About the European Division
The primary role of the European Division is to enhance the value of the
Library's European collections through recommendation of research materials
for addition to the collections, assistance to scholars, other libraries,
federal agencies, and the public in the use of the collections, and interpretation
of the collections through guides, bibliographies, and other studies. These
services are provided by the Division's area (country) specialists and by
the staff of the European Reading Room.
History and Background
1906 the Library purchased the 80,000 volume collection of Russian bibliophile
Genadii Yudin, making the Library of Congress a leading center for Slavic
research in the United States. Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam created
a Slavic Section in 1907 to cope with this acquisition. The Slavic Section
evolved into a Slavic Division after World War I in 1919, providing cataloging
and reference services.
As a result of the reorganization of the Library in 1944, in which the cataloging
and reference functions were separated, the Slavic Division was abolished.
It was reestablished
During the 1950s, as new countries were added to its area of responsibility,
the Slavic Division evolved into the Slavic and East European Division. The
name was changed to the European Division in 1978, when it was expanded to
include all of Europe except Iberia and Great Britain.
More on the Division and Its History