The library and its branches contain around 1,000,000 volumes of books, journals and other materials. Much of this is material is international. Gegnir, the Icelandic OPAC, contains the library catalog which specifies where the material is situated.
Copies of Icelandic and international material that can be borrowed for off-site use are found on the 3rd floor of the library main building and its branches in the University of Iceland. Journals for on-site use are available on the 2nd floor of the main building and in the library branches and in the reading hall of the national department on the ground floor.
The national collections
One of the main roles of the library is to collect all Icelandic published material and manuscripts and preserve it. Most of this material is available for on-site use in the reading hall on the ground floor. Most modern Icelandic books are also available for off-site loan on the 3rd floor.
The library gets a copy of all final essays of students at the University of Iceland which it preserves. Most of these essays are stored in a closed section on the 2nd floor and are only available for on-site use. It is forbidden to take copies of these unless with the author's explicit permission. The essays are cataloged in Gegnir.
The library handles acquisitions of works for the University of Iceland book fund according to requests by professors. The library also accepts gifts of works that are in concordance with the library acquisition policy. The library has received many large gifts of books that have greatly enriched its catalog in certain fields.