Guide to the Research Collections



Entries in the Public Catalog under the subject heading "Libraries" with geographical subdivisions provide the best single indication of the library's resources on libraries and librarianship abroad; over 3,500 titles appear here, excluding, of course, those under the subdivision for the United States. This figure does not reflect publications in Slavonic and Oriental languages and in Hebrew, whose cards do not appear in the Public Catalog. Publications include long runs of annual reports of important libraries (especially those in the British Commonwealth), surveys, brochures issued for the dedications of new buildings, general histories and the histories of individual libraries, treatises on administration, technical processes, etc. There are relatively few items of less than book length (e.g., surveys of individual libraries and reports by American librarians on their overseas assignments). Although this file contains entries for nearly all foreign countries, the most substantial numbers of entries appear under Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, the Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland; of this group Canada, France, and Great Britain are most extensively covered.

Material on librarianship in Canada includes publications of the Canadian Library Association and the Canadian Library Council, journals of regional associations, and the reports and other publications of the National Library and a number of major university and public libraries. Resources on Great Britain consist of comparable types of material; the reports from the public libraries of such cities as Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester extend back more than a century. In addition, there is a large block of publications issued by the British Museum--particularly guides to and catalogs of manuscript holdings and the printed catalogs of the Department of Printed Books.

In addition to general material on libraries in France (some 250 titles), there is an excellent collection of the publications of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Approximately 1,200 titles, some in bound volumes of pamphlets, are held. More than one-third pertain to manuscripts held by the Bibliothèque Nationale; another sizable portion are publications issued by the individual departments (e.g., Maps, Periodicals, Prints) and the published catalogs of the Département des Imprimés; finally, there is an extensive group of exhibition catalogs. Material assembled on such French research libraries as the Arsenal and the National and University Library at Strasbourg are considerably less extensive; these institutions have been relatively inactive in publishing. The same is true of the major libraries of the University of Paris (the Sorbonne, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, and others), although entries used in the Public Catalog do not bring references to the university's libraries together under a single heading.

The Slavonic Division's holdings consist of general monographic publications, directories and censuses, and yearbooks of major individual libraries. Much of the material is of historical, rather than current, value. For publications from China before 1949 there is a good collection in English and some items in Chinese; few publications from the People's Republic of China are found. For most Asian and African countries the Research Libraries have little nonwestern-language material. Resources in the Jewish Division embrace libraries and librarianship in Israel, and Jewish libraries in other parts of the world.

For comparative librarianship the publications of international organizations active in the field supplement materials dealing with specific countries. In addition to UNESCO publications, the collection contains complete sets of those issued by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the International Federation for Documentation (FID). Also available are the various publications of the Pan American Union's Columbus Memorial Library.