The library of the University of Iași was created on October 26th 1860, at the same time when the first modern higher education institution in Romania was founded. It inherited book funds from the libraries that had been functioned in the Moldavian capital since the 17th century. Its first headquarter was a beautiful 18th century building, and with the inauguration of the Palace of Copou in 1898, it moved into a space of outstanding academic achievement.
The political and social changes caused by the two World Wars determined profound changes within the Library of the University of Iași. Thus, after World War I, the first higher education institution and implicitly its library were assigned an essential mission in terms of formation and integration of young students from all over the Great Romania.
A new institutional restructuring was prefigured by the outbreak of World War II, which caused a series of operational syncope, resulting in the interruption of the library’s activity in early 1944 and the relocation of the entire book fund in Transylvania. The return to the Moldavian capital took place with the beginning of the communist regime, following the pressure of the Soviet army occupation.
After 1945 the entire book fund was moved to the building of “Ferdinand I University Foundation” and since 1948 the edifice and its collections were transferred to the University patrimony, and the new structure was named the “Central University Library”. The merging of the two libraries was part of the centralist policy of the communist regime, which also involved the removal of all monarchist symbols, as proved by the emblematic gesture of destroying the royal founder’s statue.
Nowadays, “Mihai Eminescu” Central University Library bears a fund of over 2.500.000 bibliographic units, of which a major part is in special collections of more than 100.000 documents, manuscripts, old Romanian and foreign books, albums, maps, stamps and archive works. Our institution is the first completely computerized library in Romania, with an online database of over 1.8 million bibliographic records. Access to major scientific databases (ProQuest, Springer, Ebsco, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Emerald, etc.) gives the library the status of an active research centre.
The info-documentary activity is now undertaken in 30 reading rooms with 1320 seats in the library headquarter and 12 branches. As major part of Iași university life, “Mihai Eminescu” Central University Library is integrated into the European structures as real provider and information mediator.