The Scientific library of Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University founded in 1817 as a library of Rishelyevsky lyceum.
One of the first books for library were acquired for money, donated to the new educational institution in Odessa by Governor-General of Novorossiysk Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duke de Richelieu.
These money (15 thous. Francs) were used for purchasing books in Greek, Latin and French languages. After conversion the Richelyevsky Lyceum in Novorossiysk Imperial University (1865), the Lyceum library became part of the university as a fundamental library.
During the almost 200-year existence, Scientific library of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University passed several stages. During the period between 1920 and 1923, it was the Main library of the higher school, heading a network of local university libraries. Between 1923 and 1930, there was the Odessa Central Scientific library, which was serving all scientists of the city. Later, from 1930 to 1933, it was administratively merged with the Odessa public library under a general name – Odessa State Scientific Library. Finally, with restoration of universities in Ukraine in 1933, it revived as the University library and entered into the structure of Odessa State University as one of its divisions.
Since 1976, the Scientific library is the city’s methodical center of Odessa universities and from the 1987 it has received the status of the Zonal Scientific Library. It has provided support and methodical management to 36 libraries of the Higher education institutions of the South of Ukraine.
Today, the library fund has about 4 million exemplars. This unique collection of the information resources includes books, pamphlets, periodicals, electronic publications and many others. 17 registered collections bequeathed to the University by prominent scientists, statesmen, rectors, professors of the University have an exceptional scientific and cultural significance. The department of periodicals presents an undeniable value. Due to the scientific character and universality of uts funds, Scientific library of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University today is one of the major social institutes in a region. Annually about 55 000 readers use services of 14 specialized reading-rooms and 13 subscriptions.
Scientific library is a research agency of university (Resolution of Advice of Folk Commissars № 198 from February, 14, 1945) that engages in the advanced study on the study of the library fund, informative opening of collections of rare and valuable editions, reconstruction of “dissipated” book collections, regional studios, biographic researches related to the history of university and their bibliographic providing. The Scientific library takes part in creation of the Ukrainian national bibliography and State register of the Ukrainian book memorials.
One of the top directions of the Scientific library of Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University activity is passing to the new technologies of forming and use of informative resources. There are 138 computers and 3 servers in the library. In the Scientific library internal processes are computerized and computer library program «Absotheque Unicode » is used.