Although the Library of Congress has the nation's largest collection of books, maps, films, sound recordings, manuscripts, music and other materials relating to America, it is also perhaps the world's greatest library for international studies. With approximately two-thirds of the books and periodicals in its collections in languages other than English, the Library of Congress is truly an international resource. It houses information on virtually every country, region, national, ethnic and religious group, often equal to or surpassing collections found elsewhere. For example, the Library's Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Polish collections are the largest outside those countries, and the Arabic collections are the largest outside of Egypt. The collection of Luso-Hispanic materials is the largest in the world, and the collection of Judaica ranks among the largest anywhere. Illustrated guides to the international collections and other "global resources" are on the About the International Collections page. The Country Studies: Area Handbook Series of the Library's Federal Research Division is a series of books covering more than 100 countries and regions.
The reading rooms focusing on the international collections are the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room, the Asian Division Reading Room, the European Reading Room and the Hispanic Reading Room.
Global Gateway: World Culture & Resources is another treasure trove of international materials. The Exhibitions Web site contains links to many collections from or about foreign lands. For example, in The Empire That Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated you will find some of the most beautiful and rare images of a lost world — the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming revolution. (In a special presentation, "Making Color Images from Prokudin-Gorskii's Negatives," you can learn how these images, first created using separate red, green and blue filters, were digitally reconstructed for this exhibition.)
Other international exhibitions are World Treasures of the Library of Congress, Dresden: Treasures from the Saxon State Library, Creating French Culture: Treasures from the Bibliotheque nationale de France and Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library & Renaissance Culture.
A. "The Emir of Bukhara," 1911, by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Digital color rendering. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-ppmsc-03959 (5)
B. Illustration of the colorful uniforms of the Elector's army garrisoned at Dresden from "Uniformen der kurfürstlich sächsischen Armee (Uniforms of the Electoral Saxon Army)" by Friedrich Johann Christian Reinhold, 1791, leaf 15 Paper (141). Reproduction information: not available. Item from Saxon State Library.