The library is not only open to university members, but also to citizens, institutions and companies based in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.
The University Library has repeatedly been awarded top positions in nearly all subject rankings of the CHE Ranking. For 2017, for example, the library achieved a score of 1.4 for Business Administration or 1.5 for law.
The University Library has its origins in the institutional libraries and the central library of the Handelshochschule (Commercial College Mannheim) founded in 1907. In 1932, these libraries were merged into the Städtische Schlossbücherei (Palace Library). Later on, the Palace Library was hived off as Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek Mannheim (Academic and City Library).
When the Handelshochschule was disbanded under National Socialist rule in 1933, the collections of the library were handed over to the University of Heidelberg. When the Staatliche Wirtschaftshochschule Mannheim was founded in 1946, the University of Heidelberg returned most of the collections.
When the Wirtschaftshochschule became a university in 1967, the library's collections grew not only in the light of many additional subjects that were being taught. When the Wissenschafliche Stadtbibliothek Mannheim was disbanded in 1970, part of its older collections were added to the collection of the University Library.
Over the course of the last 30 years, the collection of Mannheim University Library has about doubled. During the last 10 years the focus of academic journals has increasingly shifted to licensing online. We also have expanded access to licensed e-books.