University Libraries


University Libraries

The extensive library system at the University of Louisville is designed to support undergraduate and graduate research; broad, university scholarship; and student and faculty success.

To these ends, the University Libraries provide services ranging from materials check-outs, research assistance, interlibrary loans and course reserves to loans of laptops, camcorders and flash drives. The libraries also provide study spaces, meeting rooms and presentation spaces. They house UofL resources like the Writing Center, the Delphi Center, and the TILL. Ultimately, University Libraries serve as academic common spaces for all students, faculty, and staff.

The University Libraries consist of:

  • Ekstrom (Main) Library,
  • Archives and Special Collections,
  • The Margaret Bridwell Art Library,
  • The Louis Brandeis Law Library,
  • The Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library, and
  • The Kornhauser Health Sciences Library.

The Libraries’ collections are extensive. Total holdings exceed 2.2 million printed volumes; subscriptions to both print and electronic journals surpass 90,000. E-books, microfilm, and other formats such as DVDs are also included in the collection. Most of these materials can be found using the library’s website:

In addition, the Libraries subscribe to over 300 online information databases in a wide variety of subject areas.

Interlibrary loan services provide study and research materials not owned by the University of Louisville Libraries from collections of other libraries.

For more information about the university's libraries go to

The William F. Ekstrom Library

Central to academic life on the Belknap campus, Ekstrom Library contains over 1.5 million print and digital items. The library offers online and physical access to multidisciplinary information services and collections and is the largest library facility at the University. 

In addition to extensive collections, Ekstrom supports students through a range of research support services through its Learning Commons on the first floor of the library’s east wing. Personal research assistance is available to all students through a team of faculty librarians in the Research Assistance and Instruction Department; the Digital Media Suite and the REACH Computer Resource Center provide staff who support the creation of many types of digital multi-media projects and tutor students in computer applications; the Writing Center, managed by the English Department, provides support for all types of writing; and Ekstrom’s Access and User Services Department supports access to all the collections and other services including Interlibrary Loan, course reserves, the SGA collection of feature films, laptops and other related equipment available for student check-out. Ekstrom also has computers, scanners, printers (including color), and photocopiers available for student use. Students’ ID cards function as both a library card and as a print card.

Ekstrom Library provides a secure, 24-hour study area in the west wing of the library for University of Louisville students, faculty and staff with a valid ID. It is open when the rest of the library closes at midnight. Ekstrom also houses the Tulip Tree Café in its west wing. In addition, Ekstrom has five instructional labs, the Bingham Poetry Room, the Granville A. Bunton African American Collection, and the Multicultural Children’s Literature Collection. The library is also a selective depository for United States government publications from the Government Printing Office.

A number of campus offices are also found in the Ekstrom Library including the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, the McConnell Center for Political Leadership, the McConnell/Chao Archives, the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, the Copyright Permission Office, the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, the REACH Computer Resource Center and the Writing Center.

Archives and Special Collections

Archives and Special Collections (ASC) is made up of four subunits: Digital Initiatives, the Photographic Archives, Rare Books, and the University Archives and Records Center. Together, they house fine art and documentary history photographs, literary and historic manuscripts, university records, oral histories, maps, and rare books, for use within the Archives and Special Collections research room on the lower level of Ekstrom Library.

Their collections document life in the greater Louisville area, from business, cultural and political history to the lives of Louisvillians from various walks of life. In addition, collections such as the Standard Oil of New Jersey photograph collection and William Marshall Bullitt collection of rare mathematics and astronomy document life and culture on a more global scale. The University Libraries Digital Collections ( provide online access to primary source materials including photographs, maps, illuminated manuscripts, and oral histories.

For more information, see:

Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library

The Art Library, located on the main floor of Schneider Hall, meets the research needs of the Department of Fine Arts and the university at large, housing materials in art, photography, design, art history and architectural history.

The Art Library has more than 92,000 volumes, subscribes to over 300 domestic and foreign journals and museum bulletins, provides access to the major electronic indexes, has hundreds of videos and dvds and a growing collection of artists books. The Art Library also has a rare book room which holds rare volumes as well as archival materials, including the papers of Lou Block, Brinton B. Davis, and Alma Lesch.

For more information, see:

Kornhauser Health Sciences Library

The Kornhauser Library, located on the downtown Health Sciences campus, meets the information needs of the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and public health and information sciences. It serves as a regional resource library of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and is a significant resource for the health sciences community of the Louisville area and the western half of Kentucky.

Founded in 1837, Kornhauser provides databases of health sciences literature, electronic books and journals, clinical decision making tools, and exam preparation materials. Kornhauser is the largest biomedical library in Kentucky and a vital partner of Kentucky One Health, providing a virtual library to its physicians and clinical staff.

The Kornhauser Library is one of the oldest health sciences libraries west of the Alleghenies and houses an extensive historical collection and archive with materials dating to the 16th and 17th centuries. Images from the archives, including class photos as early as the 1870s, are available online as part of the library’s digital collections. These collections as well as our other resources can be found at:

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law Library

The library of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law contains approximately 450,000 volumes and microform volume equivalents, emphasizing primary and secondary resources in United States law. Special collections include the papers and correspondence of U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Marshall Harlan and Louis D. Brandeis. The library is a hardcopy depository for U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs.

For more information, see:

Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library

The Music Library houses the largest academic collection of music in the State of Kentucky. Founded in 1947, the library’s mission has been to provide materials in support of the curriculum of the School of Music and the research of its faculty.

In recent years, coverage has been extended to accommodate the growth of music-related study throughout the University. Total holdings exceed 144,728 volumes, including more than 37,000 books, 57,000 musical scores, and 36,000 sound recordings. Special collections include the Traipsin’ Woman (Jean Thomas) Collection, the Isidore Philipp Archive and Memorial Library, and the Hattie Bishop Speed Collection.

The library’s Kentucky Sheet Music Collection--with an emphasis on music publications from Louisville--is the most extensive in the region. Also noteworthy is a collection of over 400 eighteenth and early-nineteenth century prints and manuscripts from the noble Ricasoli family of Tuscany. In addition, the music library also serves as the repository for all materials related to the world-renown Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

For more information, see: