The beginning of the library dates back to the year 1862 when Riga Polytechnic School was established and the formation of the first library was started. Already in 1872 the first printed library catalog was published, but in 1882 its supplemented edition was put out. When Riga Polytechnic School was reorganized into Riga Polytechnic Institute in 1896, the library also became a part of the institute. In 1911 there were 57 953 documents in the collection of the library. During the First World War the Polytechnic Institute together with the library was evacuated to Russia. Only a small part of the library was returned.

The Library of the University of Latvia (UL), founded in 1919, was to be structured almost from nothing. The University Council decided to organize a separate library for each faculty and to delegate the shaping of libraries to lecturers of the faculties, for example, professor Lejnieks organized the libraries of the faculties of Mathematics and Science, but associate professor Blesse the libraries of the faculties of Philology and Philosophy. Later, the Central Library was formed. The main aim of the Central Library was to prevent duplication in the subscription to foreign periodicals and to prepare a general catalog for all the branch libraries. The curator of the Central Library was professor Lejnieks. At this time and for many years on the Central Library was situated in the main building of the University of Latvia (present Raina Boulevard 19).

In 1940 Kalpaka boulevard was given for use of the Central Library, howerver Library was fully situated in it only in  1957. It remained in Kalpaka boulevard till March 17, 2012, when renovation of the building started. Renovation was held from March 17, 2012 to January 15, 2013. The presentation of the building was held on January 28, 2013.

Grand opening of the Library of Kalpaka boulevard was occured on September 27, 2013. The new function of the Library of Kalpaka boulevard is to work as research library for humanities and social sciences.

The library operates the Integrated Library System ALEPH 500. Being one of the biggest libraries, the Library of the UL is also a member of the State Union Catalog.


Since October 2017 Mārīte Saviča is the director of the University of Latvia Library.