The University of the West Indies Library was established in 1948 at Mona as part of the new University College of the West Indies. Initially located in the wooden building still known as the Old Library, it was moved in 1952 to the current site. Expansions of the Main Library’s collections has resulted in extensions to the building and the establishment of four branches – Science, and Medical in 1973, the Western Jamaica Campus in 2008 and Law in 2011.
The Library’s premier collection, the West Indies and Special Collections, (WI&SC) was established in 1974 and is made up of several unique collections.
The West Indian collection focuses primarily on material published in or about the English-speaking Caribbean or by its peoples but also includes material from other Caribbean countries and the Diaspora. The special collections include the rare book collection, the manuscript collection, the West Indian creative writing collection, the University collection as well as collections of maps, postcards, posters, prints and audio-visual material
The Library has been headed by seven librarians: