Overviews of the Collections
Moldovan Collections at the Library of Congress
Chief, European Division
The Library of Congress possesses more than 6,500 titles, comprising
more than 11,000 volumes, from or about Moldova. Most of the titles
are single or multi-volume monographs, but many periodicals and
annuals are also present. The majority of items are in the general
collections, but additional materials can be found in special collections
pertaining to maps, microfilm, rare books, music, prints and photographs,
law, and folk life. Subjects throughout the humanities, social
sciences, and sciences are represented. Agriculture and clinical
medicine are more comprehensively covered by the National Agricultural
Library and the National Library of Medicine, respectively.
The majority of the Library's materials concerning Moldova were
published in Moldova or its immediate predecessor, the Moldavian
Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR). Some 70 percent of the collections
were published during the years of the MSSR, 1940 - 1991. Over
4,000 of the titles - more than half of the collections on Moldova
- are in the Russian language, primarily during the MSSR years,
when Russian became the primary print language. The secondary print
language during those years was what the Soviets called Moldovan,
which was essentially Romanian but written with Cyrillic letters
rather than the customary Latin alphabet; the Library possesses
between 350 and 400 such titles in Moldovan using Cyrillic letters.
Besides the Russian and Cyrillic Moldovan materials mentioned
above, the Library possesses more than 1,300 titles pertaining
to Moldova in the Romanian language, published in either Moldova
or Romania. More than 300 other titles are in English, with a few
hundred additional titles in German, French, Turkish, Gagauz, Ukrainian,
Hungarian or other languages.
One fourth of the materials have been published since 1991, when
Moldova gained independence. At present, 150 or more titles are
being added to the collections each year, primarily through purchase.
Romanian-language titles have predominated since 1991.
Although few of the Library's related holdings were printed prior
to 1940, there are materials of interest published then as well,
particularly from western or Russian sources.
Thomas Jefferson's personal library, acquired by the U.S. Congress
in 1815, included a monumental work by Dimitrie Cantemir, Prince
of Moldavia - - Histoire de l'Empire Othoman... (Paris,
1743). That copy was among the many volumes from the original Jefferson
Collection destroyed in a calamitous fire in the U.S. Capitol on
Christmas eve, 1851. Subsequently the Library replaced the title
and obtained a copy of the English version, The History of
the Growth and Decay of the Othman [sic] Empire (London, 1734).
Cantemir composed this history in Latin during the years 1714-1716,
while in exile as an advisor to Peter the Great. It was published
only posthumously, first in English, after his son took the manuscript
to London. It is the first substantial history of the Ottoman Empire
in any European language, and it remained the preferred text for
the next century.
Three other important works by Prince Cantemir are also housed
in the Rare Book Reading Room: Kniga Systima. St.-Petersburg,
1722. Discusses the Moslem religion.
Historisch-Geographisch- und Politische Beschreibung der
Moldau, nebst dem Leben des Verfassers und einer Landcharte.
Hronicul Romano-Moldo-Vlahilor. Iasi, 1835-1836. Composed
during the last years of Cantemir's life, it remained in manuscript
form for more than a century. Because he had sided with Peter the
Great in 1711 in an unsuccessful attempt to repel the Ottoman presence,
the work could not be published in Romanian territories until the
Turkish stronghold had weakened. It is Cantemir's history of the
Moldovans, Wallachians and Transylvanians, stressing their common
The Rare Book RR also possesses copies of several other early
works which describe Moldovan territories:
Latomus, Sigismund. Jacobi Franci Relationis historica continvatio, Jacobi Franci Historische beschreibung aller denckwurdigen historien,
so sich hin und wider in Europa, in hoch und nider Deutschland,
auch in Franckreich, Schott und Engeland, Hispanien, Hungarn,
Polen, Siebenburgen, Wallachey, Moldaw, Turckey, ... Franckfurt
am Mayn, 1615.
Carra, Jean-Louis. Histoire de la Moldavie et de la Valachie. Avec une dissertation sur l'etat actuel de ces deux provinces.
The Law Library possesses a large number of volumes from Moldova,
including historical works such as the following:
- Regulamentul organic. A set of regulations put into
effect in 1831 in Wallachia and in 1832 in Moldova, under the
supervision of the Russian General Kiselev, effective through
- C. Hamangiu. Codul civil (1934), a nine-volume study
of Romanian civil code covering the years 1868-1927.
- C. Hamangiu. Codul general al Romaniei (1909), covering
all codes, regulations and statutes of Romania during the years
- Codul Calimach (1954, critical edition), the civil
code of Moldova from 1817 to 1865.
The Law Library also receives the official gazette from Moldova.
The Library possesses microfilm of the following Russian-language
newspapers from Chisinau:
- Sovetskaia Moldaviia. Microfilm for the years 1947-1991
is available in the European Reading Room under shelf number
- Nezavisimaia Moldova. This paper succeeds the above-mentioned
Sovetskaia Moldaviia. Microfilm from its beginning year of 1991
through at least 1999 is available in the European Reading Room
under shelf number 3836.
- Drug. Microfilm is available for April 1, 1906 through
June 30, 1907 in the European Reading Room under shelf number
- Molodezh' Moldavii. Microfilm is available for Sept.
6, 1958 (one issue only), and Jan 1, 1962 through December 31,
1965 in the European Reading Room under shelf number 790.
LC possesses microfilm holdings for the following Romanian-language
newspaper from Chisinau:
- Moldova suverana. As of mid 2002, LC had received
microfilm for the years 1995-97 only, available in the Newspaper
and Current Periodical Reading Room under shelf number 3818.
Attempts are being made to obtain microfilm from its beginning
in 1990 to present.
TELEPHONE AND ADDRESS DIRECTORIES
The Library of Congress possesses retrospective
telephone directories, both residential and organizational,
for Chisinau/Kishinev and Balti/Beltsy, as well as a more comprehensive
organizational guide for 1925, the Romanian-language Anuarul "Socec" al
The Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress published
in 1995 an extensive handbook entitled Belarus and Moldova: Country
Studies. The Moldovan chapters cover the country's history,
geography, economy, society, transportation and telecommunications,
government and politics, and national security.