The University Library in Bratislava (ULB) is the oldest and largest research library in the Slovak Republic. It was established in 1919 as a library for the newly founded Comenius University. In parallel to its academic purpose it has also served as the national library until 1954. From the very beginning the Library gained the right to legal deposit. Since 1954 ULB has become a major research library that also serves the general public. The name University Library remains because it speaks of its historical purpose, funding and user background. Over the years the library transformed from a classical library to a modern research library and multifunctional cultural centre.
At present the Library contains approximately 2 520 000 publications. Its collections include:
Slovak Literature – a relatively complete collection of new books and periodicals based on legal deposit. In the years 1919/1920-1939 ULB was the only library at the territory of Slovakia entitled to legal deposit. Since 1920 a collection of Slovak literature written by Slovak authors living in Slovakia as well as abroad has been built. Since 1978 a collection of dissertations from the territory of Slovakia has been compiled at the Library.
Foreign Literature - a collection of foreign literature is composed of humanities, natural science and documents of universal character with special attention to secondary sources of information. Literature in world languages is being collected as well as in Slavic and other European languages. From among 15,500 publications acquired annually, foreign literature makes up 35%. Apart from classical publications, electronic documents are part of the collection as well. Secondary information sources are also available - national bibliographies, publication catalogues, bibliographic papers, the series of Science Citation Index as well as the PROQUEST database (1,100 titles of periodicals) with bibliographic information and full text citations.