The roots of the library can be found at Saint Sava College library. Saint Sava College library was opened in 1859 when 1000 French volumes were archived. After 1859 Union, the library has reach the national statute (Bibliotecă Națională și Bibliotecă Centrală - National and Central library) In 1864 the library was named Central Library of the State (Biblioteca Centrală a Statului).
In 1901 all the collections were ceased to the Romanian Academy Library. As a result, from 1901 to 1955, the Romanian Academy Library has achieved the national attribute. In 1955, the State Central library was organised, having the attributes of a national library. In 1989, after the collapse of the communist regime, the State Central Library was once again renamed to Biblioteca Națională a României.
In 1986, a new, larger location began to be built for the library, between Piața Unirii and Nerva Traian. The initial lead architect was Cezar Lăzărescu, who died in 1986 before the building was finished. Shortly after 1989, although some parts of the building were finished or in an advanced state, due to lack of funding, the construction had stalled for several years. In 2009 the project was reassigned to the Ministry of Culture, which completed the construction in 2011 and set the official opening date to take place in 2012.
The National Library is a cultural institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. Its goal is to administer the national patrimony of publications, by purchasing and preserving documents and making them available to the public, for research or personal study.
It has several special collections, including:
- Bibliofilie; Rare books
- Manuscrise; Manuscripts
- Including the Codex Aureus of Lorsch kept at Batthyani Library in Alba Iulia
- Arhiva Istorică; Historical Archive
- Periodice româneşti vechi; Old Romanian newspapers
- Stampe; Prints
- Fotografii; Photographs
- Cartografie; Maps
- Audio-Vizual; Audio - video
- 13,000,000 items
- 162 incunabula
- 20,054 Romanian and foreign old books
- 10,964 Romanian and foreign rare books
- 29,350 audiovisual documents
- 36,759 old and modern manuscripts
- 47,745 serials
- over 800 prints
- 70,000 original photographs
- Tîrziman, Elena (2011). "The National Library of Romania - A New Headquarters - A New Beginning" (PDF). Library and Information Science Research. 15: 36–43. ISSN 2392-8107. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-02. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
- Anghelescu, Hermina; Kniffel, Leonard (2013-01-28). "Romania's New National Library Remains a Dream Yet to Come True". American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
- "Arhitectul Cezar Lazarescu | Ion Coja". ioncoja.ro (in Romanian). Retrieved 2017-01-25.
- "Biblioteca nationala va fi deschisa in 2012".
- Official website (Romanian)