Oleviste Church had a library that laid the foundation for Tallinn’s first public library. This is evidenced by later written records indicating that in 1552, the library was operational. The rarities collected and donated there, some dating back to the time preceding the establishment of the Oleviste library, form the oldest part of the collection at Tallinn University Academic Library.
Central Library of the Academy of Sciences was envisaged as a unit in the structure of the Academy of Sciences approved by the ESSR Council of Ministers’ Regulation No 255 of 5th April.
Library was given four rooms on Sakala Street 35; 1800 books were initially purchased; Library was to receive two obligatory copies of all Estonian publications. Initially the only option for using the books was to check them out.
A reading room was opened. Library started receiving the USSR-wide obligatory copies. Interlibrary loan connections were established, initially across the USSR, a year later also abroad.
Former Library of Estonian Literary Association (Bibliothek der Estländischen Literärischen Gesellschaft) was merged into the Library. Among other things, the former also included the rare books from the library established at the Oleviste Church in Tallinn in 1552, and the collection of Estonian General Public Library (Estländische Allgemeine Öffentliche Bibliothek) that are particularly valuable for all the Baltica literature. These collections later became the basis for establishing the Baltica and Rare Books Department.
Library acquired more spacious rooms on Estonia Avenue 7.
Moving into the building constructed for the Library on Lenin (now Rävala) Avenue 10.
Launching the compilation of a retrospective database of Estonian national bibliography (1525-1940).
First volumes of the retrospective database of national bibliography were published
Library became a member of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) and the cooperative association of Baltic Sea libraries Bibliotheca Baltica, and an associated member of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).
Following the reorganisation of Estonian Academy of Sciences the Library ceased to be a division of the Academy. Library was placed into the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Education, and into the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture after the split of the previous ministry.
Library became a founding member of Estonian Library Network Consortium (ELNET Consortium).
Transition to the integrated library system INNOPAC. Electronic catalogue was introduced for storing bibliographic entries of books and documents instead if card catalogue. Library cards with bar codes were introduced in library service.
Library was transferred from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture into the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education from 1st January with the Order of the Government of the Republic.
On 15th May Minister of Education, Deputy Mayor of the City of Tallinn, Director of Estonian Academic Library and heads of several institutions of higher education signed the “Agreement of Joint Activity”, which set the goal of establishing Tallinn University and supported the idea of transforming Estonian Academic Library into the Academic Library of Tallinn University that operates as an institution of Tallinn University. Pursuant to the Order No 228-k of the Government of the Republic from 2nd April 2003 Minister of Education and Research Mailis Rand and Rector of Tallinn Pedagogical University Mati Heidmets signed the treaty on 8th April for consolidating Estonian Academic Library and Tallinn Pedagogical University. The Library received a new name of the Academic Library of Tallinn Pedagogical University. New statutes of the Library were approved by the Board of Tallinn Pedagogical University on 12th May.
Establishment of Tallinn University also changed the name of the Library and it is now the Academic Library of Tallinn University.
The library switched to an ID card-based borrowing system.
Establishment of the Centre for Old and Rare Books.
The first competition for the Tallinn University Baltic Scholarship was announced.
The library building at Rävala puiestee 10 was recognized as a cultural heritage site.
The sector of Expatriate Estonian Literature is renamed as the Estonian Expatriate Literature Centre (formerly the Special Collections Department).
The campus study library was relocated to the Research Library (Rävala pst 10) during construction works.
On June 17, 2010, the Government of the Estonian Republic confirmed the proposal initiated by Academic Library of Tallinn University and submitted by the Estonian Libraries Network Consortium (ELNET Consortium) under the title ‘Estonian e-varamu and collection preservation (first phase)’ into the roadmap of objects.
In September, the electronic archival database ‘E-ait’ was launched, where doctoral and master’s theses defended at Tallinn University, along with articles by employees, study materials, and digital collections of the library, were gathered for preservation.
In December, the application of memory institutions for ‘Estonian e-varamu and collection preservation (first phase)’ was approved, and the project was allocated 2,720,093 euros. The Academic Library of Tallinn University received 844,001 euros for the development of the digitization center.
The self-service and collection security system based on UHF RFID (Ultra High-Frequency Radio-Frequency Identification) technology was implemented. The introduction of the new borrowing and returning system earned the Academic Library of Tallinn University the title of Research Library Achievement of the Year awarded by the Estonian Librarians Association.
In March, the library received a fully automatic digitization device, Digitizing Line 3003 (DL 3003), manufactured by the Swiss company 4DigitalBooks. Additionally, the project for establishing the digitization center was completed in spring, and construction began on the 6th floor of the library.
The Study Centre was inaugurated on the Tallinn University campus.
The Digitization Center was launched on the 6th floor of the library.
The oldest surviving printed fragment in Estonia, a segment from the 1457 Mainz Psalter, was discovered in the Baltic Collection.
The Baltic Collection and the Cultural-Historical Collection of Rare Books started being recognized as a research collection.
An RFID-based return-machine sorter was introduced.
As part of the project ‘Estonian e-varamu and collection preservation (first phase),’ core infrastructure support was allocated to the participating partners. With this support, Academic Library of Tallinn University provided digitization services to other memory institutions.
The competition for the Tallinn University Baltic Scholarship was reinstated and began to be regularly awarded.
On September 25, the Digitization Center and the ETERA e-Research Library environment (www.etera.ee) were inaugurated on the 6th floor of the Research Library.
A night study room was opened in the Research Library (2015–05.2023), where readers were able to use (partially) the library premises even when the library was closed by identifying themselves with an ID card. The night study room was recognized by the Estonian Association of Librarians as the “Achievement of the Year in Research Libraries 2016.”
The book lending locker ‘Raamatutark’ (Bookwise) was introduced, enabling readers to pre-order and borrow books 24/7.