevier prints, Judaica and historical maps.

ULIB provides all modem library and information services:


  • borrowing of library documents (absence and presence),
  • interlibrary (national, intemational) loan services,
  • consulting services (including electronic services counselling),
  • information services (including locational research services and access to electronic information re­sources, etc.), internet access,
  • reprographic and digitization services (express scanning of documents from the ULIB fund, EDO – electronic book order, Scan & Go – self-service scanning, EDO – electronic document delivery)
  • and other services (e.g. excursions and tailor-made lectures)

The rare ULIB funds include the unique Bašagič collection of lslamic manuscripts, inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 1997. ULIB purchased this precious family library in 1924 legally from Bosnian scholar Salvet Beg Bašagič, after whom the collection is named. Bašagičs collection is an extraordinary set of lslamic literary curtural heritage, containing 598 manuscripts in 284 volumes, including 393 Arabic, 114 Ottoman-Turkish and 88 Persian tides. Printed books are in 365 volumes and contain 495 works: 145 Arabic, 337 Turkish and 8 Persian. The entire co­llection was professionally processed, restored and digitized.


Bibliography: http://retrobib.ulib.sk/Basagic/
Full text: http://digitalna.kniznica.info/page/basagic-collection

Contact Information


University Library in Bratislava

Michalská 1

814 17 Bratislava

Slovak Republic