The University of Peradeniya was founded on the 1st of July 1942 as the successor to the University of Ceylon. It is situated on a site of great natural beauty bordering the Mahaweli River and the Hantana Range, covering about 700 hectares of land. The University is 8km away from the city of Kandy - the historic capital of the last independent kingdom of Sri Lanka, and 100km from Colombo. Access to the University of Peradeniya is from the new Galaha Road, branching off from the inter section between the Peradeniya bridge (old) and the Royal Botanical Gardens on the Colombo-Kandy Road.
The University consists of nine faculties namely Agriculture, Allied Health Sciences, Arts, Dental Sciences, Engineering, Medical, Science, Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, and Management.
The library of Peradeniya University originated in 1921 as the library of the Ceylon University College. The Library was shifted to Peradeniya in 1952 and was moved to the present premises in 1960. After moving to Peradeniya, the library developed into a library network comprising the Main Library and seven other branch libraries, namely Agriculture, Science, Medical, Engineering, Vet Medical, Allied Health Science and Dental libraries. The ninth library is attached to the sub-campus, Faculty of Agriculture in Mahailuppallama. The branch libraries are located in their respective faculties. The Main Library can be accessed by proceeding along the new Galaha road, passing the entrance to the Arts Theatre and turning right to the Senate building.
Peradeniya University Library Network is considered as the oldest and the largest University library in Sri Lanka.