Short History


Together with the establishment of the Cluj University (1872), the University Library is also created. Through a contract signed on 29 August 1872, the Transylvanian Museum offers the University all of its collections of volumes, documents and manuscripts. Later, the Gubernatorial Archives’ collection, the Library of the Surgical Institute’s collection, as well as historian Joseph Benigni’s private library will all come into the library’s possession. In the beginning, the library functioned in different locations and it was moved to the new University building only in the autumn of 1895. The first director of the library was the historian and bibliographer Szabó Károly.


The project for the new building of the University Library commences on 14 June 1906, with the gathering of the Library’s construction Committee. The director of the library, the literary historian Erdélyi Pál, overlooks the completion of the project.


The new building on Clinicilor Street no. 2 is officially inaugurated on 18 May 1909, although some parts of the project had been abandoned due to financial difficulties and were completed only between 1931 and 1934.


After the Royal Decree that transformed the Hungarian University in Cluj into a Romanian University, the University Library is reorganised.


In this context, the philologist Eugen Barbul becomes the director of the University Library.

1 February 1920

King Ferdinand I of Romania and Queen Maria, together with other important members of the Romanian government visit the library.


The Moldavian scholar Gheorghe Sion donates to the University Library an impressive collection of 4500 books, 2000 plates, a few hundred photographs, 200 maps, coins and stamps.


The complete thematic catalogue starts to be organized, in accordance with the universal decimal classification (UDC).


The institution is named the “Ferdinand I” University Library.


The library contributes with documents to the “Astra” exhibition in Alba-Iulia, on the occasion of the ten year anniversary of the Union of Transylvania with Romania.


The “Ferdinand I” University Library partakes in the International Exhibition in Barcelona.


The director Eugen Barbul is involved in the construction of four new reading rooms, contributing to the completion of the initial architectural project.


The philologist and ethnographer Ioan Muşlea, a remarkable figure of the Cluj academic life, becomes the new library director.


An important part of the library’s collections, together with the University, are temporarily moved to Sibiu.


The poet Lucian Blaga, expelled from the University by the communist regime, finds refuge in the library, in the small room near the conference room, a place the poet regards as “the room beneath the unsuspected steps”. Here, until the summer of 1954, he will translate Goethe’s Faust. In July 1954, he leaves Faust’s “lair” and moves to the Archive Room, on the second floor. On 15 April 1959, the poet will request the “severance of his contract” for objective reasons. From 1 July 1954 until his definitive leave from the library, Lucian Blaga was the scientific deputy director.


A new deposit is built and a series of library services (the bookbinding, multiplication, microfilming and photo workshops, as well as the hygiene and book pathology lab) are established or modernised.


The Central University Library in Cluj-Napoca receives the name of the great poet and philosopher Lucian Blaga. Furthermore, at the beginning of the 90s, an ample and complex automation and computerization process is established for all the library’s activities.


The “Lucian Blaga” Central University Library, in collaboration with the "Babeş-Bolyai" University, contributes to the development of initial formation and specialization programmes in the field of library and information science.


Yearly, the Digital Library has a remarkable development. It contains valuable patrimony documents, as well as a wide collection of periodicals from the Transsilvanica collection, which allows remote access.

Starting with 2014, CUL is present in WorldCat.