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The history of the university’s libraries begins with the first university library operating at the residence of Kleanthis, in the first university, which was compiled mainly with donations from philhellenes and Greeks living abroad. In 1842, it moved to the main building of the university and was co-housed with the public library, which was initiating its own parallel historical path with G. Gennadios as the director (up to 1942). The shared library that was created in 1942, under director G. Typaldos-Kozakis, continued to grow through donations and funds from the university.

The merging of the two libraries troubled the rectorate authorities, who stressed the need to separate them, advocating the university’s independence, its fundamental role as a higher educational institution, and the need for scientific comprehensiveness of every teaching discipline through the use of specialized libraries. During the struggle for the library's autonomy, its collections went through reorganizing and classification as its needs for an expansion increased. Once E. Roidis was appointed director in 1880, a new chapter opened in the history of the university library due to the significant efforts placed into erecting a building that would accommodate both libraries. For this purpose, in 1859, the university relinquished the land on its right side while Th. Hansen included the building in his plans as part of his Athenian trilogy, regardless of whether it would become a library or a museum. The building was redesigned in 1884 and was built under the supervision of E. Ziller from 1888 to 1903.

Since 1903, the two libraries had their individual space in the new building and continued to coexist, while the student reading room was initially also housed in the same space. Since 1905, the respective directors submitted appraisal reports to the Rectorate which were only concerning the university library part. Moreover, the laboratories, tutorials, and study rooms had started to develop their own libraries. Since 1920, the National Library set out to claim its autonomy and appeal to the university for the separation and immediate transfer of the student reading room. In 1930, the student reading room was transferred to the University Club and organized by a librarian from the National Library. The 1932 organization describes that the University Library consisted of a) the books included in the National Library, which belonged to the university library, and b) the books owned by the reading rooms, laboratories, museums, clinics, and other university branches.

The Library of the University of Athens ( is currently an independent Directorate, and its content is divided and housed in 9 building complexes in an equal number of University Schools, while it also includes the Libraries Computer Center. Its mission is to support and strengthen the Foundation's educational and research endeavors, manage and provide specialized scientific information to the Greek and international academic community, and participate successfully in every activity concerning education and culture. With more than 1,000,000 books and more than 350,000 scientific journals, it is now one of the three largest libraries in Greece, alongside the National Library and the Library of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

To visit the library website see here
To communicate with the Library Directorate, the e-mail is