About the library

Founded: 1954

Library holdings: 132 thousand library units

Types of documents: monographs, textbooks, journals, thesis and dissertations, VCR cassette, slides, CD ROMs

Number of current periodicals: 131

Classification of users: university teachers, students, scientific and research workers

Number of department libraries: 19

User services: absence and presence loans, interlibrary loan service, international exchange of publications, bibliographic reference and retrieval services, consulting services, bibliobox

Databasea: EBSCOhost, Knovel Library, Oxford Journals, ProQuest Central, Science Direct, SCOPUS, SpringerLink, Wiley Online Library, Web of Science, 5 Minute Consult, Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) 

Description of library holdings: biomedicine

Academic Library of the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava (1954)

Once the FM CU had been established, libraries gradually emerged at individual faculty facilities. A library belonging to the 1st Clinic of Internal Medicine (headed by Prof. Kristián Hynek, the first CU rector) served also as the faculty-wide library. In 1949, the library was relocated to the ground floor of the Schiffbeck’s Palace (present day Aspremont’s Palace). In September 1951, the Central Medical Library was set up. Subsequently, the library served for the whole area of Slovakia and was incorporated under the health care sector. This organisation change thus required a foundation of the Library Centre, FM CU on Sasinkova Street 2, Bratislava, in 1954, aiming at building up book collections for individual faculty departments. A major change took place in 1970 when the library centre was relocated to Odborárske námestie 14 and was renamed to the Central Library, FM CU. In 2003, the library obtained its present name – the Academic Library, FM CU.

The crucial library milestones as well as definition of its activities were published at faculty’s anniversaries. Thus, the following paper targets the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium. In this period, the Academic Library, FM CU, computerized all its activities, achieving a wider range and higher quality of provided services.

Publications Database and Online Catalogue

In 1991, the CU started building the Information and Communication System which would cover a library agenda as well. The university-wide database of publication activities  (EVIPUB) was under the construction, while using the software on the CDS/ISIS system basis; later substituted by the software on the FOX basis. The database was made available online in 1993.

Later, the university purchased an integrated library-information system Virtua – VTLS (Virginia Technology Library System) which enabled to increase the quality of processing the publication activities and library funds register. The CU started preparing two independent databases – a database of publications, containing also citations to the registered publications as its integral part and an union catalogue of CU faculty libraries.

Librarian services became automatized; in general, the services provided were of a wider range and better quality after completed the implementation of all the library-information system functions. New electronic services were made available for users, as for instance browsing the catalogue according to the pre-set criteria, an administration of one’s own user’s account, online loan renewal, requests as well as documents reservation.

The Database of Publication Activities of CU is freely available via the library's website. Anyone interested can search for the publication activities of a faculty, department or individual. The quality of faculty publication activities is one of the criteria for an accreditation process, for rewarding a faculty staff and allocating funds from the state budget to public high schools. Since April 2018, the records of publication activities are processed through the Central Register of the Publication Activity portal interface, from which the bibliographic records are daily exported to the university´s database EviPub. The database of publication activities is continuously updated, the total number of faculty bibliographic records is 78,667 references 189,130 and cited documents 14,938 (data on February 7, 2023).

Electronic  Information Resources

The Academic Library started providing access to electronic information resources in 1991-1992, after having obtained the UNESCO sponsorship for the ADONIS system which mediated full-text versions of articles in journals. In 1993, the database MEDLINE was available via a CD ROM in the faculty computer network. In 1999, the CU employees were granted the EBSCO databases access within the eIFL project; in 2002, they obtained a consortial access to the Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports databases. As the first library at the CU, the Academic Library of the FM CU provided an access to the full-text journals of the Springer publishing house in 2002 and a year later, to the journals under the ScienceDirect publishing house.

As a result of a mutual cooperation among the CU libraries, the access to the Blackwell full-text database was provided in 2004 – 2009.

Since 2009, the CU has participated in a project of the National Information System for Research and Development Support – Access to Electronic Information Resources, which has significantly helped in extending the databases portfolio. The faculties were granted the access to collections of bibliographic, reference and full-text databases: ACM/Association for Computing Machinery, IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL), Web of Science – Web of Science Core Collection, CCC, JCR a ESI, REAXYS, ScienceDirect SCOPUS, Springer-Link, Wiley InterScience, ProQuest Central, Knovel. In terms of titles, there are several tens of thousands journals and book titles available.

In 2005, the Comenius University extended an offer of electronic information resources to the e-books ebrary Academic Complete, in 2010, the Oxford Publishing House online journals database was added to the list. Besides, the Faculty of Medicine obtained the access to a clinical database 5-Minute Consult and videos databases under the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) in 2018.

Library’s Grant Projects

Thanks to an involvement in the Ministry of Education’s development project in the area of Spread of Information Technologies in Academic Libraries in 2004, the Academic Library obtained funds to purchase relevant technical equipment. In the same year, the library secured a yearly sponsorship of the institutionalised BioMed Central membership. In following years, the Academic Library was participating in Ministry of Culture’s projects – the programme EX LIBRIS focused on the information resources acquisition. In 2013, the library purchased a bibliobox as a part of the Ministry of Culture’s project. The library also obtained funds to purchase relevant study literature thanks to a participation in the shared project of the Ministry of Culture – Slovak Arts Council.

Library services

Apart from basic library and information services, the Academic Library offers a wide range of reference, information and online services (research services and interlibrarian loans, access to internal and external information resources, etc.). The library offers education activities focused on information browsing, processing and evaluation. The library also co-prepares the publishing schedule and assists in making textbooks available in an electronic form.

Since 1996, the library activities have been presented and promoted via a regularly updated library web page, available both in Slovak and English.

Publications published by the CU are sold in a bookshop on Sasinkova Street 4, which has been a part of the library since 1992.

Library nowadays and future prospects

At the moment, the Library Fund consists of 132 thousand  library units; besides, the library is subscribed to 131 periodicals in the printed form. It provides services to more than 2,500 of registered users and annually performs 35 thousand loans in average. The library also prepares more than 2,800 bibliographies and researches. In 2022, we recorded more than 60 thousand virtual visits.

In the future, we would like to improve both culture and level of provided services by building up appropriate premises for study and education activities.

Library staff aims to continue improving and providing high-quality library and information services while implementing the most up-to-date information technologies.


CIFFRA, Jozef. Študijné a informačné stredisko. In: CIFFRA, Jozef a HULÍN, Ivan, (zost.). Lekárska Fakulta Univerzity Komenského v Bratislave: 1919 – 1979. Bratislava: ALFA, 1982, s. 109-110.

PEKNÍKOVÁ, Miriam. Knižnica Lekárskej fakulty UK. In: Fragment dejín LF UK: Bratislava 1919 – 1999. 1. vyd. Bratislava: E&J, 1999, [článok] 3C, s. 17-21. ISBN 80-968255-4-2.

PEKNÍKOVÁ, Miriam. Akademická knižnica Lekárskej fakulty UK. In: Lekárska fakulta: základný kameň Univerzity Komenského: 1919 – 2009. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, 2009, s. 115-117. ISBN 978-80-223-2710-7.