The SASA Library is one of the units of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It is managed by a director appointed by the SASA Presidency from among the ranks of SASA members. The Library also has a Professional Council, comprised of representatives of all SASA departments and the Library Director.
The Library was established at the same time as the Society of Serbian Letters, on November 7, 1841. It started working on June 14, 1842, when it received its first books from Dimitrije Tirol. Its first librarian was Konstantin Bogdanović.
The Library holdings contain around 1,500,000 books, periodicals and other printed and digital editions from all fields of science and art. Of all the libraries in Serbia, the SASA Library owns the largest collection of foreign books. By its holdings, the Library is believed to be the fourth largest in Serbia. Its holdings have mostly been expanded through exchange with foreign institutions. The Library does not have legal deposit, but exchanges publications with over 800 academies, universities and related institutions at home and abroad.
The Library also expands its collections through purchases and donations, thus its holdings are increased by around 8,000 publications annually.
The Library is divided into the following six sections: Section for the Procurement and Exchange of Publications, Section for the Processing of Publications, Section for Old and Rare Books and Special Holdings, Section for Library Holdings and Technical Jobs, Section for Reader Information and Services, and Bibliographic Section.
Special libraries and collections represent an exceptionally valuable portion of the holdings. The Collection of Old and Rare Editions comprises 3,500 titles, including two unique editions and two incunabula. Forty special libraries, representing legacies of academicians, contain around 50,000 publications. A special section comprises books from the library of Vuk Karadžić. The Library also has a Photographic Archive, comprising around 10,000 photographs of the members of SASA and its precursors.
The SASA Library keeps the documentation on all SASA members since 1841. It includes information on the members, from their photographs and signatures, to reports on their election as members, to their biographies and bibliographies. This information can be used to produce diverse publications and texts on SASA and its members.
Electronic data processing was introduced in 1990. Since 2012, the Library has been actively participating in the creation of a cooperative electronic catalogue for Serbia within COBISS. It has been mandated by law as one of the five pillars of the unified library information system of the Republic of Serbia.
More than 35,000 foreign journals and books in digital form are accessible at the Library through the KoBSON (Consortium of Libraries of Serbia for Integrated Procurements) project.
The Library Book Forum was established in 1991 with the objective of presenting new books authored by academicians and new publications issued by SASA and its institutes. Godišnjak (Yearbook) of the Book Forum has been coming outs since 2013.
The Library has a reading room for the general public and a reading room for SASA members. Membership is free of charge. Access to the materials is limited to the reading rooms, but photocopying, scanning and photographing is allowed. Also, readers have at their disposal computers for browsing databases and a microfilm reader. The reading rooms were renovated in early 2017.