The history

Including collections that used to belong to the old libraries of the Royal Academies (the oldest, around 1640, dwelled in the Three Hierarchs Monastery), "Mihai Eminescu" Central University Library (CUL) of today has enjoyed continuity and stability starting with 1835, as a Library of the "Mihaileanu" Academy, over the years, changing only its name: University Library, "Ulpia" Library, the Central Library.

During a ceaseless evolution of over one and a half century, there occurred some different unfortunate events that forced it to close its gates, such as the lack of space (in 1859), the earthquake in 1940 or the war (in 1944), when the collections were dispersed or reduced due to calamity (as in the case of the two world wars or the economic crisis during 1929-1932, the fire in March 1932). In 1860, on the occasion of the inauguration of the first university in the country, the Library of "Mihaileanu" Academy becomes the University Library, then the Central Library, the Public Library in 1864, and finally, the University Library again, in 1916.

It used to function in the building of the Mihaileanu Academy, (destroyed during 1835-1850), in the old university building (the present Medicine and Pharmacy University, until 1897) and in the new university building (at present, the reading room of the Technical University Library). Finally, after the Second World War, it moved into the library building belonging to the King Ferdinand I Foundation, undertaking its collections as well.

This building was built between 1930 and 1934, by the engineer Emil Pragner, on the plans of the architect Constantin Jotzu.

The inside of this edifice is enhanced with Carrara marble and a Venetian mosaic, while the outside is adorned with some impressive Doric style columns, Neo-Doric pillars, little triangular pediments and round insets with great personalities of the national culture.

The manuscripts of a great value, incunabula, old and rare books, some of them bearing some famous signatures (B. P. Hasdeu's or Mihai Eminescu's signatures, who were also directors of the institution, Ion Creanga's, St. Procopiu's and many others) come mainly from monastery libraries and from private collections (C. Hurmuzachi, B.P. Hasdeu, Mihail Sturdza, L. Steege, V. Adamachi, Titu Maiorescu, Paul de Gore, Iorgu Iordan, etc), which entered our library heritage according to the law, as donations or purchased items.

Mihai Eminescu CUL means tradition and continuity, an active information centre, a multilateral education and an emphasising of a valuable heritage.