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Overviews of the Collections

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 1945.

Other LC Collections


See also: Library of Congress European Collections: An Illustrated Guide

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  May 30, 2014
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