Azerbaijan National Library


Electronic catalog and electronic library


Electronic database



The library was founded in 1922 and its official opening was on May 23, 1923.


In 1939 the library was named after M.F.Akhundov, thinker, playwright, and educator.


In 2004, according to the order of the Cabinet of Ministers the Library has been awarded the status of “National Library”, so that is the very high estimation for its activity.

History of the library

The main library of Azerbaijan is one of the largest and well-known national libraries and bookkeepers not only in Europe – in the Caucasus, but also all over the world. 

The library was founded in 1922 and its official opening was on May 23, 1923. 

When the library was created, 5000 copies of literature were donated to the library from the funds of the libraries of Imperial Technical Society’s Baku branch and Baku Public Society.

The library, which began to develop rapidly since 1923, had focused its attention on the acquisition. In 1925, the library managed to collect books, magazines, newspapers, map and other printed materials with 51000 titles, while in 1928 there was literature with 300000 titles. Only in 1928, 50 titles of periodicals were received from abroad. Readers were 3183 – of those, 2957 were men, while 226 were women. Book delivery was 2576 copies. The first bibliographic indexes were published in 1927. Generally, in connection with increasing interest in the East, “Journal articles about the East (1917-1927)” and “USSR literature on the East in 1927” indexes had been published at that time.

First director of the library which started activity with only 13 employees was M.Salimov. Reading hall in the library was opened in 1927. The reading hall was open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The library was located in a few rooms in the building of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences. And that didn’t allow the library to expand its activities. However, the library consisted of 6 departments in 1928: Eastern, Russian, Western Europe and Special departments, Services and Bibliography bureau. And the number of employees was 29.

In 1939, the library was named after M.F.Akhundov, the thinker, playwright and educator. 

Over the years, the scope of the library has been expanded, dozens of new departments have been created, the number of literary materials in the library fund has reached millions and the number of employees has reached hundreds. In 1961, moving to a  majestic building that has a great importance as a hostorical monument in terms of architecture was a wonderful gift for those who love it. It should also be noted that prominent People’s writer Suleyman Rahimov had a great role in choosing the place for library and in the construction of the library. And the project of the library belongs to academician Mikayil Huseynov.

Right now, there are 24 departments in the library. And the fund of the library consists of 4 604 133 items.

The National Library is a leading institution in the fields of library studies, bibliography studies and bibliology, as well as scientific methodical center for all libraries in the republic. It carries out complex library-bibliography and information services for users, inter-library loan, national and recommendation bibliographies, as well as international and countrywide depository center.

It is not fortuitous that great leader Heydar Aliyev, highly estimating the science and culture, visited the National Library 4 times (July 06, 1995; March 04, 1996; 5-20 November 1997) during his presidency and donated hundreds of books from his personal library. 

In 2004, according to the order of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Library was awarded the status of “National Library”, so that’s the very high estimation of its activity. 

The National Library is a national cultural treasure and state bookkeeper of the Republic of Azerbaijan realizing state policy in the field of library work, collecting and preserving national publications, the works about Azerbaijan or the works of the Azerbaijani authors published abroad, world-wide publications, as well as valuable publications in foreign languages. As a result, the library received 23271 copies of new literature in 2017.

Within the year, the number of readers reached 152 069 and the number of visitors of the library reached 191 183.

There have been significant improvements and innovations in the activities of departments of the National Library in recent years.

Starting from 2005, on the basis of mandatory copies received from publishing houses and polygraphic enterprises, “Registration of printed materials and National bibliography” department (Book chamber) restored the publication of “Annual Azerbaijan Bibliography” after a 15-year break, and published all issues covering the books published in the republic.

Specialized Foreign literature department was able to establish mutual relations with around 60 libraries of the world by restoring international book exchange.

Considerable work has been done in the field of methodical activities of the library. “Calendar of significant and historical events”, which was publishing during the 1960-70s and welcomed with great sympathy, began to be published again.

Since 2008, virtual book order opportunity has been provided for readers in the National Library. It means that any user who has an internet access can order a book by clicking the “virtual order” section on the website of the library. He is immediately informed whether the book is available in the library or not. Then the user orders the book that he wants and when he comes to the library the book will be waiting on the shelf. Thus, there is no need to look for a book on the catalog and to wait it. If a book that reader wants doesn’t exist in the library, then he doesn’t need to waste his time and come to the library. Today, the National Library provides virtual methodical services to all libraries of the republic, as well as to all readers and internet users. There has been created “Methodical services” and “Bibliographic query” sections on the website of the library. From any point of the republic, every librarian, differenet readers and users address their queries to the National Library throught the website of the library and can get the answers of their inqueries as soon as possible.

Materials and manuals prepared by the National Library are placed on the website of the library and as a result, all publications are presented to be used by librarians before publishing. 

Today, there is no such a place that computers and other information technologies are not used. The National Library named after M.F.Akhundov started that process in 1999 and the Internet hall was put into use in 2000 and the Training center was established in 2001 in the library.

Since 2003, automated management system has been introduced in the National Library. The software was realized by VTLS – the USA Company which creates special automated programs for libraries. It includes the modules like compiling e-catalog, organizing e-library, registration of users, book delivery, establishing national bibliography, as well as automatizing all library work.

In 2016, with the aim of promoting Azerbaijani music in the republic and all around the world, “Promoting the music heritage of Azerbaijan in the world” project was launched by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan National Library. Notes of more than 300 musical works, both folk songs and composers’ songs, as well as audio recordings of the coryphaeus performers of Azerbaijan have been placed on the international music website “Petrucci Music Library” ( by the employees of Azerbaijan National Library. There has been placed both notes and audio recording of the National Anthem of Azerbaijan, masterpieces like “Sari gelin” (Blonde bride), “Garabagh shikastasi”, folk songs performed by coryphaeus performers like immortal Bulbul, Khan Shushinski, unforgettable Rashid Behbudov, Lutfiyar Imanov, Habil Aliyev and other outstanding composers.

Starting from 2016, with the aim of organizing leisure time of city residents and guests of our city and with the aim of involving children and adults in cultural institutions and libraries, “Open library”, which provides continuous services for citizens, started its activity under the motto of “I’ve already read, now it’s your turn to read” on the basis of joint project of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan and National Library. There, books donated by individual readers, writers, poets, prominent figures of science and culture are at the disposal of readers. In addition, there is great opportunity for book exchange.