The HCMR Library documentation and Information Centre is the result of a merger in 2003 of the National Centre for Marine Research (established in 1985) and the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (established in 1987).

The HCMR Library collection itself, however, goes back to 1945 when it formed part of the Hellenic Hydrobiological Institute of the Academy of Athens.

The joint HCMR Library is located in two Research Centres which together constitute the HCMR Centre, in Anavyssos Attiki and in Herakleio, Crete.