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 Governor-General of Novorossiysk by Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, Duke de Richelieu. This money (15 thous. Francs) was used for purchase of books in the Greek, Latin and French languages in France. 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, the Scientific library of Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University passed several stages. During the period between 1920 and 1923, it – the Main library of the higher school, heading a network of local university libraries. Between 1923 and 1930, there was the Central Scientific library of Odessa, serving all the scientists of the city. Later, from 1930 to 1933, it 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 methodical center of universities of Odessa and from 1987 received the status of the Zonal Scientific Library, has provided support and methodical management of 37 libraries of higher education institutions of the South of Ukraine.
Today, the library fund has about 4 million copies. This unique collection of sources of information including books, pamphlets, periodicals, publications in electronic media and many others. Exceptional scientific and cultural significance have 17 registered collection bequeathed to the University of prominent scientists, statesmen, rectors, professors of university. The department of periodicals presents an undeniable value. Due to scientific character and universality of the funds of Scientific library of Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University today is one of major social institutes in a region. Annually about 55 thousand readers use services 12 specialized reading-rooms and 13 subscriptions.
Scientific library is research establishment of university (Decision of Advice of Folk Commissars № 198 from February, 14, 1945) that engages in the advanced study on the study of fund of library, informative opening of collections of rare and valuable editions, reconstruction “dissipated” book collections, regional studios, biographic researches related to history of university and their bibliographic providing. A Scientific library takes part in creation of national bibliography of Ukraine and State register of book monuments of Ukraine.
One of priority directions of activity of the scientific library of Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University is passing to new technologies of forming and use of informative resources. There are 133 computers and 3 servers in a library. In the Scientific library, computerized internal processes and used computer library program «Absotheque Unicode». The reading hall-internet operates and electronic documents. The system of the automated service is inculcated, carried out electronic order.