The heritage collection of the University Library is one of the most important heritage collections in Belgium (after the Royal Library). Because the collection dates back to the time of the confiscation of convent and abbey libraries, the collection holds a lot of religious and liturgical titles (e.g. comments on the bible, books of hours). But the collection is also known for its humanistic and reformation works (Erasmus, Virgil, Luther, Calvin). Other sets in the heritage collection deal with: literature, history, architecture, law and legal practice; scientific works about medicine, botanics, mathematics (e.g. Jan Yperman, Dodoens, Stevin) and historical works like chronicles, pamphlets, atlases (e.g. Mercator, Ortelius, Blaeu). The collection of auction catalogues, letters, almanacs, calendars is special as well. Additionally there is a historical collection of newspapers, electoral papers, papyri, manuscripts, Gandavensia (works about Ghent or printed in Ghent), ephemera and graphic materials.
The University library holds approximately 1.500.000 to 2.000.000 volumes, 5000 journals and series and 4000 newspapers (20 current).
The special collections hold some