The Library of Congress collections from or pertaining to Europe began with
the acquisition of Thomas Jefferson's personal library, which contained representative
works of European culture in many subjects. Since Jefferson's day, the Library's
European collections have grown in size and quality to the point where they
can meet the needs of Congress and of the scholarly community in all disciplines.
The Library's European collections are among the finest in the world.
These holdings are especially strong in history, literature, and the social
sciences. The French, German, and Russian collections, an estimated 3,500,000
volumes, are the strongest among the European collections. European materials
are found in the general collection, and in the specialized collections,
such as those of the Geography and Map Division, the Motion Picture, Broadcasting
and Recorded Sound Division, the Music Division, the European Law Division,
and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The European Division
has custody of one of these special collections--some 35,000 uncataloged
Russian books and periodicals in all fields, dating primarily from 1880 to