During the pre-session meeting of the University’s Board of Professors, which was held on December 19, 1917 and which discussed the future university’s curriculum and terms of enrollment, Ivane Javakhishvili acquainted his colleagues with the will of famous Georgian publicist Kita Abashidze, according to which his library was handed over to the University. This private collection laid the foundation for the University’s book depository, which was mainly growing due to the donations from individuals and institutions. Two years later, number of books kept by the University Fund exceeded 100 000.
The book depositories of the Black Stone Industrialists Council, former Caucasian Censorship Committee, Society for the Spreading of Literacy among Georgians, Georgian History and Ethnography Society, and Tiflis School for Nobility were handed over to the University Library. The library became significantly rich owing to private donations. In particular, the University Library was enriched by private collections of Davit Sarajishvili, Svimon Kldiashvili, Petre Melikishvili, Ekvtime Takaishvili, Alexandre Tsagareli, Dimitri Bakradze, Tedo Zhordania, Vasil Petriashvili and other prominent Georgians. In addition, bookstores and publishing houses used to present their books to the University. During foreign scientific missions, Georgian scientists used to purchase various books for the University Library with their own money. After the establishment, the Library was led by Professor Giorgi Akhvlediani, who was later replaced by Professors Akaki Shanidze, Grigol Tsereteli, Shalva Nutsubidze, etc.
In 1938, the University Book Depository was called the Fundamental Library and from 1950, it was named the Scientific Library. In 1997, the library was named after Grigol Tsereteli, but presently it is called the University Library. The Georgian University Library has one of the richest book collections containing scientific and educational literature, rare Georgian and foreign books as well as periodicals.