The foundation of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences was accompanied by the launch of the library. At the very beginning the university itself and the library were located in the 8th Viennese district. The K. & K. (Austrian-Hungarian monarchy) ministry of agriculture provided the initial stock of books for the library.
In 1875/76 the library contained already 9630 volumes (journals and monographs) due to presents and new acquisitions. Furthermore the former academy of forestry in Mariabrunn turned over its bookstock to the university library.
The library was opened to the public and a library committee was initiated. With the help of catalogues (alphabetical author and keyword catalogues) the whole stock of books was indexed in the following years.
In autumn 1896 the library moved to the new main building in the 19th Viennese district (the area around the main building of the university and the library is called “Türkenschanze”). After the relocation from the 8th to the 19th district, the library expanded from 140 to 373 square-meters. A 72 m² large reading room including 52 seats and a five-storey stack-room were part of the new main library. But soon the new rooms had reached their capacity.
Because the cataloguing was adjusted to the so called Prussian Instructions the introduction of a new author and keyword catalogue was required.
In 1960 the library moved from the main building of the university (Gregor-Mendel-house) to the Wilhelm-Exner-house, formerly a hospital which was assigned to university. The main part of the stock (about 40.000 volumes) was left in the stack-tower of the main building in Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33.
Increasing numbers of students caused a serious shortage of space. The need for converting and equipping the library was already apparent in 1985. Even though construction plans were finished and the start of construction was intended in 1987/88 the project had to be cancelled due to governmental economy measures.
For cataloguing and subject indexing new software, called BIBOS, was launched and few months later the library installed its first CD-ROM working station. In 1993 the university library was able to offer CD-ROM data bases via UltraNet to all university members. This was the first service of this kind in Vienna. Finally the modification of the Exner-house was permitted too.
Because of the intended remodelling works, early in 1993, library resources were moved to the library of the technical university, Schwackhöfer-house and Universitätssternwarte (which was the observatory of the University of Vienna). The library itself settled in wooden barracks, built in advance in the Borkowskigasse, where the library service was fully functional.
In 1995 remodelling works for Exner-house finished and the new facilities were ready for occupancy.
The grand opening of the Special Library for Food- and Biotechnology took place in April 1997.
The library software changes from BIBOS to ALEPH 500.
The new lending software ALEPH 500 replaces the old one, named ALF.
At the end of the year the opening of the Special Library for Economics and Social Sciences was celebrated.
marks the beginning of the centrally organized acquisition for all departments and facilities of the BOKU.
Since the beginning of winter term 2004/05 the Special Library for Forest and Soil Sciences is accessible for users in Peter-Jordan- Straße. 82.
BOKU members can now access electronic ressources (like databases, e-journals or e-books) outside the BOKU campus via HAN-access
The university library offers, first in Austria, an e-learning based course named “Introduction to the services and facilities of the university library”. „Vom Buch bis zum Web 2.0“ (From books to Web 2.0) enriches the trainings program of the library in October 2007. Furthermore wireless LAN is now available and a virtual walk through the library was added to the website. DBIS, a new Database-Information-System, forms part of various electronic innovations.
The library takes responsibility for the university archive.
Kick-off for a project of retrospective conversion: old card catalogues become part of the online catalogue.
The library offers guided library tours in sign language for the first time.
Information management: The library sets up a news-blog and a library-internal WIKI-platform.
- A workstation for visually-impaired or blind users is equiped.
- A blog for new acquisitions is set up.
- Relocation of two department libraries (“Nanobiotechnologie” and “Milchforschung”) and integration into the library collection of Special Library Food Science and Biotechnology.
- Since February 2010 member of the Open-access publisher “BioMed Central”.
- Additional carrels are set up in the reading room.
- Journals for Kosovo: Duplicates of scientific journals in English language are donated to University of Prishtina.
- An additional room at Adolf Cieslar Haus is furnished for the University Archive.
- Novartis donates its library collection to BOKU Library. Journals and books are integrated into the library collection of Special Library Food Science and Biotechnology and shelved in a new stack in Muthgasse III.
- The Boku Card is the new library card.
- New lockers for the main library.
- NS-Provenance research part project (ended 2012).
- Research-platform “BOKU:LITsearch”: A new platform to search all library resources.
- Carrels: Special work stations for users writing their final thesis.
- The library of the Institute of Forest Ecology is dissolved and incorporated into the main library.
- Special library NAS is included in the library lending system.
- More Room for the special library LAP.
- Guideline for a combined literature acquisition.
- The library participates in the HRSM-project “eInfrastructures Austria”.
- Information event concerning Open Access.
- Open Access Strategy is approved by BOKU, the Berlin declaration on Open Access is signed.
- RDA is the new library guideline for cataloguing.
- The first consortia agreement containing an open access component is signed (SpringerCompact).
- BOKU:ePub: the new Open Access platform for electronic publications and digitalised media.
- The libraries of the Divisions of Organic Farming and of Livestock Sciences are incorporated into the main library.