- Central Library, which houses management and central functions and several specialized sections (including the specialized section on French Studies, the U.S. Studies Library, the Specialized Library for Medicine and the Specialized Library for Translation, Linguistics and Cultural Studies),
- seven cross-faculty Departmental Libraries and
- approximately 30 Faculty Libraries, which function as decentralized reference libraries.
1. HistoryIn 1805 the library holdings of the former electoral university which operated from 1477 -1798 were handed over to the City of Mainz and have been kept at the Mainz City Library ever since.
The establishment of the University Library started in 1946 in the context of the reopening of Mainz University. In the beginning of Mainz post-war history one concentrated on establishing decentralized libraries. Only afterwards was the University Library/Central Library founded and moved into its own, new building in 1964. Its inventory consisted mainly of works from the last century.
The last decade was characterized by the development of cross-faculty Departmental Libraries as constituents of the University Library and the provision of a broad range of electronic resources.
Directors of Mainz University Library
- 1946–1955: Walter Menn
- 1955–1962: Hermann Fuchs
- 1962–1972: Hermann Sauter
- 1973–1988: Johann Schubert
- 1988–2011: Andreas Anderhub
- 2011–: Andreas Brandtner
2. FunctionThe University Library regards itself as a modern library with a focus on customer and service orientation.
Departmental Libraries and Faculty Libraries acquire most of the monographs and print-journals.
The acquisition efforts of the Central Library focus on electronic media (databases, e-journals, e-books).
The Library offers its services to the University and all its users in the area.
3. Special collectionsThe library owns autographs, documents, medieval manuscripts as well as a collection of manuscripts from poet Clemens Brentano’s family which are kept at the manuscript department of Mainz City Library as a permanent loan since 1998.
The specialized collection "French Studies: Culture - Society - Regions" makes available to the university community regionally specific and interdisciplinary material from the realms of cultural and social science. In cooperation with other France-focused libraries, this specialized library also operates the virtual specialized library on Romanesque Culture.
The holdings of the former Camp Lindsey Library in Wiesbaden were donated to the University of Mainz, allowing the U.S. Studies Library to open its doors in 1995. The U.S. Studies Library provides interdisciplinary resources on the United States of America. Areas of emphasis include: politics, social sciences, history, culture, geography, and the educational system.