The function of university library for University of Copenhagen dates back to 1482 when Professor Peder Albertsen donated a book gift to the university.

In the middle of the seventeenth century the University Library moved to the Library Hall above the then newly built Trinitatis Church, but it perished during Copenhagen’s first major fire in 1728. In 1861 the library moved to J.D. Herholdt’s building in Fiolstræde.

In 1924 a library committee was appointed and in 1926 it submitted a report (printed in 1927). The report established the division of subjects among the libraries of Copenhagen and after this The Royal Library served as main library for Theology, Humanities, and Social Science Studies while the University Library was a so-called guidance library for the same subjects and main library for Natural Sciences and Medicine.

In 1930 the University Library was detached from the university and became an independent institution under the Ministry of Education. The library was transferred to the Ministry of Culture in 1961 by its establishment.

In 1938 the University Library was divided into a Section 1 (UB1) for Theology, Humanities and Social Sciences and a Section 2 (UB2) for Natural Sciences and Medicine. UB1 remained in Fiolstræde, while UB2 (later Denmark’s Library for Natural and Medical Sciences, DNLB) moved to a new library building on Nørre Allé.

In 1989 and 2006 respectively UB1 and DNLB were united with Royal Danish Library. On this occasion Copenhagen University Library was re-established as a distinct organisational entity.

The old library building in Fiolstræde (1857-61). Drawn by architect Johan Daniel Herholdt