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Chronicle

1948 Freie Universität Berlin is founded. In a first phase, libraries are established on the level of small academic units. Central responsibilities are given to a coordination office (officially called Bibliotheksleitstelle).
1952 The coordination office is renamed University Library.
1954 The University Library moves to a specifically designed library building, constructed in connection with the Henry Ford Building (architects: Franz Heinrich Sobotka and Gustav Müller), the University's main lecture and conference building.
1964 Following recommendations by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), the University Library's holdings are developed and expanded at a greater rate than before.
1965 The Library becomes the legal deposit library for West Berlin. It will keep this function through 1994 (and from 1990 through 1994, for all of Berlin).
1967 Initial funding by the Volkswagen Foundation allows setting up a textbook collection.
1969 The Library introduces a machine-readable shelf-number system.
1971 The Library begins automation of the FU journal catalog. It is one of the founding institutions of the central bibliographic database for periodicals held by German libraries (Zeitschriftendatenbank, ZDB).
1973 An offline electronic circulation system is introduced for the Textbook Collection.
1975 The delivery time for ordered books is reduced to only about an hour.
1976 Construction of a second stacks tower is completed.
1985 Online circulation starts at the University Library.
1986 Parts of the stacks are opened to self-retrieval, sparing users the completion of order forms, as they can now take books off the shelves for themselves.
1990 The University Library catalog and the combined institutes' catalog are merged. Online cataloging is taken up within the framework of the Berlin monograph network. The library is enlarged and receives a building extension for staff offices and a reprographics center.
1996 The University Library launches its first website: www.ub.fu-berlin.de.
1999 The integrated library system ALEPH 500 is introduced. Freie Universität presents its University-wide catalog (books published from 1990 and all journal holdings) on the Internet.
2000 Several information points are merged into the Information Center, creating a central point of enquiry for the Freie Universität Berlin Library System. The restructured Reading Room is reopened.
2001 The University Library and the central computing services (ZEDAT) issue their first joint IT- and study-skills qualification program. Librarians offer introductory courses on using the Library, on searching literature, on using databases, on searching information on the Internet, on referencing etc.
2002 The University Library celebrates its quinquagenary with exhibitions, an academic ceremony, a commemorative publication, and a jubilee festivity. It provides its services to about 120,000 active users. The University Library is a Wireless LAN hotspot and allows FU members to access to the Internet with no cables.
2003 For the first time, the University Library participates in the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaft (an open-doors event in which cooperating academic institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg remain open late into the night to present themselves to the public); a multifaceted program for children and adults with readings, books bazaar, Library tours, Internet exhibition and much more.
2004 The University Library website is now barrier-free. A virtual tour is launched. SFX linking service is introduced as a first generation of services for locating electronic publications on the basis of results found in licensed databases.
2005 Starting in the winter term of 2004/2005, the University Library presents the three-week module "Information Literacy" within the professional-skills program for undergraduates (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung, ABV). Online interlibrary loan is introduced in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenburg library network (KOBV). The platform for presenting the digital resources provided by Freie Universität Berlin, namely, Digitale Bibliothek (originally called Bibliotheksportal), is made available to the public.
2006 The Textbook Collection is moved to the open-stacks area and is given a new orientation system. A project is started aiming at digitally cataloging all University Library holdings published before 1990 not yet included in the FU-Katalog UB.
2007 The FU-Katalog is adapted to the new Freie Universität Berlin corporate design.
2008 The Freie Universität Berlin Document Server is launched allowing for electronic publication and storage of Freie Universität Berlin theses and academically relevant work of FU members in the framework of the Open Access Initiative.
2009 A catalog format for mobile devices is introduced: FU-Katalog mobil.
2009 The Freie Universität Berlin libraries' blog goes online under the name of biblioblog. The blog is hosted by CeDiS, the University's center for digital services; content and administration lie in the University Library's hands.
2010 The library portal Primo is launched. The portal provides a single user interface for the entire spectrum of library services.
2011 The retrospective cataloging project dealing with the University Library holdings published before 1990 is completed.
2012 The new issues of print journals, which used to be presented in a special display area in the Reading Room, are now shelved directly alongside the bound volumes; QR Codes point to electronic versions, where applicable. Restructuring and relocation of holdings in the open journal stacks make room for a new reading space within the open-stacks area.
2013 The library portal Primo is relaunched in the new corporate design.
2013 The University Library takes over the administration of a publication fund within the framework of the Open Access Initiative.
2014 The old Freie Universität Berlin alphabetic card catalog of monographs published before 1990 is disposed of.
2014 The University Library commits itself to restituting Nazi-confiscated books; a special project office is installed. It has thereby become possible to screen a significant portion of the University Library's holdings and return books identified as loot to their owners.
2015 The University Library provides group study rooms with smartboards to FU students.
2015/16      The Circulation Desk and Information Center area is restructured.