University Library

Pursuit of Knowledge

A Library-Centered University

When the University of Virginia was founded in 1819, a library鈥攊nstead of a chapel鈥攚as placed at its center. By today鈥檚 standards, this seems common practice. But at a time when universities were structured around the church, this was radical.

Today, the University of Virginia鈥檚 many libraries remain central in its mission to advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry. Inspired by the collecting policies of the 鈥 which emphasizes all subjects are important to leadership of the country 鈥 the UVA Library collects, preserves, organizes, and shares materials of all varieties, providing unfettered access to an accumulation of knowledge, two centuries in the making.

Our Facilities

Today, the University of Virginia Library is a vital resource for students, faculty and scholars worldwide. With several major facilities, labs and programs the Library offers critical support to academic endeavors at UVA and beyond. At its heart lies Shannon, a sprawling complex housing works in the humanities and social sciences (recently renovated). Beyond that, Clemons鈥攁 destination offering 24/5 study access鈥攐ffers resources in film, television, drama and dance as well as tutoring and advising services. And interspersed throughout Grounds lie other facilities specializing in music, fine arts, and science and engineering. The University is also the home of the renowned , which holds a signature collection of more than 20 million objects including manuscripts, archival records, rare books, maps, broadsides, photographs, audio and video recordings. In addition, there are libraries serving the Darden School of Business, the University Health System, and the UVA School of Law.

By the Numbers

Preserving the Past

UVA is known not only for its extensive library system but also for the work it does in preserving works of scholarship both physical and digital. This has resulted in the preservation of such works as the Jefferson Papers鈥攚hich provide a crucial link to our history as a nation鈥攁nd the digitization of rare video from the Civil Rights Era. The UVA Library is also a leader in the creation of digital archives that ensure the safety of scholarship for generations to come. And since 1992, the University has hosted the , an institution dedicated to educating people in the art of caring for and preserving the historical archive.