The Göttingen State and University Library is the library for Göttingen University as well as for the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and is the state library for the German State of Lower Saxony. One of the largest German academic libraries, it has numerous national as well as international projects in librarianship and in the provision of research infrastructure services. In the year 2002, the SUB Göttingen won the German Library of the Year (Bibliothek des Jahres) award. Its current director is Wolfram Horstmann.
The library works under a dispersed system, with six branch libraries located in various academic departments, supplementing the central collection housed in the Central Library (construction completed in 1992) on the main campus and the Historical Library Building in downtown. The Historical Building holds manuscripts, rare books, maps, and a significant history-of-science collection and works in its special collections. In addition, its original core, the SS. Peter and Paul's Church, Göttingen, has been made into an exhibition and lecture center through adaptive reuse and reconstruction.
As of December 2016, the SUB Göttingen holds some 8 million media units, among which are 5.9 million volumes, 1.6 million microforms, 50,000 licensed electronic journals as well as 126,000 further digital media, 327,000 maps and more than 14,000 manuscripts, 3,100 incunabula and 400 Nachlässe (literary remains). It possesses a Gutenberg Bible (one of only four perfect vellum copies known to exist).
The SUB Göttingen has maintained the Göttingen Center for Retrospective Digitization (GDZ) since 1997. It also operates the Göttingen University Press, which has been expanding since its foundation in 2003 and is committed to the Open access principle. Since its establishment in 2004, the library's Department for Research and Development has been instrumental in the development of new services such as the establishment of virtual research environments and infrastructures for scientific data and services.
Within the framework of the Collection of German Prints, the SUB Göttingen collects publications of the 18th century. Within the Specialised Information Services Programme funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), it operates the specialised information services Mathematics (since 2015, with the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB Hannover)), Anglo-American Culture (since 2016, with the Library of the J. F. Kennedy Institute of the Free University of Berlin), Geosciences of the Solid Earth (since 2016, with the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ Potsdam)) and Finno-Ugric / Uralic Languages, Literature and Culture (since 2017). In cooperation with the University Library "Georgius Agricola" of the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg (UBF), the SUB Göttingen maintains a large online collection of geoscience-related materials, the GEO-Library Experts Online, or GEO-LEO.
The SUB Göttingen coordinates the establishment of a nationwide competence center for the licensing of electronic resources (together with the Berlin State Library and the Head Office of the Common Library Network (GBV). Since 2014, it has operated the Göttingen eResearch Alliance (together with the University Computing Centre (GWDG). The library coordinates the DARIAH-DE project for the development of research infrastructures in Germany, and supports the consortial establishment of open access research infrastructures (OpenAIRE 2020, COAR) across Europe and worldwide.